On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Research

I have friends who call themselves research sluts. Having my library degree, I, too, can pick up almost any book and get swept under by interesting facts. And the web is excellent for research (but check your facts if you can! There's more misinformation up here than you think, and no, that doesn't mean you spend hours surfing....)

So I have two rules of research for MYSELF. 1) Don't do it ahead of time or I'll take time away from writing and delve much deeper than I need to and take time from writing. 2) Do only as much as necessary. I've gotten hit both ways in my work -- not enough worldbuilding, too much worldbuilding -- but, in general, the audience I'm writing for doesn't want minutiae that will slow the pace of the book. I THOUGHT I did as much as I should of the nanotech for Heart Thief, but my editor wanted more (quickly) and that's where the web came in great. I contacted a group, asked my questions and put acknowledgments in the book). With a Healing Circle in Heart Duel, I knew what I wanted, but hadn't ever attended one so I asked a Wiccan community.

And my volarans aren't horses. Have horse-like characteristics, but are not horses. Even my horses don't quite behave like horses. Why? Because Calli and Marrec can speak telepathically to them, work with them mind-to-mind, not have to depend on mostly physical clues.

So that's my take on research and my rules for me. I'd say that as long as your critique buddies or your editor doesn't notice your depth of research, it's right...and yes, if you HAVE a lot of time for research into fabric, etc. it can make a richer world, if you use short, rich descriptions. But publishing in the world I live in is about getting good books out quickly for readers. So like many things, this is a balance.

May all your research be right today.
Robin

5 Comments:

Blogger Michele said...

I don't know how you do it!
This is actually something I needed to see!!!
Thank you!

I say that alot to you, don't I?
You are wonderful, Robin.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Well, thanks! I know spring has sprung and folks are busy with other things, but I've been wondering if I've been doing this in a void, or if my ideas have not been helpful, or I'm boring...so thanks for the feedback.

Robin

8:52 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

You're welcome. Please don't ever feel like you are in a void...although with "0" comments, it may seem like it at times. I guess I'm guilty of lurking lately.
Maybe I'll just pop a ' I read it!" in the comment box, just so you'll know.

I know how 'I' feel when I take the time to post and no one says "Boo". It rots. Especially when I think I've written something clever or brilliant. (In my mind, lol) and no one is there to appreciate it or share it with.

I'll try not to lurk anymore because I certainly would feel bereft if you decided not to blog anymore.
Spring is fine, but it can't be sunny all the time!

I'll pass the word if you want. I'm good at that.
Maybe I'll highlight one of your posts???

9:22 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Michele, thanks! Do what you like, I sure didn't mean to whine so much or cause any additional effort on anyone else's part.
Robin

7:14 AM  
Blogger Michele said...

Piffle, Robin.
You call that whining?
Geepers, that is NOTHING! I've seen/read/done worse.

OK, I'll do what I want.
And the effort is a pleasure.
Really! :-)

7:48 AM  

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