Posts

Showing posts from August, 2013

Research:The Thrill of the Hunt

Image
Once the story and characters start bubbling up, I begin the hunt known as research. Why? Because you never know where your research is going to take you. The initial research can authenticate locations, eras, maps, and buildings.  Focusing on places real to help create the imaginary is helpful. Even fiction or fantasy bursts from the page when a bit of truth is sprinkled among the make believe.

I use my computer, history books, and actual descriptions from individuals who lived or experienced the time period. I love to go to the location itself, if it is possible, to experience the sights, sounds, and smells. Sometimes I have to use my imagination. Sometimes a chair, a storefront, or a building sets the stage for a scene or perhaps the climax of the story. I like location trips because they give me a view from my characters' eyes.

If my story isn't contemporary, I try to find someone who lived during the time period. The current series I am writing calls for a description of …

The Evolving School Supply List

Image
As I purged my Sunday newspaper of all the advertising, I was amazed by the "Back To School" inserts. It is so hard to believe that this information is no longer pertinent to my survival. Backpacks, lunchboxes, No. 2 pencils, loose leaf  packs, pens, construction paper, scissors, notebooks, and composition books (never confuse the two) are not part of my annual budget.  The fulfillment of  "Back to School" supply list was interpreted by children as the ultimate measurement of success on the first day of school.  No, it wasn't the clothes, we were lucky. They wore uniforms for 12 years. The supply list was the determining factor of a good impression on the first day.

This ritual  took up 26 years of my life. (It's possible if you have a child born in three decade like I did.) School supply shopping changed dramatically on several levels from the late 1970's into the mid-1980's. Some items dropped off the list and were replaced with fees (art supply …

Writers Among Us

Image
Writers pass themselve off as ordinary folks. If you are standing in line with a writer in the grocery store, you won't be able to identify him or her. They sit next to you in church. They teach your children or serve our country. They come from all walks of life.

With today's technology, you don't even have to hold a pencil or know how to type to write. There is software that allows the writer to speak his or her words aloud.

All writers have a voice. Whether they plan on having their work read or not, once the words are placed in an medium it permits another pair of eyes to read it. The writer becomes vulnerable to the reader. Writers are artists who reflect the sum of their creative processes to fulfill a driving passion within themselves, to entertain an audience, to meet a deadline, to pay the bills, or all of the above.

Writers generally work in isolation. Although research, observations, interviews, and editing can be a communal effort.

We talk about writing. We talk…