Why book research is good for you?

While I did the research for my current work in progress, I realized a few random things about myself, too. Research can trigger surprising self-discovery.

  • Stuffed animals give me the creeps.
  • I want to become a member of a secret society.
  • I can’t live without a Thesaurus (or actually, the Internet because I use an online Thesaurus).
  • Unlike some authors, I can’t write without an Internet connection  – for the already mentioned reason, but also because when I’m stuck for words, I like to surf the Net to unwind, and I’ll get back to writing more quickly after that.
  • I don’t understand people who eat burnt toast.
  • I admire people that wear colorful clothes. I wear mostly black.
  • I want a tattoo.

Apart from the randomness above, I also realized that my writing style is a sort of research. I used to write most of the stories in third person POV, but for my last YA, I switched to first person. I’m writing my current novel in first person, too. It gives me far more insight into my main character and it’s in a way more liberating than I ever thought possible. I think this has largely to do with the topics I cover in my books. I’ve never  written (and probably never will write) about social issues in my books. I’m more interested in the psychology of an individual. Hence, it makes sense for me to use first person narration. It took me three books to realize this.

You never know when you’ll discover something surprising about yourself. 😉

Also, there’s still time to enter my giveaway for $50 GC for Amazon and other prizes.

Drawing my way through the story

Since I blogged SONY DSCabout research last time I thought I’d share a little bit of what the research for my next book includes. Using Google maps to refresh my memory about the prettiest Paris spots that I visited a couple of years ago is easy. One of the more difficult tasks is putting together a fictional fashion collection.

I’ve always liked drawing croquis and designing and sewing my own clothes, which probably explains why my protagonist wants to be a fashion designer. But I’m beginning to realize putting together an entire collection that revolves around a central theme is a lot harder than I anticipated.

I think quite a few more attempts will be needed before I nail it, huh? 😉 I have to get re-accustomed to using a pencil again. But it’s an enjoyable process.

How writing has improved my week

This week hasn’t been a very happy one. It was very emotionally taxing for reasons that are wrapped into a very long, boring story. But the good side to that was that in order to distract myself I buried myself into my manuscript.

I was taking a break from the book I’m translating, so I decided to do some editing on my own novel. I haven’t had a look at it in one month, and the distance did wonders. I re-wrote the pivotal scene with a completely different outcome, added more scenes and another side character. He’s an old, grumpy pastry chef with a penchant for bad language and soap operas. He was so vivid in my mind that it was a delight to write him, even though he only has a few short scenes.

My WIP is not all unicorns and rainbows, there are some fairly heart-breaking moments in it, but working on it was still a source of joy for me this week, when nothing else seemed to work. And there are a few funny scenes. At least, I hope the readers will find them funny, too, because my sense of humor can sometimes be pretty weird. 😉

Plus, you’ll get to see Harper dishing out love advice. Yup, you heard that right. It’s Harper who shares some love wisdom with the inimitable Chloe. Though, he’ll have to move over and make some space for the hero of this novel, Chris.

Here’s a tiny snippet of a scene between Chris & Chloe, shortly after she moves in with him (told from Chris’s POV).

“I’m hotter than you by a mile. Or make that a hundred degrees.” Chloe jabs her finger in my chest and I cover her hand with my own, but she wriggles it away quickly and retreats to her bedroom for more stuff to bring out.

“Does that make me cooler than you, then?” I call after her.

I can hear her tumbling laughter even through the loud music. “That was a good one,” she says.

I like how she laughs. I love that she laughs at my jokes.