Sunday, August 28, 2011

Researching a Novel

There always comes a point where I have to cope with all the "insert here" comments. In Adjacent Possibilities, that was, and still is, working in the philosophy that is integral to the characters' world views, in a palatable form for readers.

Tonight I've been working on the chemistry aspects of the Sooty story.

Sooty is a creature from another dimension. He cannot live on the naturally occurring elements we have. His world is more like the neutron soup of our just-post-Big Bang. He needs to combine and break apart atoms to simulate the energies he's familiar with. It has to be a mix of elements, as each one has a unique 'flavour' that helps sustain him, much like the variety of nutrients we need in our bodies to function, including tiny traces of metals.

Hey, it's the distinctly science fiction aspect of the story. I classify Sooty as speculative, though, as the science is adjunct to, and not the main purpose of the tale.

Anyways, I've been reabsorbing what chemistry I knew, and much that I've forgotten, and then making my own use of it to suit my goals (apologies to real chemists).  But it took many hours to get even the limited amount of factual information I required into story form.

Next is to go through for character consistency. The rereading that accompanied inserting chemistry revealed several major flaws. If Anna and Sooty manipulate her best friend, Tai's mind, I see that Anna has to tell Tai the truth eventually. How would I react if I found my best friend had controlled my thoughts? How would you?

I've got ideas jotted down, and hopefully tomorrow will get them into the story, along with other omissions.

So, mostly revising, or editing, or whatever you call it when you are sticking in the bits you avoided in the creation stage. But I have gotten two thousand more words in over the last two nights. Whee!

I will declare the first draft complete when I eliminate all the "insert here" or "expand this" notes. Of which there are far, far too many.

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