Writing a book is just making up a story, right?

Wrong.

Of course, writing a novel is about writing a story, however, there is so much more to it. As a writer, you have a responsibility to the reader to make sure that not only are you telling a great story, with amazing characters and a good balance of highs and lows, but you also need to make sure that your facts are correct, that you have exercised all areas of expertise to make sure that everything is authentic and believable and most of all, that your readers can identify with the story and the characters.

If it was a case of just writing a story off the top of your head and publishing it, surely everyone would be doing it. But it is hard work. Hard, but incredibly rewarding when you cross that finish line.

Take my current book, for example. I deal with the incredibly serious subject of domestic violence. It is so important that I not only handle it with sensitivity and compassion for those who will read it, but also that I show the real side of this terrible subject. I want my readers to see how terrifying it is, how debilitating, how dangerous and how soul destroying it is. I want the reader to see the real lows of experiencing such terror, but also, the way in which, with the right help and support, you CAN get through it and you CAN make a difference.

But how do I know all this – I’ve never been in that situation before.

This is where research comes into play. Not only do I need to research general novel writing things such as setting, character traits, character jobs, journey times, cab prices from one place to another, how to pull a pint…etc, but I suddenly have to know what happens when someone is in a violent relationship, what support are they given when they report it? Where can they go to be safe? What happens if they are so scared, they drop the charges, and so much more.

I have been extremely lucky with the response I have received when asking for help. To help make my novel as authentic and real as possible, I have had input from many professionals. In this book alone, I have spoken with two police officers (one in the Met and one local officer) a victim support police officer, a doctor, a victim of domestic violence, a landlady, various people who live in the area where some of the book is based, a paramedic and the Executive Director of The Acid Survivors Trust International. I am also, through a third person, being put into contact with a women’s refuge and someone from the IDVA service (Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy).

It is only because all these professionals are SO KIND to give me some of their precious time to answer my questions and send me links and information, that I am able to make sure that I do the subject matter justice. I want my readers to read my novel and want to help those victims and support them and to get a better understanding of what really goes on behind closed doors. And if any victims of domestic violence read my book, I want them to feel empowered to seek help and GET OUT. And for those who already have, I want them to read it and feel proud of what they have achieved – because they have had an incredibly hard journey to get to where they are today.

Not everyone gets out alive, and that’s the harsh reality of it.

So I just want to say a very public THANK YOU to all those who have helped me and all those who helped with my previous novel, too.

Now to just finish this edit and get it sent off.

Wish me luck!

Lucie x

http://www.samaritans.org/

http://www.refuge.org.uk/

 

1 Comment

  1. stepmomshawn
    Jul 20, 2015

    Yes, a big “Good luck” to you! Though it sounds you like you won’t need it- you did your research and I bet you wrote a great, helpful book for those who need it, or anyone who wants a good read… Congrats! Let me know when it’s released! šŸ™‚

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