The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Spent entirely too much time poking around on the internet looking for stuff. I need to be working on a talk for writers, which I have to give in less than two weeks. 45 minutes worth of talk. I have no problem speaking about writing for 45 minutes, but I need to get my ideas organized and create some kind of outline to refer to, at the very least. I tend to blank out mid-thought when I'm speaking.

But noooo, today I've been thinking about the backstory I have for the NR sequel, which up till now has been barebones (the backstory has). But some of it is starting to click already (in my head, not on paper), in a very satisfying manner. Today I had the thought that I already did a bunch of research on NYC in the nineteenth century for NR. Well, not a bunch; mainly it was about setting. Most of which, now that I think about it, was distilled down to a paragraph of description in the book. Oh well.

I have had a thing for the Five Points area for a while--not a serious thing, but more than a passing interest. What draws me to it at this moment is that it's gone. It was pretty much wiped out in the reforms of the 1890's and built over. So the only way somebody can be pulled out of the story by me screwing up research is if they really, really know their Five Points history. Nobody's going to say, "Hey, I live there, and this is way off base."

Even better, I can set it in Five Points in my head but never use the words "Five Points" or any of the street names, and then there won't be any problem because nobody will know exactly where I'm talking about.

Problem: I did most of my NYC backstory research from the library, so the only helpful book I have on hand now is Jacob Riis' How the Other Half Lives. I need to own some of the books I'm thinking of, because this will likely take a couple of years, and I like to sticky note pages so I don't forget.

Some potentially good news; I started getting snippets of this guy's voice. Or I hope I did. You never know. But what's come to me so far is angry, rebellious, wry, cocky. If you tell this guy to do something, he'll do the opposite just to show you're not the boss of him.

I do wonder how much of this is me absorbing the four MCs from this manga series I've been reading, Saiyuki. I never read vampire books because I don't want to accidentally pick up somebody else's voice or mood. But now it occurs to me that I really like the four MCs in Saiyuki, especially Sanzo and Gojyo--although Gojyo seems to be softening a little as the series wears on, while Sanzo still seems as likely to blow somebody's head off as look at them.

Manga and anime characters (dare I say stereotypes? I forget what archetype means) do seem to heavily influence my writing these days. I always like the silent enemy/ally, the cold and heartless one who may have a secretly soft side, but nobody knows that for sure, and if you say anything about it he'll kill you on the spot, and never look back.

However, that's not my MC. My MC likes to have a good time. He's not silent, he's charming. And he doesn't kill.

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