It wasn’t long before I realized I had to figure out how to organize all the research our team was generating about our sad looking apartment building, number 1469. It was important to find a way to make it easier to categorize the research and I was worried about how long it would take before the novel’s first draft would appear on paper.
I had to write the entire book in long hand because it was the only way I could make the novel could come alive. It was a challenging process. First, I had to read the research over and over and it was a struggle to create the first chapter. It took a lot of thinking, writing, and constantly revisiting our research. I began by describing building 1469’s current physical state and then decided to describe what he looked like as a brand new building in 1900. His current physical condition was poor, except for his structural integrity.
As often as I could, I drove by Fred and waved to an empty building. For the first couple of months building 1469 had no name. But in a future blog, I’ll tell you an amazing story about how he was named and wondered if it was by chance or fate.
For a while I continued to use my small white one inch notebooks with the subject matter inserted in a plastic holder on the front of the notebooks. When they could no longer hold any more information I transferred the research into several large three to four inch notebooks. The building’s ownership was traced backwards from 2012 back to 1900 and then forward to 2015 when the book ends.
It was a priority to find a way to be able to find all the information immediately. I’m not good at looking at file folder labels, so I selected extra-large manila envelopes, twenty-seven of them, and filled each one of them with priceless knowledge from the past.