How Far Would You Go

while doing research for a book?

That thought struck me after my visit with my doctor. We had been discussing my scuba certifications when he asked if I had signed on with the Search & Recovery unit in our area. Uh, no, ewww. Finding water bloated dead bodies with pieces missing is not something I want to have burned in my brain. I watch “Jaws” and still see that damn leg floating down to the ocean bottom.

As writers we don’t have to experience everything to write about it,  just have a good understanding.  That means doing some research then layering it into the story. Nothing is worse than an info dump, unless it’s wrong!

While I might not be much on bodies, I’d love to rescue a few coins from the ocean.


13 thoughts on “How Far Would You Go

  1. Yeah, I think I could do without the ‘smell-o-vision’ of reality. I also think I’d have to pass on getting shot, sliced, or tazed. I’ll just rely on my little old imagination for the effects.

  2. Meg,

    I hear you… when you said that about scuba diving, all I could think about was the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child novel where the rescue diver goes through the soup looking for a body in a New York area sewer. Blech. The book is Reliquary. And it still gives me the shivers to think that people have to make those dives.

    I think you could IMAGINE such a feeling without having to do it. spw

    • Thanks, Sandee!

      When I listened to SHADOW DIVERS (Audio Book) I realized how dangerous wreck diving is, and that the people who died were experienced divers. Scary!

      For my AOW & Rescue Certs, I did dive in soup–not sewer–were the viz was 6 inches. THAT’s not fun, and trying to find the target was horrible.
      When we surfaced, the wind chill was 32. Not a fun day at all.

  3. I don’t know, maybe that tazing thing could be fun, Margaret. 🙂 Haven’t you seen the youtube videos of kids doing recreational tazing? JK, it’s sad, really.

    I think experience can sometimes make the writer distance themselves from the story. Say a character has lost children and the writer has dealt with the same issue, recalling those painful moments may be so intense the author can never get the scene right because they are so busy recalling their own horror.

    It’s like the reality of the situation gets in the way of the fantasy or something. Or maybe not…

    • I can agree with you, RD.
      As a race car driver, I can’t get a story to gel. There’s the so unglamorous side of dirt…and the dirt dished at the track.

      I stopped writing a short story because I was afraid that life would really follow. Dumb, I know. Too many things have paralled my actual experiences.

  4. Ooh, years ago I wrote a cool scene where the heroine watches as a floater is pulled from the water. Editor thought it was a little too icky, and the book wound up going in a different direction.

    I loved that scene, though!

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