I'll be back the week after, and back to the IWSG in August, so please don't take me off of the list yet, Mr. Cavanaugh! ;)
Now then. A couple of weeks ago, I complained at length about being bored to tears with research, and many of you gently told me to get off of my lazy, research-addled butt and write a little instead.
Ok, no one said that. You were all much nicer than that, but the message was received in any case. Gratefully.
Funny enough, it was the research itself that did it. I was so fed up with textbooks that I found a movie to watch instead - Himalaya. To quote its Rotten Tomatoes page, it is "a fiction film about the forgotten people of Tibet, focusing on their daily lives and traditional customs."
Daily lives??? Traditional customs??? JACKPOT! Here, finally would be real, normal people going about their lives! This is what I've been dying to find!! Fiction, schmiction, I say.
No, don't worry, I know it's a movie; I took everything I saw with a large grain of salt (which is ironic, but you won't get the joke if you don't watch the film). However, one of the best things about this film was that it was shot over nine months in the Himalayas, among the Dolpo people of Nepal, who, Wikipedia tells me, have "preserved...Tibetan culture in relatively pure form." In fact, with the exception of a couple of roles, almost every part in the film is played by an actual Dolpo tribe member.
The movie is only a little over an hour and a half, but it took me the better part of a day to watch it, because I kept having to pause it to take notes. Everything was helpful, from the way the women tied blankets around their waists, to how the men wore their hair, to where they slept inside their low stone houses. This is the sort of practical, everyday information that is so hard to find, and yet is so essential to me as a writer.
I really don't know if I could tell you if the movie is any good. I didn't really notice, which means, as far as I can guess, that it was pretty good, because I'm generally super picky about movies. But I was so focused on gathering every tiny bit of information that I truly didn't care one way or the other.
What I can say is that I'm very, very grateful to the movie - and to all of you. As soon as it ended, instead of doing more research, I went off and wrote two big chunks for the Tibetan lifetime. It took almost no time, and I have no idea if what I wrote will end up in the book, but I don't care. It was incredibly useful: it helped me solidify some plot points, get to know my characters better, and gave me a chance to write about the glorious, unbelievable setting I'd gotten to see in the movie.
|Not bad, eh?? Image courtesy of http://bossnepal.com/oscar-nominated-nepali-movie-caravanhimalaya/|
At some point, after I've worked on those freewrites a bit, I'll post a snippet here. Perhaps even when I'm back the week after next?
Thanks again to all of you, and I'll see you on the other side of VACATION!