Monday, May 14, 2007

Ready ... Set ... Stop!

My current MS is set in NYC, with a side trip to Alabama, and while I love researching the places/people/accents etc, I'm finding the writing very hard going for two reasons. These are actual places my readers know well, so if I get things wrong, they'll throw my book at the wall. Actually, it won't get that far, because the canny eds/agents won't let it eke through into print!

So I can't step in and let my imagination take over creating the place. But equally, there is much that maps and research don't provide. I'm constantly nagging on the American girls over at RD for all sorts of things -- smells, where the garbage/trash gets put etc. So many details I just take for granted when setting work in Australia or an imaginary place.

I wonder if I am up for this? So far, I don't want to give up. It's just an aggrevation, but the story is still hauling me through those unknown places at an exciting speed. The characters still tugging on my heart to help them through. I guess I'm not the first to battle this problem.


L.K. Campbell said...

You can do a lot of research on the internet. One thing you can do (for NYC especially) is do a Google search for webcams. There are lots of cities and place in the U.S. that have street corner webcams, and you can watch life in those places as it happens. Heck, I can pull up a webcams from Australia and see what's happening in your neck of the woods.
A problem I had in going back 60 or more years to recreate a real place was that a lot of what was there might not exist anymore. Jacksonville, Florida is the setting for a couple of chapters in A Different Tune, and I really lucked out. The Jacksonville Public Library has an online catalog of photos and postcards from that era. I spent a few Saturday afternoons going through those and creating a mental picture of how Jacksonville looked in 1945. I hope I was successful with it.

Babe King said...

Yeah, I am doing a lot of research, but the web cams are a great idea. Thanks.