Tool #4: Your Preparation

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Research

This is my bestie, Susan. I love research but she is intense.

We already know that research is my favorite. We now know our idea. But before you chase it well into your story, make sure you do your research. Before you put pen to paper, look stuff up. I wrote an entire book on breast cancer from the patient’s perspective. Talk about research. In some serious cases, the last thing you want to get wrong are the details. I can honestly say, if I am reading a book and I find the details are wrong, the book gets put on the shelf of shame and I move on to something else. Minor issues I can live with but if your story is about…breast cancer, it better be as detailed as possible and CORRECT in its treatment.

Good morning, boys, girls, they/them, and all my other perfect pronouns. I hope this day is treating you well. Me? Well, I got out of bed and that is a good thing. I will just keep adding up the good stuff as long as I can. Do you need a fresh cuppa? I know I do. I would love to make a quick bowl of oatmeal, but my microwave zapped itself yesterday. Shocking! Buzzzzzz. Definitely got my heart beating. LOL Fill your cuppa, grab a nibble, and your copy of The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer. I will meet you on the reading rug and on page 49, Chapter 4. Find it? Read along with me.

There are two types of research: primary and secondary. Don’t discount secondary- it is all important. Be well read in the subject you are wanting to write about and stay on top of all the information it contains. Be observant. Look around you, beyond your ten-foot perimeter. We tend to only focus on the immediate and not what lays beyond. As a writer you need to expand your visual. I mentioned in earlier posts that I like to sit in the park with dark sunglasses and headphones that are hooked to nothing. I people watch and listen in. I create characters and situations based on what is outside my immediate area.

Reading is important as well. We always say that a writer needs to write but they also need to read. A lot. Read for formatting ideas. Read to learn good and bad dialogue. How does it look on a page? How to create an atmosphere. You learn as you read. If you have bumped into writer’s block, a good way to push through is to read. Read what inspires you. Read about writing and the skills you want to build. Read within the genre you are writing.

Get back into the research. Researching your idea can and will spur your creativity and desire to write. Research is about digging beyond the surface. My second book, Sin Full, is about sin eaters. I dug deep and connected some dots that made the story flower and build. Bringing the idea of a sin eater into modern day was possible based on the research I did. And, yes, it was fun. My current WIP is about an incubus demon, a tent revival, and Lilith. Imagine the storyline that can come out of just those three topics. I connected those dots in a way that works. You can never have too much information. You may not use it all but having it there can relieve some anxiety.

Where is the line between reality and fiction? Who knows? I don’t. All I know is the more factual information you use the easier it is for your reader to believe what you are writing is possible. My example: Space- I am not a sci-fi reader. Nope, but I can watch a movie about it. Now, my example- if you are writing about something the average person will never experience firsthand, you need to give them something to hang on to. I (maybe you) will never walk on the moon or live on a massive space station. That’s cool. But if you want me to understand what life is like there you need to connect it to life here. Have a love interest or long-distance romance. A murder mystery in space. Tell a story in space that could have also happened on Earth.

Where to do research…internet, talk to people, libraries, and bookstores. Be very careful when researching online. Don’t get sucked down the proverbial rabbit hole. Surfing will hurt your creativity and suck your time. Get off Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and get to work!

Please remember that I am not trying to write this book for you word for word. I am skipping a lot of detail. I highly suggest you purchase the book and read between the lines.

Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.

Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.

I’m always looking for new friends!

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Published by Ticia Rani

I am...interesting. I am a writer, dreamer, mom, wife, veteran, friend, villain, and the wearer of many hats, but I don't look good in hats- go figure. I LOVE TO WRITE. I want to tell stories. I want to make you laugh, cry, and scare the crap out of you, and make you ask "why the hell did you do that?" I want to make you cheer my characters on or want to shake the crap out of them for things they say and/or do. I want to bring you along for the ride. Ready? Set?...READ!!!

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