Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rethink & Research

I've finished my WIP three times. And I hate every ending.

How did I lose my path? Where exactly did Ezra take over and spin out of control? I could just move on, leaving my three endings and begin the edit. I could do that. I should do that. When I finish a story I like to let it sit for a month or two and marinate, but I can't leave poor Ezra with her swollen belly hanging out.

I backed up a few chapters to where the climax first begins to peak. In this case, it's during her survival exercises when she's forced to make a big choice. Keep the baby and die or skewer the baby and die. Yeah, her options her grim. Reading over these chapters, I realized I didn't like the scene setting.

It's not that I didn't do my homework, I did. Truly, I did. The setting is Post-Apocalyptic Baton Rouge, LA. And I've visited Baton Rouge, granted it's been years and I've never actually been since the bomb, but I googled the fancy out of it. So, I was ready, right? Wrong!

Our memory plays tricks on us, especially Chardonnay tinted ones, and cities change. I told my wonderful husband, yep the one I stabbed, (It wasn't even a flesh wound, relax.) that I absolutely had to go... immediately. He agreed, maybe he's a little afraid of me, suppose he has reason to. Since he didn't make a fuss, I insisted on a private guide for a predawn swamp tour. He agreed to that too, probably hoping I'd be eaten by an alligator.

But my fairy godmother was by my side. The guide was a no show and the two hours waiting on the bank of the bayou was enough for me. (I've got mosquito bites where no mosquito should go.)

To make a long winded blog a wee less windy, the walking tour through Baton Rouge, AKA Red Stick, was wonderful. It was everything I imagined the Mississippi River would be in July. Hot, stick, and fragant. I found a dozen flaws in my manuscript, drank only coffee, and dusted off the cobwebs of my memory. Ezra's survival exercises will be so much better for it, although the Belle Casino may not feel the same.

Well, I drank only coffee anyway, can't say that about my dearest...

Drop me a note on how you research your WIPs...


  1. Oh, I do love post-apocalyptic stories. Walking tours are great for inspiration. Though I wouldn't want to do a summer one. Too hot for me! I try to stick with what I know for my WIPs. My novels are situated here in the Midwest. I'd love to take them elsewhere, and sometimes I dip into faraway places with short stories, but I don't dare go into much detail.

  2. Very funny, I just blogged about this today. Well, at least the importance of doing research. Glad that you are ironing out your ending. I've written 4 versions of mine and finally got it right. Perhaps the next one is the winner for you???

  3. How cool that you were able to go on a walking tour for your wip. I tend to base my wips in Cali because I live here and can look out the window for inspiration. Hope your ending comes together soon! Mine took forrrreeeevvvver.

  4. I love this blog explains a lot about your recent trip and the expressions on your hubby's face!!

  5. (I've got mosquito bites where no mosquito should go.) - That's happened to me with spiders!

    I wish you the best finding an ending you can live with.

    Research? Internet, books. I often choose settings for places I've lived or visited often.