I'm gearing up for this year's NaNoWriMo. I have my idea and the (first) name of my main character (Quinton, mostly because I like writing Q's). I need to think up a title and I need to decide what I want to accomplish in the story. I also need to do some research.
I went to the library today and checked out two books on steamships. Steamships! Yes, my book is going to take place largely on a steamship, partly magically powered (it's a fantasy, after all), and I need to know at least a little bit about ships in general and steamships in particular.
Since I use NaNo to try new things out (like my 2005 book, which was the first time I ever used an outline; or my 2006 book, which I partly dictated), this year I'll try actually really researching a subject instead of relying on my vague but broad knowledge of any given subject (comes from reading widely and not remembering details well) and making up the rest. I'll even take notes! About steamships!