It pays to do your research first. I am a third of the way into my new novel and thought I’d better check that the police details I’ve been making up are somewhere within the realm of possibilities. I made some enquiries and was directed to the Serious Crash Unit police team who within a matter of about 10 minutes kicked the basic premis of my novel into touch. Onya guys! I now know there is no way you can be a motorist involved in a head-on hit and run at any speed at all, and not total the front of your car. I’ve seen the photo’s and the shoes left on the side of the road. I also know things about velocity it is possibly better not knowing, but, for the sake of the story I’ve sucked it up and now it’s time to spit it out in a noverly (novel-ish?) version of the truth. The underpinning idea of the story remains but there are quite a few chapter rewrites to be done and I’ve not even finished the good part yet! (The good part for those lucky enough to lead normal lives is the bit where you play around and get the idea onto paper. The real writing aka disciplined hell, is chopping that all up to make sense in a manner so compelling people will be lining up to buy your book).
I’m always nervous when I ask someone what they do and how they do it, yet without exception, the response I get is overwhelmingly positive. Perhaps it makes those I ask, look at what they do in a new light. Perhaps they’ve all been good people who like to share, but whatever it is, it is much appreciated.
And it makes me realize how much more fun it is sitting at computer making stuff up than having a real job.