Research. Not Always Smooth Sailing.

Having made the decision to finally focus my energies on taking one of my works in progress through to a submittable manuscript, I am in editing and research mode. As much as historical fiction is my main passion, I am finding that the project that is closest to completion is a contemporary novel.

The working title of the current project is All That It Takes. I am finding that the title is rather apropos considering the effort involved in completing a project. It serves as a constant reminder to dig in and get it done no matter the discomfort or disruption to life.

Recently, such a discomfort and disruption to my life came as a result of research. One of the things I love about historical fiction is the opportunity to spend time in libraries researching ages past.  I get excited about dusty old books, the older the better. But, as much as I gain valuable information from those researchers who have gone before, I am unable to actually talk to someone in the time period to get first hand information about aspects of their life. When you are writing stories set in the Middle Ages, you can’t just call up a friend of a friend who knows someone with first hand experience whom you can interview for a certain aspect of your story.

That is not the case when researching aspects of a story in contemporary fiction. Instead of tracking down the right reference book or article written by an archeologist or paleographer, you can track down the right person and have an actual conversation or even, as I have recently experienced, be invited to explore first hand a specific circumstance your character is going through. All to enable you, the writer, to capture with words that certain essence that will enable your readers to have a more complete feel for the character’s ordeal.

In All That It Takes, one of the main characters lives on a boat.  Since childhood I have had a susceptibility to motion sickness. I get car sick, air sick and sea-sick. The only modes of transportation I have not been sick on are bicycle and train. A bicycle is my usual mode of transportation, and I love trains, I would go everywhere by train if possible.

As a result I don’t do boats. Well, not if I can help it. When you live on an island sometimes it is unavoidable. But for the sake of research and to get a feel for what my character experiences I recently spent some time on a boat, and my delicately balanced inner stabilizers were disrupted. Despite my trusty sea-bands, and their ability to keep the nausea at bay, I spent one night on a boat and a week later my system is still listing. Needless to say I am behind in my work goals, one thing being a more frequent blog posting schedule.

While I am gradually getting myself back on track, I thought I would just give a short update on what is happening. And in the process give you a bit of a teaser for my next blog. And yes, there is a boat or two involved.

Stay tuned.


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