By art I mean writing. I know, artistic license, or what? Still...
This YA is set in Tahoe during a snow storm, with a ghost. Here's some of the things I'm doing. I've already told you what I'm listening to so now I'm sharing the visuals.
- Watching movies! Yes, movies can be great for pure research or getting in the moment, how would that character feel in that situation? Or getting into the mood, as in deep dark ghostly, or panicky society breaking down.
I'm going to see The Grey and The Woman in Black next week. Why?
Because in The Grey, they crash into Alaska with no pre-warned supplies, so it's a snow survival story with wolves. Mine doesn't have wolves but it does have bears. I do love a good bear story! The Woman in Black, because it reminds me of a Turn of the Screw meets The Others, and so I'm intrigued to see how they set up the tension and resolve the ghost aspect of the story.
See what you think...
This is a new Woman in Black trailer..
I'm not actually expecting these movies to be great, but I think they'll help my visual dictionary. What does breath look like in the cold, how red do noses go, at what point does your skin creep and why? What is the body language of cold? Of fear?
Other films I've watched include Spike Lee's amazing documentary on Hurricane Katrina, When the Levees Broke. Which is way more realistic and chilling than anything else Ive seen.
And the NPR documentary by Ric Burns, The Donner Party, The America Experience.
One of my greatest fears is spreading untruths. This may seem weird as I'm writing fiction but I think most writers write to find the 'truth' either in their characters or the situations. The details need to read real. This is even more true of historical fiction. Although this novel is set in the present, it relates to the Donner party of which there is a ton of well known information as well as a lot of untruths or not knowns. I don't want to spread things we now know to be untrue. Rick Burn's film has a few details which have been called into dispute so I've also read a heap of non-fiction to get my facts straight or at least as straight as I can.
Other films and shows brilliant for watching what happens when catastrophe strikes are zombie flicks! Okay, I love zombies anyway, but it's great to watch for details in how to survive in a hostile world and how society reacts when facing a massive breakdown. So, yes I'll be watching The Walking Dead when
it returns this Sunday.
BUT there are ZERO ZOMBIES in this YA - just so we're clear on that!
Finally a show that I would be addicted to anyway is The Fades , on BBC America. The character development, acting and writing is just brilliant. A total inspiration of how to make every character have depth and nuance. I only hope I can pull if off in my novel half as well!