Yesterday on my post about research, I showed a photo of a Bugatti engine. I’m researching a Bugatti just now and wanted to use it as a metaphor for writing.
To create an accurate image of a Bugatti in your mind, I could spend two pages describing everything from the front grill, to the horsepower, to the exhaust system–and bore you to tears. On the other hand, I could just let my protagonist get behind the wheel and show how it FEELS to drive a Bugatti. Maybe throw in a phrase here or there about how it looks. You might enjoy an explosion toward the end of the scene. Seems like whenever a great car appears in a crime novel, we get to crash it … maybe on the streets of Tangier. Or maybe in Houston’s Montrose district.
My point is that I simply can’t create a Bugatti in your mind without knowing enough about the thing to be ABLE to make you feel it, to make you see it in a couple of words. That’s why I’m such a stickler for research. Anyone have a Bugatti to lend me for a couple of days?
I promise not to crash it… well, at least not until I put it on paper.