Friday, December 5, 2014

Location, Location, Location....

       One of the most daunting tasks of my thinking process (I tend to overthink...a lot) is that I need to be pretty precise in how I describe things.    I learned a long time ago through honing my writing craft that description should be organically and weaved within the story.     You don't stop and smell the roses, you continue to walk and breathe in the fragrant aroma of your mom's flower garden.    I also have a bit of an issue with the fact that I can't really travel and see the locales that I write about.

        Take the High Sierras (which seems to be the most common place for Timber to have trouble...) for instance.    As an overzealous writer, I just don't want to stick with vague descriptions of flora and fauna.   It's not that I want my readers to develop a degree in botany, it's just I don't want someone with a degree in botany to chuckle if I happen to describe a tree that belongs more in the central region of the Americas rather than the Northwest region.    The same with animals that may inhabit the region.    I want to ensure that I don't do simple slip ups of describing a general variety of fish that may not actually be predominant in the region.     And, there are variety of species within a common family of fish, and sometimes may even have a subspecies that is inherit to a specific region.   It's that level of detail that often may cause me to lock up and get writer's block (irony considering the posting...I suppose).     Again, I don't want to try to make a normal reader an expert, but I'd rather not have an expert flora and fauna person chuckle at the fact I can't get my regional animals and plants right. 

     I suppose it may seem mundane and trivial to some for a writer to fret about such things.   If a reader of my book has an opportunity to travel to the High Sierras, I want them to have that sense of deja they've been to that spot.    And, well, hopefully not so much that a reader might think that Timber might walk up and say "hi" (since you know, wolves are still very much predatory animals and not dogs...a contention I have to deal with in my story...).  
        But, I believe it's part of a writer's task to take people away to somewhere they've never been.   And, with actual true specific regions, it's a daunting task to get everything just right.