Thursday, October 20, 2016

Writer's Wednesday -- Taking Research Too Far

Anne McAllister has just started a new book.  She has taken research too far.

I love research.  It is generally the most fun part of the whole writing process.  I get to meet interesting people, do things I've never done before, fit them into my plot, and write about them.  What's not to like?

Well, a couple of things . . .

Two weeks ago I was invited to participate in  four-book series with three other authors whom I admire very much indeed.  It was a little like being invited to act with Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith or to play tennis with Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Rafa Nidal.

I said, "Yes.  Please."  (All the 'Oh, goody! You want me?' bits were reasonably well-controlled.)

And then we started collaborating on our four inter-woven stories.  I don't generally do a lot of thinking ahead outside of bare sketchy outlines.  But this time I made more of an effort because of, well, you know . . .Andre and Roger and Rafa. . .

So there's a part in the book where Something Disastrous befalls one of my characters.  Not disastrous for other people, though inconvenient, but for this guy, Big Problem.  He breaks his wrist.  I've broken my ankle four times.  I can extrapolate.  I can write this.

Except now I don't need to because last Friday I broke my left wrist.

My character is not a writer.  But it turns out writers (at least this one) need two hands to type.  And even if I hand wrote everything, can you say, "left-handed?"

So,  I've typed this all one-handed.  I know how my hero feels.  Well, except for the dislocated shoulder, and I'm having second thought about that.  Why tempt fate?

If you are a user of voice recognition software, I'd love to hear about your experience.
meanwhile I'm catching up on my reading.  Thank heavens for silver linings.

Three of Anne's first cowboys have recently been reprinted.  Look for Cowboys Don't Cry, Cowboys Don't Quit and Cowboys Don't Stay at various online booksellers in both print and e-book formats.  Coming after the first of the year are The Cowboy and the Kid  (RT's Series Book of the Year) and RITA-winner, Cowboy Pride.


  1. So sorry to read this! I can't imagine trying to type one handed. Have you tried speech recognition before? I have, and quit. However, with the new technology, I'm trying it out again and finding it far more accurate, faster, and easier than before. After much trial and error, I've settled on Dragon Naturally and a wireless headset. And as to the character's shoulder injury? Yeah, I'd be having second thoughts too...

  2. Thanks For your comment, Nicole. I have heard good things about Dragon and am reading a book about using it. Sounds promising. I may end up there as I can't really take a six week vacation right now.