Monday, April 25, 2011

Aaack - when research makes you rewrite

I love the internet - it has made the world such a small and friendly place. Before the internet, information on local traditions on the other side of the planet would have been really hard to track down. And finding a helpful expert would have required sending letters out into a very scary world, unsure of answers.

My current WIP is set on the Amalfi coast of Italy in the 1920s. Since I live on the far side of the world in South Africa and have never visited the Amalfi coast, I've spent hours trawling the internet for pictures and information, and quite a bit of what I've learned has gone into the novella. I've even made contact with people living in Italy who have helped me with all sorts of interesting bits and pieces. (By the way, thanks everyone!)

Based on my initial research, I wrote a really dramatic scene, a re-enactment of a Saracen invasion which is part of the Ferragosto celebrations in Positano every year. I love that scene. The clash of swords. The hero in danger. The heroine watching from the sidelines, heart beating. And finally, fireworks - the real, bright exploding kind.

So imagine my excitement when I clicked on YouTube and discovered real live footage of the present day event.

Except the re-enactment is nothing like I imagined. There are no clashing swords, no mock fights, and the fireworks only happen the next night, after a fascinating but not at all dangerous religious procession. In the interests of accuracy I'm going to have to do a complete rewrite! Aaargh.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you had to completely rewrite scenes because new information came to light?

This week I'm being interviewed by fellow Vintage Rose author Cherie Le Clare. Leave a comment on her blog post and you can stand a chance to win a copy of my novella, Let's Misbehave, published by The Wild Rose Press.


Celtic Chick said...

The internet is a great tool for research, especially youtube.

I'm sure I have had to rewrite scenes and it is never fun. I like the clashing swords and mock fights of your original scene, but I'm sure your new scene will be just as exciting. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Celtic Chick.