Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pied à terre

Blechta here.

(Paris) Well, it's been an interesting few days. In case you don't already know, I'm in Paris this week to do a spot of research on the book, the first draft of which is nearly complete. If you want to know why I research in such a backwards-seeming way, you'll have to read some of my recent blog entries.

One of the things I love doing is to visit places I've already written about without having seen. Take the Pont du Sully which crosses the Seine east of Notre Dame cathedral. Having at least already seen it on the Internet, I knew what to expect, but having stood on it yesterday, walking its length on both sides, I know a lot more about the structure and what you can see and feel and imagine when you're on it. At the northern end, something very critical to my story happens, and Vicki (my faithful translator and porter) and I spent about 45 minutes discussing, taking reference photos and trying to figure out how to make it all work. With the details I gleaned from having seen it, smelled it, trod it, this part of the story will be a lot richer.

No, I'm not going to throw in every little detail, but I can now revise this section of the book with complete confidence. If anyone who reads the book actually knows this little corner of Paris, they will then believe anything I tell them. Since I plan on still lying to them a lot -- this is fiction after all -- I will have their complete trust.

We ran our little feet off yesterday (many miles and seven hours) but I've now "bagged" a lot of the locations I needed. So far, my guesses about Paris from back home in Toronto have all worked out. We still have some major work to do, but I have a good feeling that this trip will pay off in added detail and richness. Somehow I've got to fit a good taste of it in without slowing down the storyline, but I've managed to do it in the past -- at least I hope I did.

Only readers can tell me.


Debby (Deborah Turrell) Atkinson said...

I can't wait to read this novel, Rick. You've got my attention already. Hmmm, wonder if I can talk my husband into a tax-deductible trip...
Have a great time.

Rick Blechta said...

I can't wait to read my novel, either. Every day here seems to bring up more ideas and more things I'm going to have to fix. Oh well, the book will be much better for it.