Day 31 – May Day

may-dayHit another interesting question today. How much of my writing time should be spent doing research? Many — perhaps most — days I look up something or other. I mentioned early on that while writing about a location, I used Google Street View to get a visual of the place. I did that again yesterday, and extensively today. It’s interesting, “walking” up the street and seeing what I’d see if I were actually there. Of course the views aren’t perfect, but since I won’t be there any time soon, it will do for now. It’s more than enough to get a sense of the place — it helps in both yesterday’s and today’s cases that I’ve already been to these two places.

But back to the original question. I knew I’d be using Google quite often to look up facts, maps, etc. so that I can be accurate in the story. In fact I think using Google is integral to the story of the process of writing this novel, if you know what I mean. Just the maps alone — when else in the history of man could you almost instantly see what a street corner in Rome looks like, or a fjord in Norway? That is very exciting in itself, and is actually playing into the storyline quite a bit.

Doing this research isn’t really writing, and I produced less than 500 words in my hour today just because I was plotting in Street View. Not even fooling around, completely 100% plotting and trying to get a sense of moving up the street. It was a little difficult to tell you the truth. The images were obviously taken on different days, so it would be bright and sunny in one frame, and dark and cloudy in another.  The whole discombobulated view was more disorientating than you might imagine.

Yes, I can’t say I’m greatly impressed with Street View as a complete replacement — it would certainly be much better to be there and walk the route myself. The technology has a ways to go before you could call it anything close to seamless. But hey, between that and nothing, “that” wins.

I’m in the middle of another important scene, though I’m not quite sure how it will all play out yet. I think this will be another one that makes the cut — it’s one of the tangents I took that suddenly made sense in terms of the plot. But it’s a tiger — I’m going to have to rewrite this a number of times before I get it just right, methinks.

~Graham

(Novel Writing Totals)

Hours Today: 1
Words Today: 499
Hours Total: 30.5
Words Total: 42,381

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