Friday, November 11, 2011

Research and Details

Golem is set in the real world, even if it is Fantasy.  It's also set in a day and time where a lot of the details were just not recorded.  And, sometimes, I get stuck.  I want the details to be right, but even with the research I've done, I don't know the details.

This is the biggest reason for blocks that I'm finding with this year's nano.  Other years, I didn't have enough conflict, so I made a conflict list.  The peasants from the interior of Russia came to Odessa looking for work.  The Japanese/Russian war created a recession, so there was no work.  The peasants blame the Jews.  Conflict.

The research that I have done shows that the different peoples met in cafe's.  Peasants had a beer beside University students and shopkeepers ate their supper at the next table.  That's a good place for showing that conflict.

But now the details come into play - what did they eat?  soup? sandwiches? pot pies?  What did they drink? ale? vodka? wine?

I have a friend who's been stopping as she writes to research those details.  It's taking her awhile, but it seems to be working for her.  I haven't been able to find the details, though.  I've just wasted time.

NanoWrimo's creed is "Just Write", so I'm trying to go with an educated guess and I'll fix it later.  At least I'm getting words.

Here's a snip:

"Everywhere you go, you trip over more Jews."  I glanced over to the man who was speaking.  He wore old trousers and the kind of tunic that peasants wore, stained and badly repaired where it had torn.  He was a big man with loose folds of skin hanging from his neck and big, beefy hands that curled into fists.  He was also looking at me, pure hate pouring from him.  It stole my breath.

Another big man, with a jet black beard, laughed.  "You trip over your own feet, Misha."

"I'm serious.  I can't find a job because they're all given to these damned Jews."  His eyes never left me and I took two steps away, backing into someone else's chair.

"I'm so sorry," I murmured and started to weave my way toward Yakov and Avrom.

"You can't find a job because you drink your paycheck."  I was still close enough to hear them.

"No.  It's because Jews, like that girl, have all the jobs."  It was easy to hear him - his voice got louder as he got angrier.  I wanted to curl into a ball and hide underneath the tables.

His friend with the beard roared with laughter.  "That girl isn't going to beat you out for a job hauling crates in the warehouse.  IF she works, she's more likely to work in her father's store and no one's ever going to hire you to be nice to customers.  Eat something and calm down, Misha.  I didn't come here tonight to get started in a fight."

Yakov had seen me, finally, and he stood.  I rushed over and wrapped my arms around him; I didn't care who saw.

"Rachel?  Are you all right?"  His arm snaked around my shoulders and he looked down at me.  "Babele?" he added in a whisper.

"I'm all right," I whispered into his chest.

"One of the peasants yelled at her."  Avrom had stood and was looking over my head toward the man called Misha.  When I looked, he was frowning, but digging in to a bowl of soup.

How do you handle the details?

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