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My book starts at the end of my main characters research on a topic. And I wanted to give a feeling of him being neck deep in research.

I thought of those stereotypical moments on tv shows where a police group busts into a room and it's full of circled faces and connected lines with thread.

however, all his research is discreetly nestled in a folder in his bedroom.

I've written, but I still feel like I want to explain months, if not years of research, without outrightly saying that.

  • Hi, Pheobe! Welcome to Writers.SE! This seems to me like a "Help me figure out what to write" question -- you have a very specific situation, and you want help coming up with an appropriate visual for it. Writers.SE is different from other sites you might know; we stick to Q&A format, and a lot of things that would work well in other forums don't work well for us. – Standback Mar 27 '16 at 19:09
  • This kind of question is so specific, that we could get a million of them, and none of them would help more than one author apiece... So I need to close this. Not a problem -- trial and error is how people learn what we're about (although the site tour helps :P ). Meanwhile, if anybody has a suggestion for reopening it, I'd be pleased to hear :) – Standback Mar 27 '16 at 19:11
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What did he research? Why? How? What did he find out? The point I am trying to make is that "research" as an abstract does not really mean anything. It only has meaning and impact in how it connects to the story. Do exposition on those connections, not on the research itself.

You mention wanting to make clear that he spent months on that research. So you could mention the motivation that made him invest the time. Or how spending that much time impacted him. How he missed an entire season or was cut off from his family or friends. Or the economic impact. Or the volume of things he learned and how they changed him.

These all have story impact. Motivation is obvious, but the emotional, social, and economic state he is in at the start of story is also important and you can link it to the fact he spent months doing research and that changed him and his circumstances.

All this assuming that I understood what you wanted, of course.

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