Think Through Thursday #1
Certain versus uncertain. Most of the time my mind dwells on what is uncertain or lacking facts rather than what I know for sure. This is specific to writing because outside of it you can look something up if you aren't sure of the information.
When it comes to writing for me, being uncertain of any character's journey completely stalls any further writing that can be done. I have to stop and research and can't move on until I have the information I need to be certain that what I'm thinking is correct. That way, later down the road I won't be changing anything because I didn't have enough information.
The reason this is a problem now and wasn't a problem in the past is I am working on a historical, mythical fiction. It is based off old Gaelic mythology involving the Tuatha Dé Dannan. It takes place during the early 1900s, but in different parts of the world. Part of me is kicking myself because I made this so complicated, the other part is I'm excited to know so much information.
However, the main struggle I have encountered is that the story of this tribe is a mix of verbal and written information. From stories passed down through the people of Ireland and accounts written during the Bronze Age. In addition, there were multiple times the culture changed and rewritten. This causes problems when your character's story revolves around this world.
When I first began writing, I didn't care about the facts. I wrote what came to my head and would research what I needed later. I wrote tens of thousands of words this way for myself and other authors. And it worked.
The internal pressure is on to do this series right. Mainly because I am not Irish and part of me feels I shouldn't be writing about it. But the information about this tribe is so broad and has been warped so much over time, that an outside perspective isn't necessary faulty.
That is the main reason I have spent at least three months after coming back to the story, researching as much as I can on this tribe and folk tales about them.
What qualifies enough research? When I'm not questioning the culture, aesthetics and habits of the characters and the people they're involved with.
With all this research I hope I can teach others or get them interested in finding more information and history of the Tuatha Dé Dannan.
Question to you: Do you think with enough experience, someone could write about your culture? How much information do you think they'd need to capture the culture respectively?