Week twelve: research
The excellent Tony Broadbent, whose books I adore (surely Jethro the cat burglar and Mary Russell met, sometime?) asks, what is the proper collective noun for a set of Russells? A hive? A buzz? A sting? He nominates honey-pot—and please note: pot, not bucket.
The lady in question has posted a Myspace blog today, for week 12 of our fast-departing Fifteen Weeks of Bees, which finds things heating up in Oxford town for the world’s greatest detective, and her husband.
And this week’s contest is on YouTube, which is very lonely.
One of the purposes of this blog has been to allow me to talk about the writing process while it’s actually going on. I’m not a writer who likes someone looking over her shoulder (although I did that, more or less literally, with my writer’s improv, and may do so again for BoucherCon 2010.) I do not ask for feedback while the material is still being shaped, from family, friends, or a writers’ group. However, there are times when it’s valuable to me, and I assume of interest to some of you, to step back and think aloud about the process.
One question that often comes up, particularly regarding the historical novels, is research. And I think the question comes not because the person asking it is considering writing their own historical novel, but because they are interested in how one assembles the raw material and, more mysterious yet, how one carves it into a narrative.
In the interest of providing you with the material to craft your own version of The Language of Bees, we’ve posted links on the book page to a whole bunch of the material that went into the story. Cruise through, taste and sample the page on Norse Gods, study the pictures of the Stones of Stenness, wonder at the life and times of Aleister Crowley. Then, when you’ve finished, let me know what you think The Language of Bees is going to be about.
(This is not, by the way, for those of you who’ve already read an ARC…)