And we’re blaming today’s musical choice completely on Rooster, because he’s the one with the thing for Katy Perry. Fortunately this song is raunchy enough that it gives me great ideas.
It has been over a week since I have written a significant amount of words on any one project. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been working… I just haven’t been committing words to paper. This week has been filled with research and plotting, most of which is so random that this short-story-turned-novel will have to have a road map by the time my brain gets done with it.
As it stands right now, I have eight hand-written pages of notes and two printed Wiki articles I’m using for reference. The Steampunk aspect is sort of an afterthought right now, because while there are elements of it, it isn’t the main focus of the story. It is not set in London proper, but very close…it is set in a fictional town about twenty miles north of London, called Stane’s End. So the requirement of having everything historically and technically accurate to 1893 England can be pushed to the side a bit.
Also, thanks to my research, I’m going to have to rewrite part of the beginning… there needs to be a bit more explanation as to what I’m doing to these people.
I have often heard of many writers complaining about the “necessary evil” that is research. For me, it isn’t evil at all. It’s a way to clear my head of unnecessary clutter and focus on the task at hand. It gives me ideas. Plus, I learn, and learning is always a good thing. The worst part is that I tend to get bogged down int the details and forget the overall picture. (Note to self: must learn to stop doing that.)
Research is, in my humble opinion, almost more important than the actual writing itself, particularly if the setting is based at all in the real world. One of the biggest tragedies in the literary world is to pick up a book with a fantastic idea and great writing, only to find that proper research was not done and therefore the plot and setting are left with gaping holes. It truly saddens me to read something like this, because it is so easy to destroy something that has so much potential.
The only problem as a Sci-Fi/Dark Fantasy/Horror/Romance/Erotica writer is that research tends to get us in trouble. When I’m writing about a girl that’s about to become Jack the Ripper v.2, I can’t just jump into it without doing the research. Plus, if I’m going to write about surgery in 1893, I need to know what the standard was. I need to know the attire, the drugs and chemicals used, the survivability rate… these little details are important when it comes to writing a good story.
Of course, researching Jack the Ripper, chloroform, ether, and Victorian surgical procedures is a guaranteed way to end up on the government’s list for potential terrorists and all-around nutjobs. (The rant about the Patriot Act and the ability of the feds to snoop into my private information and judge me based on my personal curiosities will be relegated to another post.) However, if it makes the overpaid white-shirts feel better to spy on my bizarre googling habits, then I am happy to give them plenty of work to do.