Living the research

After going through my editor’s change on Vermin, I settled back into writing the first draft of my third book, David’s Summer. As I may have mentioned before, the story is inspired by my true life events. And that’s partly what makes it so difficult.

David’s Summer follows the lives of four family members as their lives are turned upside down by cancer. Drawing from personal knowledge is a great asset, but it only goes so far. There is still much I don’t know, like how cancer treatment has changed over the years.

“Write what you know” is all well and good if you know everything. I don’t. And it’s quite a roadblock when I get to a point in the story where I need to be accurate, and don’t have the proper information. Eventually I find what I need (thanks to the Internet, my personal assistant), but along the way, I read many stories and see many demonstrations of people fighting this terrible disease. It rips my heart out, over and over, but it’s necessary.

Since I’m writing in a dramatic fashion, showing characters reacting, hearing and writing their dialog and their thoughts, I end up living all their lives all at once. I feel the loss too, even though it’s fiction, but it’s magnified.

Writing is tough enough as it is. Adding this layer of emotion on top of it makes it hard to bear sometimes. But with every day, I get closer to the finish. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Photo by kbrookes

Since 1992, Lee has worked within the visual and dramatic arts landscape as a graphic designer, illustrator, visual effects artist, screenwriter and author.

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