Writing is as much about research as it is about getting the words on the page.
For instance, let’s say that in your writing you want to discuss a scene that takes place in a particular building or type of building. It’s one thing to say a character went inside a building, but is it another thing entirely if you can take the reader inside the building with the character.
How does one do this?
Research of course.
The same is true when it comes to things like dialogue.
How do you make the most out of a little when it comes to dialogue?
Simple. Know your character. A police officer is going to talk differently than a police detective. A defense lawyer is going to talk differently than a prosecutor. A physician will talk differently than a faith healer. A good cop differently than a bad cop.
How do you sort out all of the differences to make your dialogue genuine and convincing?
Go talk to people in the fields who will be having the dialogue in your book. It’s a really simple process. Pick up the phone, call and tell them you’d like to interview them for background on their profession.
You’d be surprised how flattered and helpful people in most any profession will be if you simply ask. Look at the acknowledgement page of the current work of fiction you may be reading. Chances are there are “thank you’s” going to people that helped the author in their work.
The reality is, fiction, much as non-fiction, has to be researched. If not the dialogue just won’t sound real.
If you have a character doing something and you’re writing about it, make sure what they are doing is correct. If it isn’t, the character, and you as the author simply aren’t believable. Don’t have your character cock his pistol if he has a Glock. Don’t have a character taking photographs in low-light unless they have the correct equipment.
Basically a great rule of thumb is if you’re not an expert on what you’re writing about, go ask someone who is and get it right the first time. If you do this both you and your character will be more believable and when you do need the reader to take a leap of faith they’ll be more willing to do so.
Capitalize in your writing on what you know. Build your writing skills by taking your research skills to a higher point by making your writing accurate.
Doing your research also makes for a great networking opportunity for you. As you talk to more and more experts, you’ll build up a group of sources you can return to for more background in the future. As well, these people likely direct you to more experts. They will also tell the tales of their life and professional experiences. These stories can be great fodder for plots, subplots or just for ideas to kick start things from conceptualization to your next novel.
That and you’ll probably sell a few books along the way.
So while you’re here why not read a chapter from my book or even buy a copy of your own. A portion of all proceeds from the sale of The Trust will be donated to canine related charities. Support K9 rescues!
Sean Keefer is the author of The Trust, a tale of mystery/suspense set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
The Trust is the Debut Novel from Sean Keefer.
I'm happy to consider books for review. I'll review hard and paperbacks. I'll also be happy to review eBooks but can only do Nook or PDF format. Email me from the Contact page for more information. Thanks!