With my novella, Blood in the Past off to the editor for the next few days, I’ve had a lot to think about…Like the most annoying part of the writing process (at least for this series): RESEARCH.
I had to research all sorts of little details that I didn’t think would really make a real difference, but that I wanted to get right nonetheless. What sort of hours do police officers work? When do their shifts begin and end? Was the Franklin Institute (a Philadelphia Museum) around in 2002? When was it last renovated? How are law enforcement funerals handled? What songs are usually played? Can a person shoot themselves in the head and have the bullet circumvent their actual brain? What kind of minimal damage would still occur? How does a hospital’s pharmacy department operate?
Blah, blah, blah.
The most irksome part though? My sources ending their very detailed answers and explanations with “But every precinct/hospital/case is different.”
My Blood for Blood Series takes place in a real city, Philadelphia, and many scenes took place in a real hospital, University of Pennsylvania Hospital. My sources’ information, however useful, was more generalized. So what’s an author to do?
Well, there’s not much I could do about the Philadelphia police department. It is what it is, ya know. (But I definitely plan on befriending a Philly cop during the revisions of Blood in the Paint.) The hospital, however, I could do something about. I changed it to a fictitious one. New name: West Philadelphia General Hospital. West Philly Gen, for short. The changes weren’t too extensive, so I was able to do them at the last minute before Blood in the Past went to the editor. Luckily for me, when I googled “West Philly Gen” I found that there was a “Philadelphia General” from 1919-1977 in virtually the SAME area as present-day UPENN Hospital! So, of course, I threw that in the narrative, to add a touch of realism to the setting.
So what do you guys think? Is a fictitious hospital (or any organization) the way to go over a real-life one? Weigh-in in the comments section!
Oh, and one more thing! Those that are signed up for my mailing list will receive an exclusive peek at the first chapter of Blood in the Past, as soon as it’s edited! If you haven’t joined yet, what are you waiting for? Click Here!