Wednesday, May 3, 2017

ISWG and Notes

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group encourages writers to talk about their insecurities.


Each month, they also have an optional question to answer. This month it's:

What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?


Oh boy. Where do I begin?

Whether or not whales are kosher. How to evade a police chase. Would dinosaurs taste like chicken?

But I like when I actually learn something because of wacky research and it turns out to be useful. Yesterday I had this conversation with my mom:

Mom: I wonder how often [our friends] need to change the batteries on the dog's invisible fence collar.

Me: Every six months to a year.

Mom: Oh, you looked it up for them?

Me: But I did have a story where they had to keep dinosaurs out of the town, and I thought they could attach invisible fence things to them when they're young, but then I learned how often the batteries should be changed and that isn't practical once the tyrannosauruses are adults.



So I started revising FreakShow the other day. Guess what song was on the radio yesterday? American Pie, the song I apparently only hear when I'm working on that book.


Aaaand editing notes!

How many names can I seriously steal from The Walking Dead before people catch on? Because these characters really feel like they should be named Rick and Tyrese, and the girl should be Sophia.

Yes, let's speak in code in case the MIND READING ROOM has hidden microphones.

I don't know what this is but it is most assuredly not grammar.

Who took care of the bodies? GASP. Was it Carey's husband, whose name I have just decided is Mitchell?!


Oh, hey, humor! Do that more often.

"She slapped on a [future bandaid]." This is worse than when every other adjective was "space."

You live in a totalitarian dystopia, Diane. Stop being surprised when things are awful.

I distinctly remember giving her the last name Clavel as a nod to Miss Clavel from Madeleine. I do not remember why.

No. They can't know what their names would be in the future. That is not how past lives work.

No. Stop with the backwards Q. That isn't a thing.

I would have thought vinyl chairs would have been outlawed in the future.

What is this eyelash flower you speak of?

[what do smells smell like?] That is an actual thing I thought would be helpful to have in my manuscript.

[crime!] I love that you felt the need to put an exclamation point.

[what was her name? Sasha? I'mma go with Sasha, and see if anyone catches on that I'm stealing names from TWD] A: She didn't have a name so you didn't actually forget it, B: There are absolutely no zombies or apocalypses so I don't know why you chose to steal names from The Walking Dead, and C: There are two people in this scene and at some point you call them both Sasha.


  1. SO what was your mom's reaction to that answer? LOL

    1. She just kind of looked at me for a minute and said "Okay, YOU can tell them why you know that."

  2. Are whales kosher? Interesting.
    So what did you find? Are they?

    I need to research something on dolphins for a future story. They are fascinating creatures. I love dolphins.
    Writer In Transit
    May IWSG Co-Host.

    1. They are not kosher! Apparently they don't chew cud or have the right type of hooves. And if you classified them as fish, I think they have to have scales to be kosher? I can't remember exactly.
      All that for a story set in a world in which there are no whales or any Earth religions.