Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Three Little Words

source- Amazon.com

Research is a necessity of writing no matter what genre you WIP is. Historicals demand research into the era they are set in. Mysteries and suspense usually need police or detective procedure. SF is based on science in some way and fantasy has myth as its underpinning. It's the little truths that make stories and characters breath.

My WIP is no different. For example, my main character is a retired history teacher and I didn't have to go far to research her background and life since I'm a retired history teacher. ; ) But the character who changes my MC's life is an abused foster child. I've researched the foster care system and interviewed foster and adoptive parents and the case workers who work with them. That left the main research I needed to be from a foster child's POV and that interview would require an entirely different level of sensitivity.

Thankfully, the foster child came to me. The Department of Family and Children Services case worker I've interviewed suggested I read Ashley Rhodes Courter's Three Little Words. Courter is an amazing young woman who spent ten years in the foster care system of Florida. Her memoir is harrowing and revealing. With a foster child's first person testimony to refer to, my plot has deepened. Samantha's reactions have become based in reality. My story's layers have grown in complexity. I'm grateful for the help to make Samantha a more three dimensional character.

Research can take so many different forms.

Where do you get your little truths to layer into your story?
What is your dream research source that you need to make your story real?

I can only wish that you find as good a source as I have. Happy digging!