Friday, January 22, 2010

Insomnia strikes again.

Insomnia struck again, despite the fact that I actually didn't do any of the things my doctors advise against. I know I'll pay for it later. It did, however, give me the chance to work on the plot of the murder mystery and do a little research. So I suppose it's not so bad. Now. 3:00 or so this afternoon my opinion may change.

RESEARCH -- ah yes. There are a number of people who've approached me who think writing is "easy." In some ways, yes. In others, no. Accuracy counts. Your readers expect (and deserve) it. Since nobody knows everything, you have to research those things you don't know.

For example, the villain of the piece will capture someone and keep her drugged. He is a psychiatrist, so he's an MD and can actually prescribe meds. So then I have to find out (a) what would he be likely to use; (b) the effects (short and long term); (c) withdrawal symptoms.

Also, part of the book takes place in New York in April of 1996. So, I will need to look at news reports from that time period to find out background information, weather, etc. I will probably have to learn a lot more about New York as well, the subway system, streets, architecture, etc.

You don't actually wind up putting a lot of what you find out on paper. (Slows down the plot too much.) But you have to know it, so that when you do describe something (say a brownstone), you have it right, and in the right neighborhood, so that your (thinking positively) readers from New York will go. "AHHHHHH." Not "Bullshit."

And it's tricky. Because a lot of times you don't know what you need to know until you need to know it. Occasionally at 4:00 a.m. when you have insomnia. (Such as the research for Blood Song, the first book of our new series, when I needed to know the size of the trunk of a Lamborghini Diablo vs. a Ferrari). The internet helps, but a lot of times you wind up needing to do paper research as well.

Okay, enough of the lecture. I have to go to the day job.

Be well, be happy.



Shawn said...

I disagree, Cie. I DO happen to know everything...

Truth be told, the research is part of what makes writing fun for me. Frustrating sometimes, but ultimately rewarding and you wind up picking up tidbits that aren't useful until you least expect it.

Tammy said...

LOL, Ok I'll ask - what's the differnece between the Diablo and the Ferrarri's trunks?

Can't wait to read the book!!!

Sorry to hear about the insomnia, maybe it will turn out to be just a minor bout (like just once) and you'll sleep ok tonight.

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