Background research required?

So I’ve been having a fairly unproductive past week or ten days in writing my current WiP.  Partially due to a great number of financial and automotive problems that have required my attention, but mostly, I think, because I really wasn’t sure where the story was going.

Oh, I have an ending in mind, although fairly vague.  And the 10,000 words I’ve written so far are a good start.  But I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to reach the end from where I am now.

The root problem, I think, was that I didn’t quite have a handle on all the characters’ motivations.  So today I sat down and worked out what each character is up to.  Just three or four lines (one or two for minor characters).  I also wrote up a page with details on the setting that I didn’t have straight in my mind.

I believe this will break the logjam.  Already I know what I need to write tomorrow night.  And even beyond that, I have a much better conception of where the story is going.

As a story with a lot of fantasy elements, I assemed my WiP wouldn’t need research because it’s all in my imagination.  Wrong!  It does need research–only the source is my own mind.

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