Thursday, 14 June 2012
Why Saturday Night Fever makes me feel better about my book
OK. So for my rewrite, I have to (among other things): work more on building chemistry between hero and heroine, make Mr Wrong more attractive and have more of a rationale for the heroine falling for him, kill off a few superfluous characters and build up a pretty much new storyline which involves (my bugbear) research.
I really hate doing research. I love reading things online or flipping through books and magazines, but when it comes to tracking down actual humans and interviewing them about their jobs, I don't like it. I don't understand why this is. I enjoy meeting people; I'm nosy; I'm reasonably curious about the world in which we live. And people are very helpful and incredibly generous in giving up their time to talk about their work. But ... the sad truth is, I just find other people's jobs difficult to understand. Maybe I don't ask the right questions, but I feel that unless you actually do those jobs, or work in that environment, you're never really going to grasp what it's like. And, it's time-consuming, and I feel guilty for taking up the person's time and also stressed that out of my four days' writing time every week, I've just spent half a day or an evening doing an interview that I feel I didn't get the right stuff in. I can totally see why people end up writing about trolls instead.
However: A likes to cheer me up by telling me the story of the guy who wrote the article that inspired Saturday Night Fever. He was told to write about the New York disco scene, couldn't manage it, and ended up basing it on what he knew about mods and rockers. So that cheers me up. If you remember that people's rivalries and egos and insecurities will be the same no matter what the industry, you're off to a good start.