"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." Pinterest quote

When I'm asked what I do for a living one of my favourite answers is: "I make things up." I've also gone with: "I play with my imaginary friends for money."

There is the idea that writing fiction means you get to rely solely on your imagination and not get bogged down in pesky things like facts. However, if you've ever been thrown out of a novel by a detail you know to be wrong, you know that even the best of fiction is often grounded in reality. This means research. So how do you go about tackling it and how do you know when you've done enough?

Here's a nice broad overview by author Tom Young in Writer's Digest: How to Research a Novel: 7 Tips.

And despite the virtually identical title, Top 7 Tips For Researching Your Novel has different ideas to help you write the most authentic setting, characters, plot details and so on in your novel.

Joanna Penn tosses a spin into her post, How to Research Your Novel by also giving you advice on when to stop! And guess what—she has 7 tips as well!

And, if you like a one-stop-shop, skip the first 3 sets of 7 tips and go straight to Book Cave's 21 Ways to Research Your Novel!

Sure there's a little bit of overlap between these posts but sometimes we need to hear something more than once to either believe it or make the idea stick!


~ New this week ~

New on our YouTube channel

Shana Pennington Baird, a voice actor who narrates audiobooks, chats with Crystal about how a narrator prepares for recording audiobooks, and what it's like to bring stories to life in audio format.

Brenda Wlazlo, a voice actor who narrates audiobooks, talks to Crystal about how she got into narrating audiobooks, what you need to think about when deciding on different voices for your characters, and what the recording and editing process look like.

Interested in audiobooks? Then also check out Crystal's two conversations with Will Dages of Findaway Voices. In Part 1, they chat about producing audiobooks, and how that provides some unique opportunities for indie publishing authors. And in Part 2, they talk about how Findaway Voices can help you distribute your stories to a ton of platforms — it's like going wide with eBooks.


~ For Creative Academy Members ~

New in our Members' Only community

In this week's Happy Hour with Eileen and the gang did a deep dive on a short story submitted by one of our members and talked about what works in the short story genre and how it has changed with online stories opening up new short story markets.

In Crystal's first Strategic Author session they brainstormed launch strategies for one member's women's fiction book and set-up another member's BookFunnel assets.

In Crystal's second Strategic Author session they tackled how to find your Facebook pixel and insert it into a Divi website and on BookFunnel and then they dove into GeniusLink—how to create them, use them, and add a Facebook pixel!

Office hours, writing sprints and special topic gatherings

We know many members have not been receiving emails from our Glip community, reminding you about what's on each day. It's not you! It's not us, either. It's them. The app is undergoing some improvements and until those changes have been made, the daily emails will be unreliable. So make a note in your calendar of the events you want to attend!

Nothing scheduled for Sunday, April 28 or Saturday, May 4 but the sprint room is always available for you!


Not a Creative Academy member yet? Learn all you need to know to become a member here.


~ Creative Advice Prompt ~

One of the most important things with research is being able to find a detail when you need it. Spend 30 minutes today to decide how you will store and index any research you do so you can easily find it again. This can be paper files, online programs or a Dropbox file folder. Doing this ahead of time will save you a lot of headaches later!

Eileen, Crystal and Donna