Summer Is Here!

It’s hard to believe it is June already!

I’ve been thinking about my fiction writing goals for the summer and I’ve decided to review some important parts of writing a romance.

Those who know me also know I’m a journalist by trade and you might think it’s easy for me to write fiction. Not true. While I do have a good command of sentence structure and grammar, I’ve had to learn the craft of writing romance fiction, the same as everyone else.

To start, we all know creating romance is very different from mainstream writing. The love story has to come first. I’ve had to learn this, as well as how to plot, pace and write realistic dialogue. Not to mention being able to create believable characters.

I like adventure and multi sub-plots. Okay, so I enjoy making it hard on myself! But I get bored when reading or writing if there isn’t a lot going on in a story. For example, if I’m reading an historical, I want it to be historically accurate with the details or else I’ll put the book down. I also stop writing my own stories until I get the research and historical data down right.

I do write Sci-Fi too and can create my own worlds. But do you want to know something I discovered while working on Sci-Fi stories? I base most of my world building on my own experience with history, myth, culture, science and such. It’s still research! At least it is for me.

What do you think? How much do you invest in research? When is it enough?

Be sure to visit Dayana Knight today http://dayanaknight.blogspot.com/ and read what Eilidh MacKenzie, one of The Wild Rose Press Black Rose editors has to say about historical research.

Summer’s here... Let’s see how much we can accomplish!



Genella deGrey said...

I love doing research while writing my historicals.
I stop when I am comfortable enough to step into the time period - and shoes - of my characters.


Catherine Bybee said...

You can get to caught up with the history and stop writing all together. We need to have a balance of both, I think.

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Kaye -- I'm not a huge researcher. Usually just enough to answer my questions, then I get to writing. I have a love/hate relationship with research. Finding little tidbits to add character my story is always fun, but it takes away from my writing time ;). I agree with Catherine -- we need balance.

Suzanne said...

To be honest, I don't think I do enough research - it's one of the skills I need to improve.

Cari Quinn said...

I'm another one that needs to do more research. One thing I really love in books in action sequences, so I'll have to start looking into more about how to craft realistic fight scenes. Great post, as always, Kaye! Happy summer to you. :)

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Kaye,
I think it depends what you're writing. If historical, then huge amounts of research is required. But, like me with a contemporary, giving enough description of the place if I'm unfamiliar with the area, I do enough to cover what I could see through my own eyes.

I think some subjects can be over researched, thus making a novel sound like non-fiction.

And as everyone is saying, balance is what is required. :)

Shelley Munro said...

I'm working on a historical at the moment. I've done quite a bit of research, but I try to write at the same time, even leave gaps if I can and fill in the info later. While I like accuracy, I think a good story has to come first. I want entertainment from a book rather than an education.

Christina Phillips said...

I can spend hours researching and it does take away from writing time. I've tried leaving gaps in the ms to look up later, but I can't work that way. It bothers me too much!!

Debs said...

I'm just about to start researching my next novel, and it will involve far more than I've had to do before as it is set in an earlier period. I can't wait.

Linda Banche said...

I'm glad you write complex stories, because I like them, too. Just the romance isn't enough for me. And I like loads of historic detail. The story has to ring true to its period. I grit my teeth when I read a historical with so little research that it could fit into any time period with a little shifting of the details.

Kaye Manro said...

Great comments all. I also believe in balance. Yes it's easy to get too caught up in research and let the writing suffer. So a balance is needed. Just get those facts right!

Thanks for the input everyone.

Anonymous said...

History is important and if you don't have it then you really have nothing but sometimes history can over power what the story is really about.

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Michelle Styles said...

I love doing the research. But only about 5% of the research I do appears in my books.
Multiple sub plots are great but it depends on the length of the book. FOr example with Harlequin Historical, all the subplots have go towards supporting the main arc of the story. It is the whole KISS principle.

Kaye Manro said...

Thanks Michelle! I agree. It's true the subplots must support the main story arc. If not you would have loose ends or plot holes! Research is to add flavor. Everything we learn won't be in the finished story. But if I know my subject or time period, then my stoies are richer with more depth. I think that's probably the idea too.