Realism in your Novels

These tips are from notes I took at the PSWA conference and the panel on realism.

For setting:

Buy postcards of places you are visiting for research for books and use them to evoke memories to use in your writing.

Use Google maps.

Make your own map if using a fictional setting.

There is no substitute for actually visiting a real site you are using for a setting.

One panelist writes about places she's worked in.


Dialogue in a book needs to be more interesting than real dialogue.

If you hear someone say something that you'd like to use one day, be sure and write it down.


Write what you like to read.

Pick up on news stories.


You need to be invested in your characters

Draw some elements and characteristics from actual people.

Use an astrological birthdate and use some of the descriptions.

Take pieces of those whom you know and put them togehter.

Interview people about how they do things.

Ask people questions about what they do.



Lorna Collins - said…
The panel had some great ideas. I particularly liked using the astrological signs. That was a new one to me!
marja said…
Good reminders, Marilyn. Some wonderful ideas came from that panel.
Marja McGraw

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