It is incredibly difficult to write fiction. Yes, I know, people have been saying that for eons, but well, it is. First, you have to find characters you can bear to live with for a whole 80,000 words. Then, you have to give them enough to do, to make it work for all that time. And – gulp! – your plotting (and all the details) have to be internally consistent. Browsing blogs on the internet yesterday, I was reminded of the importance of research, details and writing about what you know.
So, I started a new tradition and went into town today to do some research. Yes, I am really enjoying what Rumpole might call, visiting the locus in quo, the place in question. As I watched people scurrying across icy streets in their lunch hour, I was free, in the business of my work, to meander and observe, casting my gaze up at balustrades, down at cellar cafes and sideways at the tramlines and traffic lights.
(Perhaps, one day, I might include in my research, such wonderful pastimes as lunch and socialising) …..Noticing details, at a distance from the desk, I remembered – horrors! – that if my MC has just driven into work along the majestic Western Approach Road, she can hardly be living in a bijoux flat near her west-end office, can she?
I went home hastily, and spent the rest of the afternoon tidying up text. To give a more obvious example, if the MC is reading a magazine in March, she won’t be going on a romantic break in chilly autumn any time soon.
The writing is going very well at the moment, with three proposals being prepared and submitted. Synopses, I’ve written a few, but then again, too few to mention….synopses are the subject of my next post.
Thanks for reading.
January 15, 2016 @ 3:03 pm
It is difficult but it’s also huge fun don’t you find. I cheat a bit in that most of my locations are actually imaginary, yes in Cheshire, Yorkshire, Cornwall but not actual places that exist. I can research maps to find where the places might be in relation to large towns but it does mean that I can relax into the story rather than worrying too much about getting the ‘facts’ spot on. Incidentally I recently watched an interview with Lee Child and he admits that if something doesn’t fit his story he will change it. For example he had people going the wrong way down a one way street in Washington DC. Yes there will be those who will delight in picking him up on it but really when it’s fiction – it can indeed by fictional don’t you think. You obviously approach it much more technically than I do, it’s interesting. Good luck with it all though – enjoy.
January 15, 2016 @ 3:33 pm
I’m laughing my head off at the idea of being thought technical! 😀 No, not really, though I do try to at least get the web right, if you know what I mean?
It is huge fun, and I can feel the basics getting easier, but I’m still learning, you see. I’m glad I’m doing this now. I doubt I would have had the patience before.
Lots of love! xxx 🙂
January 15, 2016 @ 7:32 pm
I think I just read a post about why I’m not going to attempt a novel! I agree–it takes an enormous amount of research (on human beings, much less their surroundings) to write a convincing story that could happen to anyone. Especially if we readers know a bit about life and context. At least you’re in the current year (I’m assuming), not back in ancient history. It sounds as though you have to see it all in your mind as your write? I have no doubt, however, that you can do this! Magnificently! 🙂
Love, encouragement and stamina galore–my wishes for you!
January 15, 2016 @ 11:21 pm
Thank you so much! I see the basic idea in my head, yes, but I’m forgetful of details and context. I’m learning all the time, though, and it all gives great material for blog posts.
It is set in 2015, so you are right again, about that. Enjoy your weekend. xxx 🙂