I'm working on my next cozy mystery, and I have learned a valuable lesson. Research is invaluable, and sometimes interviewing someone who is an expert in the field you are researching can be more important than doing research online or in a library. The reason? When you talk it out with a professional you may save yourself some time by being able to flesh out your thought process with someone who can help you clear up problems you may encounter.
In my newest book I have put my protagonist in the hospital with a health problem. The first ailment I gave her was a heart problem and wrote it up with that scenario in mind. This is not just an impetus whereby she will meet the victim in this mystery, it is also a situation which will follow her thoughout the book. After the first third of the book was written I went back to edit/clean up what I had and found I didn't like it.
Enter set up number two: I gave her a treatable type of cancer. Same thing happened there. Didn't like it. I'd done quite a bit of research for both of these online, and also used some personal experience to help flesh it out. It just wasn't jelling for me.
A month ago I met, in person, with a Registered Nurse to pick her brain. Everything clicked! She gave me an idea of a health problem my heroine could deal with that I felt comfortable with, and in discussing it with her I was able to knock several ideas around and bring everything out that I excpected to have happen in this novel.
After typing up my notes, I began the task of rewriting what I had with this new situation and it is working out really well. Lesson learned.