Writing time travel takes someone who loves history, but can embrace fantasy. It’s reality-adjacent. It also helps if you were dropped on your head as a small child because you have to be crazy to want to do it.
She goes on to say that: Like their cousins, the historical fiction writer (I’m parsing out non-fiction, because they’re a completely different kind of crazy, amiright?), the time travel writer has to love history and research.
I love history, can embrace fantasy, and I was dropped on my head as a small child. Actually, I fell out of a car when I was two. So, Monique’s description describes me. I’ve now written one time travel and one contemporary. I researched my butt off while writing The Ruby Brooch. I even drove the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, to experience the trail first hand, or as close as possible without actually being a pioneer reenactor. For the contemporary story, I traveled to Scotland. (Thank you, Ken.)
Research is hazardous to my health. I can easily spend an hour or two discovering the ins-and-outs of how something works so I can write one sentence. Yep, that’s crazy.
When working on the first draft, I’ve discovered the easiest way to stay on course is to make a note in the margin—research this—then move on. Later, when I have down time, I can go back and research until I find just the right piece of information that will turn so-so sentences into unique and creative paragraphs. I suppose writers are similar to chefs. A little bit of this and a little bit of that brings out the flavor and creates something delicious. But often times, it takes experimenting to find just the right ingredients.
When the reader meets Elliott Fraser, the hero in The Last MacKlenna, he/she discovers that Elliott is recovering from leg surgery. The plot line (about Elliott’s leg) comes from a twenty-five-year-old memory of a friend’s boating accident. Taking what happened to my friend and molding it into a plausible plot line took research, conversations with doctors, and a bit of imagination. Without a passion for research, I would have dropped the plot line.
For me, writing is a puzzle. I start with the corners then put in all the edge pieces. What starts out as a two-hundred piece puzzle quickly turns into a thousand pieces. Maybe that’s why it takes me so long to write a story.
Love of research and history and a little bit crazy. Yep, that’s me, but I can’t imagine being any other way.
I hope today you find all the right ingredients to create something scrumptious to eat or to write. Enjoy!
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- 5 Terrific Twitter Research Tools http://ow.ly/nmPlB
- 21 Things You Need to Know About Self-Publishing 2.0 | Copyblogger http://ow.ly/nmUoa
- Self-Publishing Your Book: Where’s the Money? | The Passive Voice | http://ow.ly/nmUTl
- 63 Character Emotions to Explore http://ow.ly/nmUZD
- 13 Tools and Services I Use Every Day to Build a Profitable Blogging Business : @ProBlogger http://ow.ly/nmVbe
- How To Double Your Traffic By Writing Irresistible Headlines [Interview with Jon Morrow] | Write to Done http://ow.ly/nmVUP
- Write of Passage: What Is Beautiful Writing? http://ow.ly/nmVYZ
- The Other Side of the Story: Tab A Into Slot B: Inserting Plot Pieces Into a First Draft http://ow.ly/nmWk5
- Four Kindle formatting problems you can't fix…so you might as well stop trying. | Good Words http://ow.ly/nmWp9
- Other Authors are not Competition by Stacy Eaton, Author http://ow.ly/nnhk1
- What Inspires Creativity? – 8 Methods to Summon Your Muse | via @janmoran http://t.co/j2Z1rrh05s #innovation
- Your Book Is A Start Up: Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Chef, And The BitTorrent Publishing Model http://ow.ly/nnJSD
- Summer Solutions: 6 Submission Shortcuts You Should Be Using (And 3 You Shouldn’t) - Writer's Relief, Inc. http://ow.ly/nnJWC
- Why a free chapter is a lousy thing to give away if you want to sell a book http://ow.ly/nnKpK
- Writer Unboxed: I Know Nothing of Your Work by Porter Anderson http://ow.ly/nnKAR
- The Other Side of the Story: What You Really Want to Know About Self Publishing http://ow.ly/nnKDE via j@janice_hardy
- Smashwords: Smashwords Introduces Preorder Distribution to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo http://ow.ly/nnM0o
- Tips for Getting a Movie Deal as an Independent Author (with Lisa Grace) | Lindsay Buroker http://ow.ly/nnM4W
I’m always looking for great content to share. If you have a writing and/or marketing blog, or have a favorite that you visit often, please leave a link in the comment section. Thanks for stopping by.
Happy writing & running, Kathy
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