Thursday, August 13, 2009
I Couldn't Find Them!
I searched everywhere--in closets, in drawers, in cabinets, and even under the beds. But my characters were nowhere to be found. I was halfway through my first novel when they deserted me. They won't admit it, but I think they were angry with me because I wasn't writing enough. I had a good reason, though. I was researching. There were some finer details in my story that I needed to gather information about. For example: The town it takes place in had no name. I had temporarily called it Smalltown because, well, it was a small town. But I got sick of being reminded by Word every time I typed it that it wasn't a real word. The town needed a name! Then there was the whole matter of police dogs. Leon, my friendly yellow lab character, was a drug-sniffing canine, and I didn't even know if yellow labs could be police dogs. They can, by the way, and they are actually quite good at it. And of course there was the issue of the Irish Mafia, which I conveniently referenced without knowing a thing about them. Did you know they are most prominent in Philadelphia? Speaking of Irish, I had to research Irish names because some of my characters were getting sick of being called things like Irish Dude. They really needed proper names. Thankfully, my characters showed back up when I was done researching. And I quickly went back to typing like crazy. What about you? At what point during a WIP do you do the research? Before? After? Or sometime in between?