How to Research Your Book Smarter, Instead of Harder

How to Research Your Book Smarter, Instead of Harder

Writing is hard. How’s that for a downer first thing in the morning? But it’s true—particularly when it comes to finding time to write. There are so many necessary tasks—marketing, networking, running a business, etc.—fighting for your time. And then, once you do get down to the planning, drafting, or revising you’ve been longing to do, you’re often sidetracked by another necessary part of the process: figuring out how to research your book.

Precious time is wasted as we search the Internet for just the right information to elevate our storytelling. Plus, we often get sidetracked when we can’t find what we’re looking for. Our workspace is littered with thumbed-through reference books that don’t contain exactly what we need. All of this effort spent trying to find the right resources eats into our work time, making it difficult to do the one thing we want and need to do: write.

3 Ways One Stop for Writers™ Can Help You Figure Out How to Research Your Book

One Stop for Writers LogoWell, Writers Helping Writers has a new idea that we think will help. We (Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi) have teamed up with Lee Powell (creator of Scrivener for Windows) to create One Stop For Writers™—a website dedicated to helping authors elevate their storytelling and reduce the downtime commonly associated with research.

One Stop For Writers™ provides writers…

1. An Array of Helpful Resources in One Convenient Spot

When I’m writing or revising and I have to stop to research something, my chances of getting distracted and wasting time go up exponentially. One Stop for Writers helps with this by compiling a collection of helpful descriptive resources in one place.

Less time is wasted because you’ll find more of what you need and you’ll find it quickly, without ever having to leave the site. Just log in, get the creative brainstorming help you need, and get back to writing.

Emotion Thesaurus and Thesaurus TOC One Stop for Writers

2. Resources on a Variety of Topics.

A good book, script, or story is comprised of many different elements. In order to be successful authors, we need to master all of them:

  • Characterization
  • Symbolism
  • Settings
  • Character emotion
  • Multi-sensory description
  • Show-don’t-tell

One Stop for Writers contains resources to help you master all of these elements and more. Among other things, you’ll find the entire Writers Helping Writers descriptive thesaurus collection, enhanced and updated to include even more entries and information. You can also find original worksheets, questionnaires, flowcharts, and other customizable tools that you can save and print out at your convenience.

Need help researching a hard-to-reach setting? Pop in to the Setting Thesaurus, grab some ideas, then get back to drafting.

Wondering how to show your character’s feelings of scorn or elation? Click on the desired entry of the Emotion Thesaurus, and you’re off to the races.

Need a refresher on who your character is at his core? Review the Character-At-A-Glance and Character’s Fears worksheets that you created weeks ago in the planning stage, then use the information to write your character realistically.

Character At-A-Glance Tool One Stop for Writers

3. Cross-Referenced and Searchable Resources

Not only are all of our thesauri now in one convenient place, they’re cross-referenced and completely searchable.

Let’s say you’re struggling to adequately express a common theme in your story. So you go to One Stop and do a quick search for “isolation.” Immediately, you see responses in a variety of areas. The Symbolism and Motif Thesaurus contains a whole entry on the topic. Both the Weather and Settings Thesauri contain phenomena and locations that can emphasize this theme. The Positive and Negative Trait Thesauri each mention traits that may emerge as a result of isolation, and the Emotion Thesaurus has information on what an isolated character might be feeling and how to convey that to readers.

One Stop for Writers Search Feature- Isolation

Just one search, and you’ve accomplished all of this helpful research—all without leaving the One Stop site.

The bottom line here is that Angela, Lee, and I are all writers. We understand how difficult it can be to get the actual writing done when you’re constantly having to stop and look stuff up. This is why we created One Stop for Writers, so writers can have a compilation of the resources they need, all in one convenient place.

If you’re curious about One Stop For Writers, check us out. Our hope is that it will streamline your research process and give you more of what you really want: time to write.

Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! What would be helpful to you in figuring out how to research your book? Tell me in the comments!

How to Research Your Book Smarter, Instead of Harder

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About Becca Puglisi

Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and other resources for writers. Her books have sold over 1 million copies and are available in multiple languages, are sourced by U.S. universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online resource for authors that's home to the Character Builder and Storyteller's Roadmap tools.


  1. This is a fantastic resource. I will definitely be making use of it. Thank you for putting it out there.

    • I’m so glad it sounds like it might be useful. Our main focus with this product has been to create something that writers can use to elevate their storytelling in the most efficient way possible. Hopefully it will do that for you :).

  2. Suzan Robertson says

    Looks fabulous!

  3. This is great. I’m going to check out the site right now.

    • Thanks, Lidy! There’s limited access to the site right now, since we’re in the last week before launch and are working on last minute stuff. But you can see a little bit of what One Stop does. The What Is One Stop link at the bottom of the page will give you a good feel for what’s available.

  4. Can’t wait to see this! Thank you!!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Becca! I was thrilled with the sneak peek I got of One Stop for Writers. I think it’s going to be another fabulous resource for writers.

  6. Dear Becca, Angela, and Lee:
    You are my best friends.
    One stop for writers is my dream come true.
    I love you all.
    Thank you!!!

    PS will share your site and RT your great posts 🙂

  7. thomas h cullen says

    Just trust in yourself as your own product’s source of content! Through intense deductive logic, and intuition, it’s amazing how much self-knowledge the mind can extract.

  8. Kinza Sheikh says

    I really want to see it, but the link isn’t working. 🙁

    • Hi, Kinza. I’m so sorry about that. A few days ago, in preparation for our official launch on the 7th, we moved the site from its temporary home to the permanent domain and we’re experiencing some growing pains. The problem is sorted now, so feel free to check it out!

  9. Wow. This is amazing. I will definitely make use of it.

    Thank you!

  10. What an interesting resource. Looking forward to checking it out! Thanks for sharing!

  11. This is super useful. A brilliant idea! I’m going to use it right now.

    • Apparently, it is not up and running yet?

      • Hi J. Eliot! The site officially opens for business on Wednesday, 10/7. For now, if you’re interested in seeing some of what the site offers, you can view the short introductory video on the home page and click on the What Is One Stop? link at the bottom of the page. That will give you a general feel for what One Stop is about and how it can benefit writers.

  12. This is an awesome resources. *signing up*. I find I need it most in the revision phase, after I’ve plotted things out and the story is basically there, but with really weak writing, and I need to find easy ways to improve the lazy stuff with better choices.

    • Thank you, Derek! I think that many people will find it useful during both the revision and plotting stages, though I’ve found myself popping in while drafting to grab just the right placeholder idea, then getting back to the writing. Thanks for signing up. I hope you enjoy it!


  1. […] Source: How to Research Your Book Smarter, Instead of Harder – Helping Writers Become Authors […]

  2. […] Becca Puglisi wrote a great article covering some of the ways One Stop for Writers could help you research your book smarter, not harder. […]

  3. […] How to Research Your Book Smarter, Instead of Harder – Smart research for your book can make your effort fruitful. The post guides you to research smartly for your book. […]

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