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13 July 2016 @ 04:16 pm
A day of first draft. Any historical is research-heavy, which means first draft is very slow: 4th of July Parade in New Orleans, 1839 (did they have 4th of July parades? Look up). From where to where? (Jackson Square to Lee Circle, which was Tivoli Circle in 1839, and what did it look like? Where there trees there?) Picnic later... Where would the free colored burial society have their picnic? (Congo Square, probably...) What did Congo Square look like in 1839? (More look up. Dig out maps) When did they tear down the city walls? (More maps. More look up). How has Ben January's neighborhood changed in the 7 years he's been back from France? (More look up). How has the massive economic depression affected black neighborhoods?

And we're only a paragraph in.

AND half the story takes place in France nine years previously, so the whole process has to be repeated with Paris (how far had the Rue de Rivoli extended into the old medieval neighborhood along the river by 1830? What was the Pont au Change called back then? The French have a nasty habit of a) cutting new streets through Paris and b) changing the names of existing streets). And where was the guillotine set up at that time? (I now know a LOT about the care and operation of guillotines).

And I need to get as far into the first draft as I can by August 29th, which is when the semester starts and I will be doing this in between teaching and some truly exhausting driving, not to speak of my father's illness which is absorbing a great deal of time and energy from everyone in the family. No wonder I want to sleep all the time.
Elizabeth McCoyarchangelbeth on July 14th, 2016 02:25 am (UTC)
Eeee, good luck.

(I now know a LOT about the care and operation of guillotines).


Good sleepings...
sue_bursztynski: pic#98605106sue_bursztynski on July 16th, 2016 12:58 am (UTC)
Ah, research! Mostly, I do that first, and absorb it all, especialły when I don't have the energy to actually write. Isn't it wonderful to have the Internet now, though? Like a massive library on the other side of the computer screen. My first book was written when Internet cafes were just beginning. I had a little Mac Classic II, which was great for drafting, but no use for an Internet connection, so I did most of my research among books in the hush of the State Library. I bet you were able to find maps, drawings, etc. that answered those questions by Googling them. So much is posted now! And online libraries too...
kls_eloisekls_eloise on July 18th, 2016 10:31 pm (UTC)
"I now know a LOT about the care and operation of guillotines"

As I've accidentally been giving myself a somewhat haphazard education in English manorial rights and laws of common, I understand how that can happen. Nothing as interesting as guillotines, though. Yet. (Although I'm finding a good license to fortify to be fairly gripping...)