By Claire Booth
They’re coming back to haunt me. All the little things I skipped over while writing my current book. They’re details I didn’t want to stop for – street names; what kind of guitar an aging country star would own; what time the sun sets in October in Branson, Missouri.
But now the book is done. I just need to insert these particulars to have it ready for my first round of readers. It’s not considered good form to hand someone a manuscript scattered with sentences like, “and he pulled into INSERT NEIGHBORHOOD NAME HERE, slammed the car in park and ran toward the house,” or “the kid had been enrolled since school started INSERT SCHOOL DISTRICT START DATE.”
I do it this way because I don’t want to stop the actual writing. It’s a good method to keep me cranking away at the actual plot without getting bogged down in research side trips that add to the book’s authenticity, but not to the plot itself. Because these side trips take time. A lot of it. I try for two verifications of every fact. And if it’s a judgement call between two things, well, that takes even longer. Who knows how long it will take me to decide on that country music star’s guitar.