Saturday, August 15, 2009

Not always an adventure

So, at last entry, I had just gotten back from carousing about the Music Row area, taking pictures, and generally being silly.
Over the last two weeks I have been using those pictures as reference when describing the witch's recording studio and the surrounding buildings. I needed to check these places out for myself because sometimes, looking at pictures is just no substitute! Especially since no one seems to really know where "Music Row" really is.
In addition to looking at all the pretty pictures I took, I also researched a lot about the O'Neill family. I found a great Geocities page that a guy put up in honor of his great-great-grandmother Mary O'Neill which was really fascinating. Accurate? No idea. But I liked the names and the stories so I went with it. It suited my needs for the narrative and really, even fiction based strongly in reality is still fiction. And for me as long as it feels authentic and works within the world of the tale it works, even if it isn't 100% accurate.

Crested 13,000 words yesterday which lands me in the middle of chapter five. Or about 2/3s through chapter five, I guess.
I mean I have an outline. Sorta. Diverged from it a while ago, though. Might want to check it to see where I am in relation and make sure I am not leaving something out that I had initially thought was important. Kind of like how when one is on a road trip and having fun just exploring, one might just check the map now and again to see how far it is to the next town and if one might get there in time for dinner.
Or perhaps that's just me....

Monday, August 03, 2009

A shiny new blog feature!

This poor neglected blog!
But I had an idea. Many people love to ask me about my ideas and how I work and etc. So I thought I might use this as a place to sort of live-blog writing my newest novel, the working title of which is "Music City."

So let's begin.
I'll keep this part brief and to the point:
  • June- around the middle of June, late one night, lying in bed- my husband and I are dozing off and chatting. We are talking about book ideas. He says, sleepily, "You know what would be cool?" And proceeds to give me the most awesome idea kernal I have had in ages. A banshee comes to Nashville looking for a record deal.
  • June- I write the prologue after another couple of rounds of brainstorming.
  • July- At my parent's house, I dig through my bookshelf and find a stack of books on Irish lore and faeries and send them home to Nashville. Outlining is finished, detailed notes are made.
  • July/August- This catches me up to last weekend when I must have spent 26 hours of time writing chapters one and two.

  • Today, August 3rd 2009, Monday:
After finishing ch 2, which took Keela, our heroine, to Boston in a long flashback/interlude chock full of awesome backstory and foreshadowing, I realized that ch 3 begins back in Nashville at the door to the witch's recording studio. This may get a little murky in places, but bear with me. There is a witch in this story. And some Muses. Anywho, today, after class, I decided it was adventure time here at the House of Golden Leaves and my husband and I made a very short road trip over to Music Row.

Music Row, AKA Music Square W and Music Square E AKA 16th and 17th Avenues (No street in Nashville has only one name, that would be silly!) is not far from where I live but I had never been there. Many people think Broadway or Second Ave (downtown) is "Music Row" or even the area over by the Opryland Hotel. So finding some accurate images online was really gumming up my process. So I just hopped on over there to see for myself.

It's a gorgeous area of town, a very eclectic mix of old buildings, new buildings, homes, condos, recording studios, talent agencies, music publishers, beauty salons, a tattoo place, and a total dive bar. It's a perfect setting!
I took about 30 pictures, looking like a total tourist (at least I wasn't wearing a cowboy hat!). Both as general research about the feel and flavor of the neighborhood- like what kind of trees are there? How many? (Mostly maple and magnolia. Lots!) Architectural style, traffic, parking, etc.
I also narrowed my witch's house/recording studio to one of two buildings- one currently a Bank of America and the other a talent agent's office. There is a poll currently running on my LJ, do go and vote!
So, now I have a setting for the next segment. Sure, I could have gone on with the chapter without running over to Music Row, but I like to base my urban fantasies as close to reality as possible. People will believe in fae, in vampires, in whatever you tell them if you set them in a place they already know is real. Shaking up the disbelief factor in a story's foundation- for me and for this particular novel, the setting- really pushes the reader out of the nice little world that has been created for them.
Plus it was fun to wander around a part of town I had never seen before. I have only lived here for almost five years and I had never been down there! And it was a gorgeous evening, the humidity fell and the temperature came with it. Plus at 7pm no one is really out and about over there so there was minimal traffic and no one to fuss at us for being there.

Pictues were taken, summer evening was enjoyed, ideas are percolating. I'd have dipped into ch 3 but I bought a new phone at Costco (been wanting one with a real keyboard for a while now) and I spent far too long playing with the thing and um, lost some momentum.
But we can't write 5,000 words everyday. Or I suppose we could if we didn't have that pesky day job to fret about.
But for now, I open up comments on this post and bid you anon for a few days until I have something new to report. Look for posts anywhere from a couple times a week to once every two weeks as I sort out how I want to try and explain things, not to mention how much do you want to know.