14 March, 2010

Adventures in Writing

As most of you are aware by now, my Muse has been in one of those Moods.  And this means that any research that needs to be accomplished for scenes must take place on the intertoobz in a rapid manner, in advance of actually going out and doing the hard work this summer.  Before the intertoobz, I just had to make this shit up.  I loves me some intertoobz.

But the intertoobz, alas, sometimes lead me astray.  Take the scene I was writing the other night.  I needed a very specific joint.  Not a restaurant, but a joint.  One that served nearly nothing but meat.  And I needed it to be around the Redmond, WA area.  Off to Google I went, and discovered the perfect place right away.  Built the scene around its menu.  Had an idea sparked by one of the items on their menu that added value to the story and so forth. 

As I wrote the scene, I decided I'd best get some of the details about the appearance of the place in immediately, despite this being a first draft where one can fudge these things.  So I started searching photos.

On Yelp, I find photos.  I also see next to the restaurant's name: CLOSED.

Closed?  WTF?  Whaddyamean, closed?  I have the website to the restaurant pulled up right here.  It's even got the hours of operation.  It's got their menu.  It's got directions.  It says nothing about being closed.  Well, they're closed right now, because it's midnight.  But as far as out-of-business closed, it says not a word.  I mean, it's an active fucking website, for fuck's sake.  You'd think if a business was no longer, they'd have taken the site down, or at least maybe mentioned they're no longer, right?

So I do a quick Google search, and in reviews of the restaurant, I see it was slated to close down in 2009.  Then I call their number, and it's disconnected.  Fuckity-fuckfuckfuck.

Back to Google, where I discover that while Redmond has other barbecue joints, they haven't got that one item on the menu that had become an important component of the scene.  Argh argh argh.  Others were closed Sundays, which wouldn't do.  Others didn't open until noon, which again, would not do.  It took me a while to find an adequate substitute, and I'm rather happier with it anyway, because it had a few additional components that worked for the story as a whole.  And while it's in Seattle, it's close to downtown, which added a new component to the scene and made one of the characters involved look a little less like a selfish jackass and more like what I wanted him to be.

So there you go.  Adventures in writing.  And you've learned something valuable about the intertoobz: namely, that you cannot trust a restaurant to still be in business just because their website says they are.

**Those of you mystified by the mysterious details dropped about this scene, who would like to know more, are encouraged to email me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.  You, too, can become an exclusive member of my circle of Wise Readers at my writing blog, wherein I occasionally post scenes and other details that are not yet available to the general public.  And then, once I've posted it, you'll get to see the first draft of this scene, wherein meat is consumed and sisters tortured.**


Chris Rhetts said...

Well I've just realized that your are certifiably insane.

IcyinSummer said...

I could feel the angst in your pursuit of finding this restaurant and that was I am guessing sometime between midnight and early morning. Felt and lived it through your words.

Cujo359 said...

I visited Yelp, and went to the Seattle page. Since I didn't see my neighborhood in the list, I clicked on the link that said "More Neighborhoods". Did this take me to a longer list of neighborhoods? Of course not. It took me to a long list of unrelated things.

It's amazing you could find anything there.

Anyway, I suppose Chris has a point here. If you couldn't find that information, I doubt many readers could. Couldn't you set the novel in 2009? Make it a historical novel...

Nicole said...

I agree with Chris. But I'm a bit insane myself, so who am I to judge?