Monday, June 16, 2008

The Weekend. And Research.

So I just got home. I went to Columbus this weekend, which is 3 hours away. Except, I can't seem to drive 3 hours anymore. No. After an hour of driving, I have to stop and take a nap. It's insanity.

Last night, I was one hour from home. It was 11:30, which is early for me.

But I could not keep my eyes open. So I slept at a rest stop, slept so hard I didn't wake up until 7 am. (We have a futon mattress in the back from the last time we went camping at DC.)

It was the same when I drove to Columbus. One hour of driving and I'm out like a light. I feel like a little baby who gets taken for a car ride to put her down for a nap.

And the funny thing is, I normally have a very hard time falling asleep!

The weekend was fun. It was a whole lot of piano, and a whole lot of writing in between. I must have thrown away six synopses before I found one that worked.

And what do I need?


Oh. My. Gawd.

Until I attempted to write a thriller, I didn't understand the research involved. It is nothing like writing a romance or mystery or fantasy. I swear, for every page of fiction you need an hour of research.

The funny thing is, I've always loved my spy thriller research.

I'm getting to the point where I just want to write the darn thing. I miss writing!

And I finish a synopsis, and guess what?

Now I need more freakin' research. I am tired of research. It's wearing out my writing chops.

I am spending a week reading. I haven't had time to finish anything since the "piano season" began. And I'm spending a week writing my next novella, so I can freakin' write. Then it's back to researching. And finishing this thriller.

I now understand why thriller authors only put out one book every one to two years.


8 bonus scribbles:

Edie 6/16/2008 12:27:00 PM  

Spy, you must have really needed the sleep. And it all worked in the end. :)

I researched one book for two months, and hardly used any of what I found out. With my wip, I'm leaving blank places so I can fill it in later. On place I wrote "description here". LOL Since I've never been to the area, I'll pump a friend when I revise.

spyscribbler 6/16/2008 01:42:00 PM  

LOL ... I wish it were just needing sleep. This keeps happening. The last time I visited my best friend, I literally had to pull over and take a nap 15 minutes before I got to her house. Last two board meetings, same thing. It's insane.

Good idea with the research!

Stephen Parrish 6/16/2008 02:11:00 PM  

For the one and only thriller I intend to write I traveled within Germany, Spain, England, Turkey, and the U.S.

For the spy novel in circulation I traveled within Germany and France.

I'm shopping for concepts that don't require international travel.

Please. Google searches, fine. But no more airplanes, please.

Robin 6/16/2008 08:38:00 PM  

Although I live in PA, I'm from Boston, and I make the drive frequently. I know those truck stops well, because I nap at them constantly!
The deeply buried doctor within can't help but give some advice - ask your doctor about a sleep study. Maybe you have sleep apnea. A friend of mine took frequent naps, and I took her to a sleep clinic, and she ended up having sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. She feels a lot more energetic and alert with both things treated.

spyscribbler 6/16/2008 10:03:00 PM  

Stephen, I swear to goodness. I've read so much I can't remember it. Just to find a workable plot takes an insane amount of research, not to mention location.

What I struggle with, is I want to write what I call Fiction with a Capital F. But then I look at thrillers, and I feel this pressure to make it Fiction with Probability: fiction that's "ripped from tomorrow's headlines," etc.

I just don't see that as me. I don't know. I know I want something, I know I want it to be a spy thriller, but I'm missing one thing I really want in it. I just don't know what that one thing is. It's frustrating, because I can't put my finger on it.

spyscribbler 6/16/2008 10:06:00 PM  

Thanks, Robin! That's a good idea. I'll put that on the list, under "tooth," "foot," and "health insurance," LOL.

Interestingly, restless leg syndrome runs in my family. I used to have it pretty bad, but it got better. Yoga and my genius stepbrother.

Bernita 6/17/2008 05:07:00 AM  

Missing that one thing.
Have you tried reading about real life spies, not fictional ones? ( Not suggesting you haven't, just asking) That element you're looking for might pop up - since truth is stranger... blah-blah.

I've found even fantasy needs research.

spyscribbler 6/17/2008 10:10:00 AM  

Bernita, I should try again. I really don't think there's a book about spies I haven't read in the bookstores around here. :-)

Actually, you remind me, there is a really crazy one that I haven't read, because I just can't believe it's true.

I think that's precisely the one I need to read! :-)