Wednesday, 21 April 2021

It's not what you know ...

 At last night's zoom meeting of the Romantic Novelists' Association Cariad chapter the conversation got round to research, as it often does when writers get together. A couple of us, including me, were in the late stage of a Work in Progress - the messy time-consuming stage of fact checking and generally tidying up, while others were contemplating new books and what they would need to do by way of research, to make them happen. 

Putting a book together, at whatever stage, involves a lot of second guessing - do I have that right? Is there a different way of looking at that? How much detail should I include? The last two are author choices - the first is a scary minefield with the twin UXBs of "Things I think I know" and "Things I don't know I don't know". 

One of the things I am attempting to check out
 and get right at the moment are roses
 that would grow on the Italian Riviera! 
At the stage I am at, there is a lot of second guessing - and third and fourth. You would not believe how many things a neurotic author can find to question, once the book is written. As an academic I know that one of the biggest things about studying anything is the appreciation of the amount you - the "expert" - are aware you don't know.  The more you study, the more there is out there to find. As a writer, the principle the same. Yet another thing to wake up and worry about at 3 am. One thing you do know - there is always someone out there who does know.

Even the simplest contemporary story can pull in questions that only make themselves apparent when you are doing that final check. The "Hey, I wonder if that is actually legal/possible/advisable?" moment.

There is only one answer, Think hard, check everything you can and do your best. And try not to stress about it. Hah! 

But this does explain whey the WIP has not yet winged it's merry way to the publisher. I will get there, but it's slow going. 

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