Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rainy days are perfect for writing

And it rained all day, yesterday. So I caught up to myself in "Place of Safety" and even rewrote a confrontation on the Craigavon Bridge to fit in with a chapter that immediately precedes it. I'm still pushing to get the book done by the end of the month; I'm at close to 23,000 words and have 104 pages, so far. It won't be a work of art yet, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I will know where the story is headed and know what to dig into once I get to Londonderry to do more research.

I've realized I also need to research Houston between the years 1973 and 1981. Fortunately, I have friends who lived or grew up in the city during those years, and I lived there, myself, between 1985 and 1993 so have an idea of the city, but I want the details right even if I don't wind up using them.

And that's something that works so neatly within this story. Since Brendan's telling it, I don't need to outline everything he does to make the tale work. It would be ludicrous for him to say, "I sat down to a meal of porridge and toast from the toaster Mam bought off Mrs. O'Leary so we'd not have to burn our bread over an open flame." Or "I snuck over to Kelly Brothers grocers in the Waterside, up on Spencer, because their vegetables and beef were of a higher quality, that being the Protestant side of town." He wouldn't think about such things. It'd just be, "I scarfed my breakfast and busted out the door" or "Mam sent me for lettuce and cutlets, and warned me to bring back good ones, this time." It's nice to have all the details in the back of my brain, but Brendan's leading this story and doing it fine, so far. It worked out well in "Bobby Carapisi," especially insofar as Bobby's telling of his story, so it's a comfortable fit for me in this one, as well.

Let's see how far I get, today.

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