I have the pleasure of having a guest post from author Varsha Dixit, who shares her knowledge about...
by Varsha Dixit
Detailed research is an integral part of any form of writing – fiction or non fiction.
DO NOT shy from this one. Research makes the writing real, even fiction. The more real the writing sounds, the stronger and deeper it’s connection with the readers. Fiction needs to seem real for the readers to believe or identify with. For e.g. How did Robert Ludlum get us gorging on his stories of retrograde amnesiac, Jason Bourne? How did Tom Clancy make Jack Ryan so heroic, so credible? One can feel a similar connection with Harry Potter or Edward Cullen who though obviously fictional come across as so believable because of the real factor in the author’s writing. Research is cardinal, in making your writing and characters credible to the readers.
Every story happens ‘somewhere’. Research the ‘somewhere’. Somewhere could be a time or city or a place. Every story is about ‘someone’. Research that ‘someone’. If you character lives in certain time or place she should sound like she belongs to that time and place. She can’t be living an Indian, living in America and talking as if she were from England. Surprise your readers don’t confuse them.
I would like to share some of my research tips with you. I open an excel spreadsheet. My rows read place, weather, time, language, clothes, society, transportation, weather or anything that is relevant to the story.
Using research, I plug in all the relevant details into the spreadsheet. Thanks to the Internet, public libraries and bookstores, it is easy to access this information. Now this spreadsheets also become my reference guide and help me keep my manuscript factually correct.
Neil Armstrong said it best, “Research is creating new knowledge.” So tighten your socks writers, and make your writing richer by throwing yourself head on in research.
I hope you took something from my researching tips. If any of you have questions about writing fiction, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try my best to answer them based on my own writing experiences of nearly a decade.
by Varsha Dixit
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
What if following your heart means failing your family? Eila Sood leaves India for the U.S., hoping to unite her family and mend fences with her estranged older sister. She soon learns that her sister’s intercultural marriage, which outraged their parents, has hit rock bottom. To help pay the bills, Eila accepts an accounting job at a strip club, working for the fascinating yet infuriating Brett Wright. As their friendship and mutual desire builds, Eila chooses keeping family peace over following her heart. After Brett misinterprets her fears and accuses Eila of prejudice, his ex-girlfriend steps in to offer solace. Eila realizes that whichever choice she makes will rip her life apart. What will Eila choose? Love of her life or a life ruled by tradition? Fall in love with love, in this steamy saga from a best selling romance author.
Miserable, Eila bobbed her head not looking at Brett. Walking away from you again is killing me.
For her part, Eila began a new phase of her life with the strictest of rules.
Rule number 1: Always take big portions of dessert after dinner. This will eradicate the craving for comfort food later when you are up the whole night.
Rule number 2: Do not look at couples. Better still, glare at them or imagine them as incestuous siblings. Yuck!
Rule number 3: In public, as in with anyone other than yourself, keep your lips stretched and show teeth.
Rule number 4: Thanks to Rule number 3, always keep lip-gloss handy, for dry lips are painful to stretch. Also, horde ice packs and tea bags for under the eyes dark circles.
Rule number 5: Avoid anything that begins with the letter B, be it bread, biscuits, baseball or bayonets. Also make sure to personally shred napkins, pages, office memos and toilet paper filled with doodles of HIS name.
Rule number 6: Say NO to Italian food.
Rule number 7: In the near future – we are talking about the next twenty years – try and reduce the number of times you view HIS social networking page, which has not been updated for over ninety days.
Rule number 8: Seriously, only read the bestselling books in horror and self-help genres. The former will help you kill time by making you sweat, shake and fear your own reflection, thereby distracting you from HIS thoughts. And the latter will help you fall asleep faster than any over-the-counter sleeping pills.
Rule number 9: Remember you are not a teenager, so you are too old to hate your parents.
Rule number 10: Always remember to breathe in and out and put one foot in the front of the other.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Varsha Dixit is the best selling author of four successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free, Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman. Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.
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