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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus



Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back To Basics For Writing Inspiration

As I mentioned in the last week, I am doing very poorly at meeting my October deadline for finishing my current novel. For many reasons I will not bother to mention. But I decided to recharge my gas tank, and my favorite fuel is research.

I can’t afford to spend a lot of time on research, but there are still many aspects of my novel that need to be researched (despite the tons of time I’ve already put into it). And nothing is more thrilling then reading about Arizona’s rich and colorful history, and about the people who played a part in that history.

Research is what sets my creative juices in gear.

Now a friend of mine says I’m using research as an excuse to avoid re-writing some emotional details in my story. There is some truth to that. I’m not an emotional mushy gushy person myself, and contrary to many writers, it is not easy for me to be mushy gushy even on paper – I don’t use writing as an emotional release the way many writers do.

But that’s only part of the reason. Research truly is inspiring to me. And it’s also essential because, even though we take creative license in our fiction, I consider myself an Arizona Ambassador. I want to get the history right, as much as I am able. Sure I want to avoid getting nasty notes from future readers about how I got this detail or that wrong. But it is more crucial to me because *I* want to know the facts for myself.

So tomorrow I’m going to stack up the books I checked out, go find myself a desk at the library, and spend the day furiously scribbling notes. And since it’s going to be 111 degrees tomorrow and too hot to do anything, a nice day tucked inside the cool library will be doubly satisfying.

Now if the gas prices would just come down so I can afford to take some research trips around Arizona !

And I'd like to toss out a question to this blog's readers. Even if you don't write historicals, what most fascinates you about the state in which you live?

1 comment:

Sheri Boeyink said...

So, research gets your creative juices in gear, huh? That's great. Sounds like the best way to meet your October deadline is to spend tomorrow in the library and Sunday typing? :-)

A great song gets my creative juices in gear. Jeremy Camp, Adie Camp, anything talking about focusing on God's will. I just get so psyched up, I have to get to my computer.

I'm an Arizonan as well. But have only lived here a few years. What I find the most interesting about Arizona are the Cactus. I love them. They are so weird looking. I'm from the Mid-West (MN/Iowa) so I'm used to plush green grasses and great big lakes. Cactus just look unique...so I just have to love 'em.

Happy researching tomorrow.