Monday, July 19, 2010

the paper route

For whatever reason, I am writing this book completely on paper. It is so weird. I think maybe its because I have the internet now.

The internet is so distracting! Don't pretend you've never been caught in a Facebook click-a-thon. Unless, you're over thirty. Then maybe...just maybe...I might believe that you're immune. I simply have to eliminate the computer to eliminate distraction.

I'm also doing considerably more research this time around. This book is not fantasy. It is set in several real places. While I'm not being a total stickler for detail, I do want to name things properly, have them in the right location, correct weather and sunset times etc. etc. I have to create an essence for places I've never been.

What's your opinion? Does it bug you when you read about a place you've been and it puts a street in the wrong place or describe locals that look nothing like the vast majority of people that inhabit the place? Has that ever even happened to you? It's never happened to me, because I tend to read of "far off lands," whether fantastical or just plain far away.

I'm trying to find a balance. I need to do enough research to create the right vibe, but if I do too much I hyper ventilate from the lack of actual writing that gets done. (It's like oxygen.)

When I sit in front of the computer, the whole world is before me. Google Earth makes it so easy to do Way Too Much research. I could look at individual pictures of every brick on every building. It makes me nuts.

Because what really matters is the scene. What needs to happen at this point? What will all the characters do? When I answer that question, I find it necessary to fudge the lines a little bit, to screw with Mother Earth's placement of mountains. And I do. But so far, this has only been possible away from the computer.

I have to step away from it to enable my fudging and tweaking capabilities. Today, I bought a Mead Composition notebook that will house probably half of the first draft of the book. It's amazing that I blog. You'd think that a girl who writes on paper wouldn't even have a touch tone phone.  And yet, I've learned to pick and choose my technologies, to neither purposelessly go with the flow nor hopelessly resist.

So even though I sit here typing to you, I will in about T -2 minutes, return to my notebook, where all the possibilities are mine.


  1. It doesn't bother me to read a mismatched scene. On the other hand it thrills me when the author gets it right. The synced match in my mind is a luxury.

  2. I get disturbed when the scene doesn't match what the author has set up (a conflict within the structure created). But not at all when it doesn't match what I think I experienced in a particular place. I want the author to take me completely into their world that they are creating. And the best is when I didn't even feel the moment when I became a total passenger on the ride.

  3. Cool. That's encouraging. I think I'm going to lean on the side of 'creative license' because it helps move forward in the story and not worry too much. thanks!