One book of research down and nine to go. "Fire on the Mountain," by John Maclean. I'd already read and underlined this book, so it was simply a matter of going through and plucking out things.
Added about 1000 words of telling detail. Tried to be careful, picking only the most revealing facts. The book is up to 94, 500 words. Wouldn't mind if it came in around 100K words.
This research is all about adding vivid detail and accuracy.
The last rewrite will be all about going as deep into the POV character's heads as I can.
That is at least two steps more than I've done with any other book.
I hope it shows.
Another interesting thing keeps happening. I get these random additions coming out of nowhere. Just little snippets of dialogue, usually.
For instance, one of my little research items was a firefighter saying, "Fire suppression doesn't require a penis."
Which I stole, of course, changing it up a little.
Right after that, I thought of having one of the non-firefighting characters say, "I admit. I've always been a firefighting groupie..."
For which she gets a little slapped down, but ....you know, I liked it.
Kinda cool. I suppose if I kept my head in a book even longer, I'd get even more of these. But it's a little bit like starting my car in order to drive to the mailbox. A lot of effort for a short trip.
LATER: Read "Young Men and Fire" by Norman Maclean, the father of the
author of the above book, and author of "A River Runs Through It."
Didn't take me long to realize there wasn't much I could glean from the book, except to soak it up. Very poetic and philosophical. A beautiful book that I decided to finish even if it didn't have as much utility as I was hoping for.
Probably going to read "The Big Burn," Timothy Egan, next.
Thinking of a new title, by the way. "The Fire Came." Sounds vaguely poetic. I haven't been comfortable with most of the titles because they accent the terrorism angle, instead of the firefighting angle, the opposite of what my book does.
Or "Terror by Fire," which does play up the terrorism angle, but is more active.
I'm convinced the perfect title will come, but it's been over a year of searching. Very unusual.
2 weeks ago