Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Work In Progress Update

My difficult scene is inching along.

I did write last night, so I'm not embarrassed in front of the entire internet. For a change.

The scene I'm working on at the moment is moving slowly, because it's an intense and close description of something I've never experienced. I keep switching between NeoOffice (I am a proud Mac user but I try not to be a snotty one, FYI) and Firefox, checking to see if it's accurate to say that the pain travels from front to back, or does it shoot, or does it radiate? And is it tearing, searing, dull, sharp, muscular, nerve pain, like a toothache, like a heart attack, like a cramp?

I'm a hypochondriac as well as a would-be-writer, in case you can't tell. And researching different kinds of medical experiences is like catnip to a hypochondriac, so I won't pretend it isn't fun, but it is slow.

So to speed things up a little, I've decided to stop doing it. I'm going to write the damned thing, and at the end of it all I'll check if everything corresponds to real accounts. And if it doesn't, I'll have my character tell her mate 'I felt like my spine was on fire,' (for instance), and her mate can say 'That shouldn't happen,' and my character can say 'Well, that's what it sodding felt like. I won't pretend I was especially rational at the time.'

She may even stalk off, if she has the strength left after what I'm planning to put her through.


  1. Hi! I saw your name on Nathan's blog and thought I'd come over. Good stuff. I can definitely relate to this post. Sometimes I feel I spend more time researching than writing. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I find myself insistently checking even the minutest details. Like the exact shades of a Monarch Butterfly’s wings or some such nonsense. My question is this; do you think we do it to make our story better or just to delay writing the damned scene?

  2. I can only speak for myself on this, but I do it to delay writing the scene :)

    I also find that if I do enough research, I find that I know too much, and it paralyses me. To use your example, if my character was sitting on a fence and saw a monarch butterfly flying past, I'd start to ask myself 'Now, how can I make it extra clear that this scene takes place just before monarch butterflies mate? And how on earth can I work their eating habits in to this scene?'

    I'm writing a partly historical novel though, so some research is critical. It's a bit like putting me in a chocolate factory and telling me I must eat at least one bar. I have to do research, but once I start, I can't stop. . .

  3. Chocolate Factory = One Bar = Impossible :)

    Good luck with your book and keep in touch!

  4. Thanks Alena, I will.

    Best of luck with your agent search, I hope you find that perfect one! Let me know how it goes :)


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