Monday, January 19, 2009

sorting it all out

It's amazing how stepping back to take a look at my manuscript helps build excitement about what I'm going to write next. I have gone through all the chapters, listing the people and key action that occurs in each and noting what needs to come up next. One of my critique group (ever vigilant) commented on something I'd said about computer cabling and classroom bells. She reminded me how long it's been since I've been in a college setting. Around 25 years! So, I need to do a bit of research with the local colleges about how they handle class changes and computer installation. All these little details, if not taken care of, may distract a reader and kill their interest in your story. 

In one section, I commented on a certain bridge in downtown Portland, Oregon. It's one phrase, but if I'd gotten it wrong, anyone familiar with Portland would immediately distrust other things I have to say. The research for that particular remark wasn't laborious, but I did sweat it a bit. In these times, when you ask a city engineer about which bridge in the downtown freeway system would really botch up the afternoon commute if it were closed for any reason. . .well, I'm just glad nothing happened to that bridge after I asked the question.

Ahh,the  fun and games of research.

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