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.

Writing A Novel In A Hurry

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Whether you’ve decided to participate in Nanowrimo, you’re behind on a deadline, or you just want to be able to build your backlist at lightning speed—learning to write faster is a valuable skill.

On Sunday, October 15th we’ll be talking about the tips, tricks, and challenges of writing a book in a month. Come chat with us, and see if you can pick up some speed.

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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Writer, Interrupted

content warning: mentions of self-medication, psychiatric disability.

When Evolution Isn’t Always a Straight Line

I have a gap in my resume. It makes writing bios difficult, trying to cover a gap that yawns across the summer of 2006 to a January day in 2014. I didn’t go on a backpacking trip to Europe or volunteer with the peace corps or pursue personal enrichment. Well. I kinda did, but not in the fun drive a bus across the country sort of way.

I was institutionalized.

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