Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Black Hole of Productivity and Booksigning

How is it possible that Wednesday's word count exceeded 2100, a monumental record for me, and Thursday's production amounted to two lines:

1) Uli drummed the heels of her Parisian-inspired, kid-leather boots against the passenger car’s wood floor.
A pair of spectacled eyes peered at her above a copy of The Albany Evening Times.

Not even particularly riveting lines, but follow me here. I have to justify two hours. Said boots are important in that they convey character and are symbolic of character's goals. Did I also need to know they could have been two-toned or embellished with lace rosettes or that King Louis compensated for his five-foot-nothing frame by inspiring future centuries of women to jack their footwear to unnatural heights?

What about the second line? How was I to know that researching the most likely overland rail route the booted character took would have led me to the name of the most likely newspaper picked up en route in 1881 and the headline of September 20th? Accuracy, people. Potentially the most insensitive headline I've ever read: President Garfield Finally Dies in Washington From an Assassin's Bullet. Did they really need finally? The poor man most likely would have lived had doctors not plundered for the bullet with their dirty fingers. Ooooh, and look-see what another twenty minutes of digging treated me to. A genuine train schedule said booted passenger would have held. Squee!! Can you hear my word count grinding to a halt from where you are?

It is possible research for this novel is the black hole of my page count. Who needs time travel when you have time-suck?

On a far less self-deprecating note, I hope if you're anywhere near the brand-spanking new Barnes and Noble in Hurst, Texas on Saturday, you'll stop by and say hello. It's all new carpet and fresh print smell, a heady combination. I'll be signing Love, Texas Style, along with my fellow anthology authors, from 2-4pm. I'll bring my camera this time and post your support to the blog.


Kim Lenox said...

A writer/researcher after my own heart! I do so much researching ... YES, it's a black hole. But even if I don't use the material I collect, it helps me establish my "world". I hate feeling like I'm bumping around in the dark, you know?

Great post, L. A., and you are right. Finally? Finally? Yikes!

Marilyn Brant said...

I've spent FAR too much writing time researching...but, even if I haven't found what I thought I was seeking, I did always manage to find something else that turned out to be helpful later.

Hope you're having a great booksigning today :).