research


The power of TK

For example, you’re writing along and hit a note that isn’t important to the plot or anything that is a detail that does need to be added in. Instead of stopping to figure it out, or research it, you write something like “He jumped into the [TK make/model of car] and slammed the door shut.” The ‘TK’ is a somewhat statistically improbable letter combination, so you can, in draft, just do a find for TK and work your way through in a later draft fixing little things.

Read more over at http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/

How’s everyone doing?

Since April, my sons have started high school band (they integrate the 8th graders in at the end of the year), my daughter has graduated high school, and the house is all in a flurry because she’s getting married next month.

It’s bittersweet to be losing a daughter (yet gaining a son, so to speak), but they seem to love each other, and she’s continuing with her education. So I’m pleased about it.

I’ve been working on the garden (which has really perked up this year), taking care of home and rabbits, driving kids places, and working on the Think Sideways class. I’m a bit behind, but learning A LOT.

Each class builds on the one before it, so it’s a bit difficult to explain, but the homework for this lesson is to split your planned story into scenes then write a one-sentence blurb for each scene. For example, the Council of Elrond in Lord of the Rings could be summed up this way:

The Council of Elrond meets, and after much controversy, appoints Frodo and eight others to go to Mount Doom and destroy the Ring.

As you can imagine, this homework is taking me a while to do. But it’s a great way to get a handle on the book before you write it. I had an idea of where I wanted the story to start then realized that I really needed to start the story a few scenes earlier. Also, doing this has shown me where I need to do research (anyone know how to sail?) and where the logic holes in my plot are. All this before I spend weeks writing this thing.

So I’m very happy about the class.

What have you been up to? Anything good going on the rest of us need to know about?

I just started lesson five on the How to Think Sideways class (lesson six is up but I’ve been slow). This lesson … mind-blowing. If you can imagine tapping into your subconscious for all the things that motivate you, then putting THAT into your writing on a conscious level … it’s incredible.

I have two great ideas for stories from lesson 4, but I’m going with the SF one (any surprise?) because I can do a better job on this without a ton of research — I’ll need some (know someone who curses in Chinese?) but it’s set in Los Angeles and that’s a place I already know.

Click the box at the top of the sidebar on the right there for more information on the course, or you’re welcome to ask about it. I’ve gotten my money’s worth already and I still have the rest of the year to go.

1400 words today.

This involved a lot of research, and I don’t like this story as well as yesterday’s, but I got it done.

The hail came back last night, but nothing seemed to be damaged, other than our rain gauge (which got its top knocked off).

The boys have a band concert tonight, the last one of the year. They’re signed up for band next year, and I hope they’ll continue in it. The band teachers are excellent in this school system.

How I got here is a long and winding road over two years of researching Freedom, but the more I read, the worst the story of racism in America gets.

American Dream (Not Available in All Areas)

Lynching was not a hate crime. Lynching was an economic crime. In cities all over America, the best kept secret of 80 years’ worth of white politicians was that if they wanted to steal a black man’s property, they could arrange to have that man murdered, take his property for little or nothing, give it to whoever they wanted to have it, and know with 100% certainty that no police officer would arrest them, no prosecutor would indict, no jury would convict, no judge would sentence.

I got tired of that other title.

Appointments: 5

Researched: Fifth century BC and 15th century AD. Mexican culture and religion. Indigenous peoples of Mexico.

Accomplishments: Finished a novel critique I had been working on for about a month.

High point: Found a whole bunch of cool stuff on Craiglist today. 😀

Bad thing: We seem to be having an allergy epidemic at our house this week.

The High Life: None this week, but check back sometime.

How’s your week been?

Well, (as Sam said) I’m back.

Appointments: 3 (although the last one I canceled)

Researched: What happens when you lose your cell phone (Heh. More trouble for Joel (Tachyon People‘s MC).) The attitude of Catholics in southern CA towards “living together”/being on the Pill/etc.

Accomplishments: My compost is done! I’ve been spreading it all over. I also got my 401k situation (a holdover from when I used to actually work) straightened out.

High point of the week: Took the boys to get some replacement koi for the ones I (accidentally) killed a couple of weeks ago. It was a hoot seeing them confer and select their fish.

Bad thing: Forward Motion has been down for a couple days now.

The High Life: I have yet to find any this week. But I did get to sit by the pond for a while yesterday. It’s starting to cool off so the humidity and mosquitoes aren’t too bad anymore.

How’s your week been?

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