Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back to the Drawing Boards

Much to my dismay, I started out like gangbusters on my newest novel, The Savagery of Set. Kept a steady 1000 words a day, until I started reading it. It was disjointed and didn't seem to have a focus. I looked over my plotline, everything seemed to be in order, so I got out my handy dry erase calendars to do a little more plotting.

Glad I did. I discovered on of my characters was way out of whack. And, because the character is a child and an integral part of the book, I was off to the library. You see, I am one of the odd few who never had nor raised a child. I know nothing of toddlers and young children, first steps, first words, first attempt to shave the family pet.

So, I have research material to keep me busy for at least a week, to get comfortable writing about children. And since the child in question is an ongoing character, I need to know about all the milestones in a child's development. Not the type of thing I considered when I started writing.

The point: writing sounds like fun and it is. But, it is also a lot of hard work. Internet searches, books to peruse, historical accuracy for those of us who care, all add to the flavour and ambiance of the work. Cutting corners may save you time, but the only loser is your audience. They want to be entertained, but they are smarter than you give them credit for. They will spot the inaccuracies - and you could lose a reader.

So, go the extra mile, If you want to write about something, do your research. Whether at the beginning of the book, or in the middle, the research is key to an outstanding work of fiction, rather than a mediocre work of fiction.

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