Why reading anything & everything is research…

“Family Business”* is multi-generational.  Which in and of itself isn’t the worst thing in the world – but because it is somewhat historical(ish) fiction – I found myself in a bit of a continuity conundrum – can that which existed ~250+ years ago still quietly exist today?  Especially given the voraciousness of real estate developers?

Then I realized that if the Discworld can happily go about its business on the back of four elephants on top of a spectacular turtle…  Though Family Business takes place in *this* universe, it also takes place in *my* universe.  Which means that I can make a few adjustments that a regular joe in the story wouldn’t even notice anyway, because a regular joe only sees what he thinks possible.  And I’ve already taken a few liberties with the laws of physics & nature, so it’s not really in the realm of the impossible.

Thank you Sir Terry for that reminder that I really can make the “that can’t happen” things happen – and that it is so much fun to do so.

*It is the very tentative title of a writing piece I’m working on – the 1930’s DC bits I’ve previously mentioned is part of it.

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The (fun) challenges of a real world setting for a story

Well, the first thing is that I really, really wish my Urban History professor had included DC in any of the texts we read last year.

But with a setting of Washington, DC in 1930s, all kinds of questions pop up as I try to merrily roll my story along.

Was that building actually there?
Where would she have done her banking?
Did this gallery/museum/library exist yet?
Where were the good diners, and how much was a chicken salad sandwich anyway? Would it have even been on the menu!? Could she get it to go?
Could she afford the apartment I want to put her in? (It’s not a great apartment, so at the moment, I am thinking yes, but I also need $$ data.)
How integrated was DC at the time? Could she have had coworkers/neighbors/friends that were persons of color? (Will she even if history says not so much? Highly likely, because it’s my story, and Verna Mae Gibson does not give a shit about what anyone else thinks, she will be friends with anyone she damn well pleases.)
Where is a reasonable location for her parents house, her office, her apartment?
Gotta revisit the streetcar lines. They were pretty extensive. (Unlike now where they are still trying to get *one* line running again.)

They’re fun questions that need answers, and if there is anything I learned in grad school.. It’s how to find answers to these questions.

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