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Friday, September 3, 2010

Step #2: Haunted Places and Judaism

Character sheets: DONE.

Well, that is if your definition of "done" is "really, really thought about," then yes, they are done.

In my defense, I ran into a snag. I know nothing about the Civil War, Judaism, Haunted stuff, Photography or any of the other random and various things that will make this book multifaceted and awesome. So when I got to the question about Elias's birthday I put "Before the Civil War. Which was...um...18...50? 1860? 18-something. November 13, 18-something." Or for the question about Sophie's favorite sayings/expressions, I put "Jewish stuff. Dreidel. Matza balls. Oh, that's good! As a curse word: 'Oh, matza balls!'"

Needless to say, I made a LOT of headway. Again, if your definition of "headway" is "really, really thought about."

Which brings me to the next by-the-book step in novel writing: research. As much as I just want to start writing (that empty Word doc is calling my name. Screaming it. Sometimes it sings my name with John Rzeznik's voice and it takes everything in me to just...say...no.) I know it will only lead to a wall of frustration and not-as-good-as-it-could-have-been. So, in order to properly complete my character sheets and move forward, I Amazoned a few book purchases:

Judaism for Dummies and Encyclopedia of Haunted Places

The order police at Amazon are now going "What the matza balls?"

One of the good things about being a writer is you get to become a semi-expert in a bunch of areas. Which has always been a problem for me -- I like a LOT of different things and have a really hard time sticking to any one area for extended periods of time. Just ask my college counselors. Eight different majors. 3.5 years. That's gotta be some kind of record.

But now I get to research Judaism, Haunted places, and a whole other slew of stuff that has no logical connection or link. Randomness FTW.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go convince my friends to insert "matza balls" into daily their profanities.


Jill Wheeler said...

Matza balls... I like it!

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

Well, since my current phrase is, "Holy hopscotch," I think I can make room for "Oh, matzo balls."

I know research can feel like a pain, but trust me when it comes to writing, you can't use what you don't have, so a little knowledge up front can be majorly useful. Learned that one the hard way. Happy researching! :)

Adam Heine said...

I could totally go for some matza balls.

Dara said...

Ah, the joys of research. Sometimes I love it and get lost in it and other times I get frustrated beyond belief. Especially when a lot of the sources are in a completely different language :P Oh well, it's still fun. Even if I never get a book published, I'll have had fun learning about a bunch of different things.

BTW, I simply love the Civil War era. I think much of it has to do with the research I've done on a great grandfather who fought in it and was described about in a book. The man was quite a character and his story seriously sounded like something out of a novel.

Steph Schmidt said...

People seriously wonder why I call my minor the mistress I cheat on my major with, the randomness is so addicting.

Tara Maya said...

I love research, but I also know how frustrating it is to feel ready to write a novel -- except you know nothing about what you need to know to write it....

Samantha Vérant said...

What the matza balls!!! Did I spell that right? Hey, I may be an American princess, but I'm not of the Jewish faith. Dated many a mensch, though, so that should count for something. Right? Anyhoo, it's been, like, forever since your last post. Not even a twitter.

cute word ver: nooto