Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Researching after writing.

I may have this backward, but I tend to do most of my research after I've written the first draft.

I have a very broad general knowledge of things.  It's just part of me.  I have a huge amount of trivia, of superficial knowledge in my head.  All the reading I've done, the collecting of random facts.  Whatever I write I tend to have at least a base knowledge of what I'm writing about.  Such a superficial grasp of things probably isn't a great benefit to anything but writing, actually, and maybe owning a pop-culture store...

I've gotten lots of kudos for historical accuracy in the reviews for Led to the Slaughter: The Donner Party Werewolves.  I was certainly trying for that effect.  But really, other than knowledge I already had and maybe a quick glance at the Wiki entry, I wrote the first draft out of my head.  The main idea was to imagine what it would be like to be so hungry, so cold, and feel so hopeless.

After I was done, I started reading pioneer diaries, and other historical books, trying to get all the details right. I find that when I do the research after I've written I can pluck the pertinent details out of the morass of facts and use what I need.

I'm going to research cathedrals and gargoyles when I'm done with Gargoyle Dreams.  I've got a picture book of gargoyles that I grabbed years ago.  This book has been percolating in my head for years, for some reason.  A "love-story" written from a gargoyle's point of view.

This book is at a 7 on a scale of 10 as far as being where I want it to be.  I'd say The Last Fedora is at 8.5, and The Manic Pixie Dream Girl Murders is at a 8.5.  (8.5 is probably the highest I'm willing to give myself.  When I write that 10, in my own head, that's the day I'll know I've arrived.)  I'm hoping that with Bren's input, I can get TMPDGM's up to a 9.

I'm going to set Gargoyle Dreams aside for a month, do a little research, then come back to it and try to get it up to speed.

Tuskers III is with Lara.  I like the overall plot and ideas and characters of this book.  I was having continuity problems that I was just going around and around on, so I thought maybe Lara could help me on that.  There was some clunky writing.  Some books have more clunky writing than others.

About a third of Tuskers III overlaps with events in Tuskers II, told in different settings and from the POV of different characters, so I'm hoping Lara will tell me if that is too confusing.  Tuskers IV will have overlap with Tuskers II and III, so I'm hoping that won't be a problem.  I won't know until I've finished Tuskers IV whether there will need to be a Tuskers V.

I'm pushing to finish Gargoyle Dreams in the next two days, so off I go...

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