I did lots of research before writing SHELTER, my YA ms. set in a battered women's shelter. I also volunteer in this kind of shelter several hours one night a week--working with kids and teens. Those issues were ok.
But an editor's rejection of the ms.today reminded me my usual compulsivity about research is a good thing. In this case,I hadn't researched Karate well enough. The rejecting editor apparently knows a fair amount about it, though, and showed me pretty succinctly that I don't. He did suggest this would be "easily fixable" with a little more research.
So here are my choices:research Karate again or switch the character's first love to basketball, which I know a lot more about.
Hmmmmm. Gotta think about this. And visit the net again.
And talk to someone who's into Karate--which I should have done in the first place!
Lesson learned: don't assume you know enough about a "minor" theme in your book. Things change,kids change, and editors want stuff right.
So do I.