It seems like a lot of the focus lately has been on character building, which is great! Fortunately for me but perhaps not for the blog theme, that is not something I've ever had trouble with. Characters are by far the EASIEST part of writing for me. Usually the characters happen and wander around for a while before they find something to do.
But of course there is still balance, in that there are still writing things I can't do without feeling like I'm pulling my own teeth. Right now the things I'm getting yelled at about by my proofreaders is details in processes. I know my characters so well by the time I get to writing them that I tend to forget that other people don't know them that well, and it's up to me to describe what they are doing. Like, I can tell you that my main character is a chef, and tell that he's over cooking in the kitchen, but would a chef not talk about WHAT he was making? How many experts in their field wouldn't talk about it? But, well, I'm not a chef. I wish, but I'm far from it. So I try to do some research, but I don't want to put in what I feel is too much. And that apparently falls far short of what other people expect. Who knew. That's what proof readers are for.
So now I'm researching recipes for a book I 'finished' a year and a half ago. I found one for my favorite scene, but the rest are still vague references to food and cooking process, sandwiched in between other happenings.
And the cooking isn't the only place. How does the process of shooting this gun actually work? Is there anything I could add about filling out this paperwork that would help people understand better what is going on? What do Missionaries actually do in third world countries? I mean, on a day to day and hour to hour basis? I know they help poor and sick people, and teach, and grow things. But 24/7? Surely there's DETAILS in there, that I either need to find out through research, or I need to make up from somewhere.
Maybe part of my worry is a fear of adding in details and being caught in an error. If I'm vague, no one can say I was wrong very well. But when you add in specifics, there's more that could go wrong. Maybe I need to relax and not assume that every reader is going to go look these things up just to prove me wrong, or that every reader will be an expert in every field and hate me forever for getting my crème and my cream missed up in the cooking scene. But I don't want to limit my characters to only doing things I am already an expert at. So back to more research. Ah well. No day is wasted if you learn something in it.