Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Research Takes Us To The Previously Unknown…

May 26, 2014
mandyevebarnett


articlesThere is an added bonus to writing fiction – we delve into places, careers, hobbies, technology and scientific areas that we would otherwise not come into contact with. To enable us to write with confidence and ensure that the story holds true to reality (to some extent – sci-fi and fantasy are exceptions of course). We cannot write blindly about something totally foreign to us and expect our readership not to call us up on its inconsistencies or discrepancies. As with most authors and writers, our internet search results could be viewed with suspicion, or abject horror in some cases! Thorough research, however, should not be solely gathered from the internet (it isn’t always 100% accurate, shocking I know!). It is best to also utilize library resources, interview people, or even travel to locations, if at all possible. These are all fundamentally  more rewarding and can give us more indepth information and insights. Some of which gives us a more realistic viewpoint on the subject and vital details to give our narrative authenticity.

In my novel, The Twesome Loop, the basic theme was  reincarnation. This is a subject I researched and read about for many years during my nursing career (long story I shall not go into now). Because of that personal knowledge, I was able to reflect how souls meet again and again and also what it feels like to become another version of yourself. Here’s a previous post to explain that last part – https://mandyevebarnett.com/2014/01/20/reincarnation-fact-or-fiction/)

My current work in progress, Willow Tree Tears, centers around barrel racing, something I have seen only once. So obviously, I needed to study the way the courses have developed over time, the type of horses used and what the women who race are like. After finishing my first draft I was particularly upset to see a TV preview for Rodeo Girls – a so called reality show. The truth is, after contacting a couple of professional barrelracing organizations, the show is far from the truth and has been Hollywoodised! In fact, the women I discussed this with were extremely angry with the portrayal of rodeo women on the show. This tempered my fears some what that my novel was inaccurate, as my heroine is a down to earth young woman, with great determination and love of the ranching life.

What ‘new’ discovers have you found when researching your novels?

Did the subject become a fascination?

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Are You Overlooking Something..?

April 15, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Nadir – definition: 1) the lowest point; 2) the point of the celestial sphere that is directly opposite the zenith and directly under the observer.

Aurora Borealis observed in Norway on 2006-10-28.

Aurora Borealis observed in Norway on 2006-10-28. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I could relate star gazing experiences or the fantastic moments I have witnessed the aurora borealis here in Alberta but my mind went to the characters and parts of a story we can overlook. When we are engaged in writing about our main characters and their story they are our primary focus. We can neglect what is literally under our noses. The interaction with secondary characters can be an artful way of enhancing our main character. Their reaction to someone else will illustrate their personality more effectively than using endless descriptions. Of course secondary characters can also be important in their own right not only implementing momentum in the story arc but also as individual characters with their own ‘lives’ that are affected by the circumstances they and our main character find themselves in.

Take a look at this post:

http://crimsonleague.com/2013/04/11/creative-writing-tip-character-traits-in-secondary-characters/

Even the smallest detail can eject your reader from a scene. Would a historically set story really have burgers on the menu? Would a character wear a wristwatch? This is where research is vital for accuracy and to ensure your reader totally believes in the world your characters inhabit. The choice of weapons, clothing and social conventions build your world making it all the more believable. A Victorian lady would not go on a girls night out but entertain a few friends in the parlour during the day. A space commander would probably not spend his evenings knitting. Pirates use a cutlass, an alien a laser.

Here’s a great post:

http://susanleighnoble.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/realistic-food-in-your-fantasy-novel/

No matter your genre, your world building must have rules, structure and conventions that your hero is fighting to maintain or struggling against. Their methods and actions must reflect what is available to them and most importantly it must be believable.

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