The truth for me

Mostly, research is much more fun than the actual writing — Michelle Paver

Last week, I had another opportunity to do some field research. The second for my writing project.

It was a short outing. Way shorter than the 10 days I spent in another country back in October. But, fuck, it was a blast. I could have spent the whole day doing what I was doing. Learning and figuring things out. Increasing my proficiency at the activity. Yes, I’m being vague again. I’m terrible at word teasers. But I do have a visual teaser on my Instagram account. I’ll just leave it at that.

As a result, I now have a technical advisor for the project and that is seriously cool. He’ll also be one of the first people to read the first draft once I’m happy with it. I need him to make sure I haven’t mixed up my vernacular and terminology. Plus, he’s expressed interest in reading the first draft. It might have something to do with a certain car chase scene I needed his opinion on. It was clear to me that it piqued his interest.

I have no idea when I’ll finish it. I don’t believe in forcing things because forcing it usually ends up not what the story needed and you have no choice but to start cutting and re-writing. I believe great strides will be made again after I’m free of my commitments at the end of April.

But I have to admit the pull of the writing project is pretty strong. I should be paying more attention to my commitments but everything seems to be under control right now. Yes, I know… famous last words. Anyway, it seems my characters are finding ample opportunity to try to aggressively suck me back into their world, or at least remind me that the minute I fall into something monotonous and boringly eye-rolling, they’re going to swoop in and run off with my imagination like professional thieves in the middle of a high-stakes robbery.

I told you these guys are a persistent and possessive lot. That’s okay. I’m pretty persistent and possessive about them, too.

I don’t know if doing research is more fun than the actual writing because writing can be fun. Yeah, I’ll admit to being a masochist. Granted, not all research is fun, but it is engaging and, depending on what the subject is, most definitely necessary.

The research (and that includes the non-field research variety) I’ve done so far for the writing project has been, first and foremost, an education. It has been engaging, thought-provoking and yes, fun. There is always something worth examining. There is always something worth learning. I’ve done far more research for this project than I had for the first novel. That was due to the fact I was already familiar with the elements in the first book.

I’m not done with the research. I don’t think you’re ever really done with the research until the story becomes a tangible entity, like a book. Even then, what you learn from the research will always be with you. It will colour the way you see the world. And it will colour the way I approach and handle the next writing project. This is the truth for me.

It is a beautiful truth and one I fully embrace.

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