So what am I insecure about this month? Still working on the third draft of my book and not getting as much done as quickly as I'd like. Despite my efforts, I keep gaining weight every week, but I'm really determined to eat better and exercise more, since my will power usually tends to fizzle out by Wednesday. And (this isn't necessarily an insecurity, but it is driving me nuts...) my birthday is this Saturday and my present from my fiance has been sitting on my dresser since LAST Saturday. *sigh* I really don't like to ruin surprises, but come on, it's not fair! And it's heavy, too, so I know there's more than one thing in there...
Anyway, this is what has really been bugging me lately: SETTING. It's something that continuously perplexes me, to the point where I feel I'll never get it right. Ok, so my novel takes place in New York City, a place I've visited many many times--but I've never lived there. And my MC has always lived there, grew up there, and I worry that this won't be believable because I haven't. For the majority of my novel, there isn't much to worry about. The characters are usually very isolated and the two main settings are their apartments. So within the confines of those scenes, I really don't have to worry about setting. I also like the juxtaposition of them having to be so isolated in such a busy and populated city. But those moments when they do go out into the world--I worry that I haven't gotten it right.
I also did some research that worried me about the accuracy of my book. So when I first started writing it, I knew my MC was a freshman and that he was failing his math class. When I was a freshman, I took Geometry. Back in middle school, some people were able to move on to Pre-algebra in 7th grade, where others took another year of a more basic math class. So while some freshmen took Geometry when they got to 9th grade, others were taking their first year of Algebra. Anyway, since I took Geometry, and I figured my MC is a smart and clever guy, he probably would, too. So that's how I wrote the story.
But the more research I do on the NY school system, the more I feel that this wouldn't be possible. From what I've found, it seems that all students take Algebra in their freshman year, then Geometry as a sophomore (doing internet research is tricky, so if by some miracle someone reading this went to school in NY, I beg you, enlighten me!). If this is true, it throws a giant wrench in my plot. I really can't change his math class to Algebra at this point--Geometry just works better as far as how I've worked in themes and symbolism. There's also a scene where my characters are solving a geometric proof that I seriously CANNOT cut. I can't. It's too good, and too important. I also can't make my MC older, since his age is important to the plot. So what should I do?
I'm wondering if it actually matters. What is more important, being true to the story, or being accurate with the structure of the school system? Is anyone really going to notice if I get it wrong? It's not like it's on every page of the book. Is this a detail that should matter at all? I'm not sure. I may just be over-thinking this. My gut is telling me to leave it be, and if someone calls me out on it, I can explain how I thought being true to the story was more important than getting one tiny detail right.
Phew! Ok, now that I've vented, I've got a lot of blogs to visit. *cracks knuckles* Off I go!