Friday, November 30, 2012

Research - Who knew?

Okay, I'm a freak. I LOVE doing research. No, I'm not being sarcastic, I'm serious. I love learning new things. But not everything is easily researched on the Internet or library and I find I need to ask specific questions to knowledgeable people to get the answers I seek.

Let me remind you that I'm writing a murder mystery (actually, I'm writing two of them but I'm soooo close to finishing my first one, that I've put the other one down for a few months). Anyway, some of my questions are mundane about investigation jurisdiction. Others are questions about medical examinations. My favorite questions are the ones about methods of killing.

Now you can type into Google your question and you'll get LOTS of "helpful" sites to go to that may or may not answer your question completely. The paranoid part of me knows that by typing in a method of murder (I won't tell you because you'll have to read my book) I get a little cookie put on my computer and my information is sent directly to the agency that watches people who ask macabre questions (which explains the dark car parked in front of my house).

But what these sites do have is usually a "contact us" button. So, yes, I click it and send my email. "Hello. My name is LeeAnn Rhoden and I'm a writer. I am working on my first novel involving blah, blah, blah..." And yes, I send the email (after spell checking). Then I wait eagerly and hopefully for a response. Meanwhile I know that as soon as I load Little Man into the car to run to the grocery store, a team of people wearing dark suits come into my house and plant bugs and monitoring devices to keep tabs on me.

Surprisingly, I do receive responses! And even more surprising is how NICE these people are to take time out of their day to answer creepy, morbid questions from a still unpublished writer. I could understand their willingness to reply if I was Steven King or Tom Clancy, but I'm just little old me! I guess after their surveillance teams came back with an all clear (It's cool. You can answer her questions, she just a suburban housewife) then they felt free to send me the information I needed.

Even more impressive is all of them, without fail, have encouraged me to continue my writing and wished me success. I have saved all of the responses I've received. Mainly because I still need the information for editing, but also because I want to make sure each one of these kind professionals gets an appropriate thank you notation in my book. And I can't imagine why these professionals aren't writing their own novels with all the cool stuff they know.

That's all I have for today. I have to go back to writing now that I have information, after I sweep for bugs!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Good Work!

I've been cheering my writer friends and acquaintances who have broken the 30,000 word (or more) barrier during NaNoWriMo. During this month, and I'm not participating, I've managed to break the 20,000 word glass ceiling and I can venture forth toward 30,000! Yes! Into the abyss I go!

Abyss? Yes, because up to this point I've had a clear picture in my mind of how my story goes. But, during the writing of my novel, the main character changed, one of his compadres changed, and weirdest of all the murderer in my novel changed and with that the motive. So now I'm following my characters' leads writing in a different direction than I first envisioned. I must say, their story is MUCH better than mine!

I try to explain to my husband that I'm listening to my characters, or waiting for my characters to tell me what to write while I'm sitting idle in front of the computer instead of cooking dinner. He is really supportive but he is of the analytical persuasion rather than the creative persuasion so he usually shakes his head and tells me I'm a geek and gives me a hug. That's fine, I learned a long time ago to embrace my geekhood. And as far as geeks go - math and science - need I say more?

So while it is quiet in the house - the husband is off to work, the dogs have been fed, the off-spring is asleep and the sun is not yet up - it is time to stare at the computer waiting for my characters to talk to me. I hope they're up!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Novel Update

So, for me, finding time to write is difficult. I have a lot of irons in the fire (as my Dad says) at any given time. I hear people say "I kicked out 2000 word today" or my personal favorite "it takes only two or three months to write a novel." Really? Am I slow? Yes, I go back and edit as I move along. So maybe that's my hold up? Perhaps these lucky people can write for several hours a time. I'm lucky to get 30 minutes in a row. Or maybe, I'm over extended? I have a two-year-old, a fixer-upper house, I knit and crochet and do needlepoint for our church projects (OH! I'll be cooking in the near future too), I'm working on a couple of knitted gifts, have two yellow labs (the twins) who need care, and the everyday household chores that I can't ignore (my husband enjoys clean clothes and meals).

But, even with only 30 minutes at a time (at MOST), I have managed to reach 16,000 words!! Yay! And, even if I do say so myself, my novel is getting pretty interesting! I look forward to my next writing session!