Sunday, January 31, 2021

Outdoor Writing

Montezuma Well, in Yavapai County, Arizona


They say write what you know. I've been into outdoor sports since I was a tiny child. I've accumulate quite a bit of experience and knowledge of several outdoor sports, yet I still find myself struggling to write about adventure in the outdoors without researching topics in detail. I worry over accuracy, even though I'm writing fiction.

As an avid reader myself, I know how fast you can lose a reader with an inaccurate detail, if they are knowledgable on the topic. I still continue with it, trying to use detail only where necessary. You can also lose a reader by providing uninteresting details to someone with less interest in the topic than you. The safe middle ground seems to be to provide as little technical detail as possible, and stick to storytelling. That's my approach.

My new novel is growing at a snail's pace. I'm sitting at 3600 words right now, which is not much considering how long I've been working on it. But the problem is that I've been to 3600 twice, because I keep writing, find myself unhappy with what I've written, and throw it out.

It's moving forward like a glacier. It grows on snowy days, then shrinks during warm dry spells in between. Fortunately we are buried under a think blanket of snow here in Flagstaff right now. It's like planet Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back, and the sidewalks a like the rebel trenches in front of the hidden base. This allows time for writing.

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