You’d think that some point, I would learn. I mean really learn.
I am aiming for literary fiction, and I have an idea that I’m cribbing a little from the book and the movie The Man Who Laughs. So, I thought I would read the source material and see how I can take a little bit from here and there, put it into the book as a way of giving thanks to the inspiration.
Here’s the problem I have with that.
The saying that fits is ‘eyes bigger than your stomach’. Coming on the heels of Thanksgiving, it’s an apt metaphor. Starting to read this book, I was making notes, getting little ideas which lead to more research topics – topics more grounded on the actual book, such as the daily life of an influencer and ASL poetry.
The book isn’t boring, but there is a difference in 17th century French literature and 21st century American literary fiction. The first half of the book deals with the origins of the character unfolding very slowly. I’m not going to ditch it. As much as I espouse ‘reading outside one’s genre’, I’m really sticking with horror, biographies, and history. So, picking up something new and novel (ha-ha) is good for me.
This is how I tend to stumble through research. Start in a manic ‘learn all the things’ mode, then realized that this isn’t what I need and stumble into what I really needed to know while kicking myself on wasting time. Good thing that research-mania didn’t really seize to the point of trying to learn 17th century French. I mean, jeez…I barely passed 20th Century French in high school. How am I going to get a tutor without breaking out a Ouija board?
So, here’s what I am going to do.
Breathe. Let the mania wash over me. As I would counsel my little sister: get all the sillies out, first. I don’t have as many sillies as she had, so this will be fast.
After breathing, I’m going to really focus on the meat of the book. Work on the characters. Make them the best they can be. Get their backgrounds solid and research the needs about them first. After that, work on the themes and plot. Once all of that’s done, then I get to work. That’s what I am looking forward to doing. Gotta stay hyped. The best way to do that is focus on what’s important.