I decided I needed a different perspective. I took a break from writing THE END of my novel in order to go back over what I’ve already written.
In a previous post called ‘[Frame It] To Keep The Writing Flowing’, I talked about how I used the parentheses [ ] to mark those areas where I needed to add details or make decisions about phrasing.
Here’s an example:
Before dinner, I practiced [name of Mozart music] to perfection.
Well, going back over my work, I realized I had quite a few [ ] to fill in.
This lead me on an hours long research frenzy, where I looked up such things as:
- money amounts of the Regency period and their corresponding modern day equivalents
- men’s Regency hair styles
- the Russo-Ottoman war of 1806-1812
- a map of the Ottoman Empire
- towns in the Lake District of England
- Wordsworth’s time in the Lake District
- Regency foods and menus
- maps of London circa 1813 (which I painstakingly compared with Google maps of modern London in an attempt to establish a carriage route for my heroine to take from Mayfair to Whitechaple–I also tried to give my characters ‘authentic’ London residences)
- deserts in Jordan one might go through en route to The Red Sea
- names of Ships from England during the early 1800’s
- heritage homes near Crawley UK
- common names for the British gentry (which I then cheerfully bastardized into my own versions)
- Beethoven piano sonatas (thank you youtube for posting so many sonatas so I can hear what they sound like!)
- whether Istanbul was called Istanbul or Constantinople in 1813 (it’s Istanbul, apparently)
- what year the Duchess of Devonshire visited Paris
- wildflowers of England…that only bloom in summer!
- common birds of England
- historical Inns/Pubs in England
- yearly calendars for 1813 and 1809
And a few more items than that, besides!
Isn’t it amazing, how a writer will not only obligingly look up the most arcane trivia in books or websites–but also be deliriously happy about it?
I consider those hours well spent, my friend. Hours well spent!
PS. Naturally, searching for arcane details is part of my You Know You’re A Writer When…12 Reasons! List
PPS. As much as I’ve enjoyed my hours of researching, I still would love for someone to move forward with my Research Hotline idea
PPPS I ended up making a ‘Regency Links’ page on this site, primarily to help myself out (so I wouldn’t have to search them out via Google all over again as I have been repeatedly doing through out this whole novel writing process) but also in case there are any other Regency Geeks out there who might like to see them. It’s on the side bar (scroll down to Other Useful Items) or click this link.
PPPPS And here are some invaluable Regency books I’ve collected over the years!