Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A little more on the obsession of writing - the Delta Lady

In response to my post More on the obsession of writing - and personal obsession, Kanani left a comment that is worth quoting from. She wrote:

When I started writing my book, I became obsessed with an area I grew up in but had little real knowledge about. So I became the weird "Delta" lady, reading books about waterways, engineering, marshlands. And later, contacting groups like the wetlands conservancies, and asking them to take me out on boats and such. It was all rather crazy and culminated with me in a truck with a farmer who owned 10,000 acre island farm and told me I was crazy to have ever left.

Isn't that an interesting comment that so well captures the importance of obsession in writing?


Kanani said...

Yes, I scoured used book stores for days on end. Anyway, I think in order to write about anything you have to become passionate about it. Fully immerse yourself in that world. You won't find out everything, but you will find what you need. Sort of like your financial writing.

I was speaking with a friend the other day. I told him that right now I was reading a lot on Afghanistan, but also odd things like the Army Field Manual on Counter Insurgency (all 247 pages of COIN). I have no idea if the next book will be fiction or non fiction, or if I'll try to put together an anthology of stories from others. I just don't know. But I'm enjoying this as much as I did the stuff on the Delta (maybe even more). The fact that I don't know what the product will be doesn't bother me in the least.

Think of this Jim: your book could some day inspire a novel or another book.

Oh, and by the way, check out what I found. Blogging is his first writing experiment, but I believe --as a writer, he's the real deal. He's got a natural voice and I think the words go down on the page light lightening. Castra Praetoria.

Jim Belshaw said...

Immersion is fun, Kanani. It's also quite effective and not just in writing. I use the same technique in a professional sense. I find that the bits come together in unexpected ways.

But crikey, dialogue or even atmosphere is hard. To write as an insider, to capture the cadences, of other worlds is difficult. 1st sergeant is a good example.