Novel under construction – how many bears…

Novel under construction  –  how many bears….

What I don’t know about our world can fill umpteen trillion encyclopedias.

In my old days I thought how easy it must be, to create fiction. They just make it up.

And now that I’m fictionizing, I find you do just make it up!

A writer can transform the favorite pastime of a girl, age 9,  from hula- hooping to shooting baskets (basketball baskets), to tree climbing. And then back to hula-hooping.

Knowing the real world, say a seaside village, where the characters lick their double scoop chocolate cones, in a real actual state of this Union, is another pile of potatoes, as they say. (There are some 575 potato varieties.) When you set that seaside village in a specific time, such as the 1960s, there are more potatoes to hoe.

Here is a trivia list, in questions, of some topics I’m asking regarding our wonderful world, as I write a novel for young readers. The characters are growing up in suburban New York City. There are many references to Florida in their lives.  It is the early 1960s as my story opens.

I annotate one question here, with a skimpy answer & a brief result it created in my manuscript.

To save space a few other questions are listed-only, sans foloup.  Questions are random.

When did plastic wrap come into wide use?

Answer – after 1966 & the arrival of Glad Wrap, although Saran Wrap was around before then.

Story result –It wasn’t in common enough use at the time of characters lives. As of now, the child’s’ clever grab of plastic wrap to cover a cast over an arm,  before verboten swimming, is yanked from the page.

Other information hunts –

When was the first gated retirement village (development) opened in Florida?

What were the most popular teen songs on Jersey radio stations 1960, ‘61 & ‘62?

When did cranberry bogs originate in Jersey?

Where do bears live in the woods in  ‘60s Jersey?  (I know – wherever they want!)

Why is Shark Inlet called that?

When was the last Jersey shark scare before 1960?

Which coast did most retirees move to in Florida in the 1960s?

Were there notable shark attacks in Florida in the 1960s?

What percentage of families could pick citrus right from their own tree in Florida in the 1960s?

What Jersey county fair is the most popular in the ‘60s.

Does Rutgers have a marine ecology program in the ‘60s?

Where are the nunneries in New Jersey (again in the late 50- early‘60s).

How long does it take to ride the public bus from Philadelphia to Seaside Heights?

How long does it take to ride the public bus from Philadelphia to Jacksonville, FL

What was the 1960s record of reporting on civil rights, of radio stations WOR in New York?

How many private elementary schools were near Seaside Heights in the 1960s?

What kinds of cars flunked inspection most often in the 1960s in Jersey?

You see? Hope that’s a more than ample, sample.

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