Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Great Balls of Fire

Monday, my sister in law calls out of work because her throat is sore. Turns out she's come down with strep throat, and was kind enough to share it with me (thanks sis!). My lymph nodes are the size of golf balls, and my throat is on fire, I have large doses of antibiotics and decongestants coursing through my system.

Therefore, comprehension is briefly suspended from my posts. You have been warned. :D

Monday, before my throat decided to do it's flaming razorblade impression, I managed to get some really crucial details about my setting worked out. Worldbuilding is personal to every book and every story. My other three novels didn't require this much worldbuilding because they were set on Earth. It's amazing how many details we take for granted. What kind of food is served, how the materials for the buildings arrive, how the technology continues to function when the entire structure of civilization has come crumbling down around the character's ears. Little details like that.

I am being very careful about not over building, since that is how many fantasy writers procrastinate actually starting the novel. But Monday, I worked on several pieces of the "special physics" that most of my plot works on. Crime procedures, how magic applies to ghosts, what it can and can't do, these are important details when you're writing something close to a murder mystery.

The best method I've found to not over do any aspect of working on a novel is making a list of what I absolutely must know. What I have to know about the world, what I have to know about the characters and the plot. Everything else can sort itself out. Life's been a little crazy lately, so I've been moving much slower on the pre-writing aspect of my WIP, but I only have a few more details to build on before I can start.

What do you guys to do prepare for your novels? How do you balance between knowing enough that you don't stare at the blank page, or knowing too much that you're bored?

On the other hand, you pansters out there, how do you pull all your details together after writing your novel? I wrote a book without knowing enough about the setting once, and it was the biggest pain in the neck to go back through and add all those details.

And who thought up gargling with salt water? Salt? Really? Normally salt hurts wounds, not helps, but somehow it works magic on a sore throat.


  1. The warm salt water really does help. For a short while. Warm liquids (soup, hot cocoa, that sort of thing) are also soothing.

  2. Oh no! I'm hope you're well enough to attend tomorrow!

    I disapprove of illness. Please inform your germs that they must depart the vicinity immediately.

  3. Linda: Yes. So does hard core medications.

    Joe: I know! Oh cruel fate! But I will be there.

    Lucky for all of you, it's a webinar, and therefore I will be at home, keeping my germs to myself. I am slightly concerned about the "talking" bit, since I plan to call in using my phone, since I don't have a microphone. I figure I'll take a cough suppressant before hand, so I am not hacking into the phone. I'll just be a little hoarse, I guess.

    *insert pun here*

    You could be a little donkey. ;)

    I haven't told my germs to leave postehaste, but I think the antibiotics and decongestant have painted a clear picture for them (DIE GERMS DIE!!!!!)

  4. Once you dial in, just press *6. That'll mute your line and you can cough all you want. If you want to talk, just press #6 and it'll unmute your line.

  5. Joe, you're an officer and a gentleman. My lungs and I thank you. I forgot to mention before, I could switch to calling you JL, since you mentioned it on your blog a little while ago. Just a thought. ;)

  6. Sorry about that, sis, but you know, you work with me and live with me...what did you think was going to happen? That you were actually going to get away unscathed? Silly, silly girl...! ;)

    As for who thought up salt water gargling, I read somewhere that Ben Franklin was given credit for this idea. Then again, seeing how Joan Rivers was given credit for a quote originally made by Oscar Wilde...well, we may never know.