Tag: Vienna


Researching a story… to death.

 Writers research. Even fiction writers. After all, readers want details and they expect them to ring true. Location, weather, clothing, food, transportation. These are the basics. Don’t have someone take a bus in my hometown of Madisonville, Kentucky. There aren’t any.  Detail should slip into the story like water through a crack. No blaring signs that say: look, I got the music and the moon boots right, it’s 1983! Instead, the subtleties of detail should ring true silently. With them, the reader feels a place without signposts. Mention endless fields of cotton, small bottles of Coke for a nickel in a chilled machine, blazing heat followed by shattering lightening and I think the Mississippi Delta in the 1970s. A few details and I’m there. Get a detail significantly wrong and I’m pulled away. After all, that’s where I spent my summers in those years. At my grandparents, frying eggs on the bricks of their patio, it was so hot. Impressed – and a little frightened- by the enormous circles of burned cotton where lightening struck the fields overnight. And not quite understanding why we had to play inside some days (later I’d learn it meant there was a prison escaped from Parchman penitentiary, […]

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