Tuesday 4 October 2011

Balancing Research Facts and Fiction

You have to do it right. You’ve got to make it all seem authentic, so you need to find out how things were at the time. The temptation can be, however, to try to squeeze every fact in. It’s also really quite difficult to decide whether that is what you are doing.
I’m still carrying on with the Hani thread, and Clara Lehrs is becoming feistier by the minute. I’m really getting to know this character well. That made confirming that she went to Treblinka yesterday all the more poignant.
In today’s writing alone I’ve had to consult:
the perpetual calendar
the timeline for 1939
my notes on food rationing
my notes on conscription for young German men during World War II.
I’ve also had to find a German food ration card.  
I hope I’ve also brought enough tension into the plot
It is so very hard to judge whether that balance of story and of setting is correct.
Still, I’m sharing some of this with a critique group tomorrow and possibly some more with another group nearer the end of the month.      

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