Subscribe to My Newsletter!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Importance of Trivia


How far away is the horizon? In my current WIP, the hero knows the answer. Since I'm writing his dialogue, I needed the answer. I found it online, which is where I find a great many odd bits of trivia nowadays. Nevertheless, not everything online is the truth. I always check several references before I believe the answer is correct.

If my hero is six feet tall--and the weather is clear--he should be able to see almost three miles to the horizon. If he's in a tower, he can see further than that, which is a good thing for the story. :-)

I have a passion for minutiae. Once, before our family had the internet, we appreciated playing the game of Trivial Pursuit. With quite a number of people at our house one evening, we gathered into teams to play. My team won because I picked the best team: my father, who had a career in journalism, my mother who was an artist but also read gossip tabloids, and me--the collector of an assortment of unrelated facts.

I think research is fun though I know it's dangerous to go on a fact-finding mission when writing a rough draft. I could delve into my inquiry and never come up for air. I've found it better to have a general idea of what facts I need before I start writing in addition to keeping several references at hand that can be quickly checked if needed.

For me as a writer, trivia is important because the story is in the details.

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

Penelope's Amazon Author Page

Penelope's Books at Barnes & Noble

2 comments:

Sharon McGregor said...

Trivia is so absorbing. I love Trivial Pursuit but can't coerce my family into playing with me.

Penelope Marzec said...

Sharon,

Not everyone is addicted to an assortment of facts. :-(