Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Writing to Distraction

Plugging away on the new story. I may have mentioned this one is about Matt, the Paramedic from LIVING CANVAS and RETURN TO HOFFMAN GROVE. As such, I reached out to my firefighter/EMT friend for more information, and I'm considering a field trip to the firehouse to chat with everybody. Add a little realism to the story, doncha know.

Matt's counterpart in this one is taking over a family-run indie bookstore, and in line with that, I'm planning a field trip to visit my favorite local indie bookseller, +Judi Brownfield @Books at Sunset.

There are days when I can write all day and never leave my chair, and there are days when every word is a struggle. At the development stage, I'm hopelessly distracted by the details. I know what comes next, I know what I want to write, but I'm missing the authenticity. I need those field trips to fill in the blanks, and while I would not describe this as writer's block, it certainly does stall me out. The funny part is that a lot of the details end up on the cutting room floor. So what might be critical to me at the moment, getting something right for the sake of realism, might have little or nothing to do with the story, but it is ALWAYS helpful in rounding out the personalities of my characters. Part of what makes them relatable is seeing them in their everyday lives. What they do. Unlike a Regency romance, where the ton make a living at being idle, most of us get up and go to a job every day.

So I'm stuck. Because I'm distracted. I want to get the details to fill in the blanks, but because I, too, work a day job, popping over to chat with people (who also have work to do, by the way) isn't always so easy.

The good news? This story, while almost 1/3 written, is still technically in the development stage. A first draft. That means I can fudge it and fill in the details on the next go 'round. The same cure applies to writer's block. You can't fix what you don't write, and even if I don't have all the details yet, I can keep writing and fix them later.

At least that's what I tell myself.


  1. Research should be like an iceberg -- most of it's below the surface, but it helps you understand the story.

  2. Exactly. The other fun part about research, generally the folks you talk to provide additional details that help you flesh out your story more. Nuances that only they know. (and thanks, Judi, for spending some time with me!)

  3. I need to do some hands-on research for an upcoming scene in my story. I might write it using the memory of visiting a similar place until I can fill in the details later.