Guest Post- Christina Freeburn
Happy Monday! I am delighted to have joining us the lovely Christina Freeburn!! So grab something to drink and find out what the craziest thing she has done all in the name of research!!
Craziest Thing I’ve Done For Research
Acting Out with Dora and Friends
By Christina Freeburn
Otherwise known as the day I had to borrow Dora, Diego, and Boots and other assorted critters from Explorer world to finish writing a scene. I was so happy that my children (teens) were at school so they didn’t see me playing—staging a scene—with the figures. I wasn’t sure they’d believe it was all in the name of research. I was also glad the Princess wasn’t over that day because I’m not sure she’d be happy in sharing her toys with me.
My unusual research method started with a knee injury. Who would've thought that injuring a knee make it hard to write? Wrist, finger, hand and even arm were understandable. Originally, I figured I’d get more writing done as the doctor said I had to keep off my leg as much as possible for it to heal. I love reading and writing. Those were two activities I could do for extended periods of time, and sat while doing so. I was looking forward to all the work I’d get done, and dwindling down my to-read pile.
I never realized how moving around was part of my writing method until I had to be still. I outline a little. I also have quite a bit of seats-of-the-pants moments. And to top it off, I’m a pacer. When I’m stuck on a scene, I wander around and talk them out, then stand at the keyboard and type everything down. It’s an integral part of my process I wasn’t aware of until I couldn’t do it. Even worse, when I’m writing action scenes I can’t “see” what’s happening unless I act it out. Subduing the bad guy. Kicking down a door. Which direction the heroine will push the hero to get him out of harms way.
I can’t write compelling action scenes without moving around. And I couldn’t move. Or at least not as quickly and needed, and having my heroine or hero hobbling through a fight scene wouldn’t have worked well for the story.
I needed to write the scene. Needed to finish the book. I was at the end of the story. I was desperate. I could ignore the doctor’s order, act out the intense scene, and hope I didn’t make the injury worse or find a different method. At the time, the Malice Domestic convention was in two weeks and I had to go. I hate missing it. So, I brainstormed for how I could work out these scenes. I remembered the Princess had Dora, Diego, and Boots and their assortment of critters and vehicles.
There was house. A car. A van. A jeep. Heck, Diego even had a helicopter. My problem was solved. I gathered up the items I needed from Dora world, put them into a tote, then carried them back into my office. After setting the scene properly with all my borrowed research tools, I got to work. Dora and her entourage pulled off the climatic fight scene beautifully. Actually, it was even better than when I acted it out because I could test different version as I could “see” if the characters tumbling down a mountain or if incorporating a car accident added more “pop” to the final scene. I “researched” with the helicopter a little bit but in the end decided that was a little much. Though, the helicopter aiding a hero and heroine might show up in another book.