Armchair International

Back in The Undisclosed Location, where people were driving like maniacs this morning, and I’m certain that before the week is out, someone will stop in the middle of a lane on the interstate so they can merge into the lane to their left.  Saw it happen three times in the last two weeks, so why should I be surprised if it happens this week?  This is the reason we should be allowed to mount rockets on the hood of our cars; so we can do a little highway cleansing, Mad Max style.

Anyway, that’s over.  Time to move on–rocket powered, or not.

The research phase of NaNo starts today, and I’m starting out by looking for a location to place my novel.  I’m still considering a story based upon my characters from Kuntilanak, so I’m looking for places in Indonesia which might enjoy an infestation of the supernatural.  Since I can’t just up and split for the other side of the world–and it is, you know–I have do look at things the best I can through this super-fast calculator known as a computer.

This is what I did last year.  I spent a lot of time on the computer, on Google Maps, getting into some searches on the local where I wanted to hold my story.  I even took one map and loaded it up in a Scrivener file, so when I needed a reference point, I only had to go split screen, bring up the image, and I was right back in the local.

I’ve gone on before about the importance of research, and it’s probably more important for NaNoWrimo than just about any other writing project.  Thirty days, thirty nights, thirty moments per day when you may find yourself saying, “Wait–what was the name of the food dish again?”  Then you have a choice:  hop on Facebook and type, “Hey, peeps!  I need the name of a local dish in Urbekibekistaine made with yak hair and goat blood, any of you know what I’m talking about?”  Or you can get on Google and type in, “Really good dish made with yak hair and goat blood,” and hope you don’t get a million links to a wrestling match held too months before in Ulaanbaatar.

Or . . . you could have found that information now, and hid it away in your notes.

I’ve given my opinions on writers doing their research, and how I feel about people who seem to have issues being able to find what they’re looking for–without resorting to this.  It goes double for NaNo, because if there is ever a time when you need to have your notes handy, it’s when you’re trying to produce close to two thousand words a day, every day, for thirty days.  It’s not time to ask if anyone has a time table for trains in and out of Albuquerque:  it’s time to be a hard-working writer who’s gettin’ to writin’.

With this in mind I move onward.  I need to get a title for my tome, because I’m a little stumped at the moment, but that will go away very soon.  I think I have my local, so things are beginning to fall into place.

If only it were this easy with everything.