Using Research to Deepen Characterization

The October 22nd chat is about research! #RWchat co-host Alexis Daria weighs in on doing research for her debut contemporary romance, Take the Lead.

I thought writing a contemporary would be easy.

Wait. Let me backtrack: I hate doing research. So I thought writing a contemporary romance would be easier than, say, a historical. No research, right?

Little did I know.

When I set out to write Take the Lead, I thought I had obtained enough dance knowledge from years of watching Dancing with the Stars to write a book that was kind of about dancing and mostly about people getting out of their own way to find love. And then I hit the first dance scene…and I was stuck. I didn’t know enough about dance to write a character who was a professional dancer.

Sure, I suppose I could have just skimmed the details and said, “They danced across the porch,” and left it at that. I knew which dance they were doing—a sensible waltz—but I wanted to use more dance vocabulary and detail. So I opened a browser and did a quick bit of research.

waltz nick sharna gif
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Coming Oct. 22nd…Research!

romance writer chat graphic research topic

Last month we asked for topic suggestions at the end of one of the chats, and we got quite a few! One topic that many chatters mentioned was research. Research isn’t just for historical writers! Even if you’re writing fantasy or paranormal, you might still find yourself falling into Wikipedia rabbit holes. Let’s talk about it next Sunday at 7pm Eastern, 4pm Pacific. See you then.

Coming Oct. 8th…Failure & Rejection

romance writer chat topic failure rejection

Writing is a craft, a calling, a creative endeavor, but it’s also a business. The writing process is intensely personal, but once your words are out in the world, it’s a whole other story. (Pun intended.) Rejection letters, canceled contracts, agent breakups, even unfinished manuscripts that never make it out from under the bed—writing careers have ups and downs, but it’s how we deal with the setbacks that make all the difference.

Let’s talk about it at the next #RWchat, Sunday, October 8th.

Coming Oct. 1st…Autumn Goals

RWchat 10-1-17

Whether you’re in the northern or southern hemispheres, it’s a new season, which means it’s time to talk about goals!  Let’s look back over the last nine months of the year and see how far we’ve come, as well as reassessing what we want and where we’re going.

See you at 7pmE/4pmP on Sunday, October 1st!

10,000 Hours

Alexis Daria

Some people have always known they wanted to write, while others came to it later in life. I’m in the first group, although art was my first and main creative love for most of my life. Still, even as I pursued art in high school (fine arts) and college (computer arts), writing was a constant. This week’s #RWchat topic is “your evolution as a writer,” so I’ll mark the different eras, like Picasso, but if he had the internet.

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Coming Sept. 17th…Editing & Revising

RWchat 9-17-17You worked your ass off getting to “The End”—but it’s not really the end, is it? Whether you’re working off your own revision notes or suggestions from an editor, there’s still a ton of work to do to get your work in publishing shape.

On Sept. 17th, we’ll be talking with #RWChat writers about how they tackle edits and revisions. Bring your insights, bring your frustrations, and come join us at 7 PM Eastern / 4 PM Pacific.

Coming Sept. 10th…80/20 Rule

romance writer twitter chat 80 20 rule

Social media is a prominent aspect of book marketing, but sometimes it can be tricky to figure out what to post. Some writers may be more comfortable with marketing posts, and less comfortable with sharing parts of their lives, while others are happy to chat but nervous about promoting their books. Common wisdom suggests the 80/20 rule for social media—80% social or personal posts, and 20% marketing or promo related posts. Let’s talk about what this looks like in the next #RWchat. Join us Sunday September 10th at 7pmEST/4pmPST.