Blogger: Rachel Kent
I just finished reading a brand new historical romance by a client of mine–it’s not the final draft–and sprinkled throughout the manuscript are little research notes for bits and pieces of history that she still needs to discover to put the finishing touches into the book. These details are not something that would stop the average reader from enjoying the story, but those who are well-versed in the time period will appreciate and desire these little historical snippets that my client is still working to fill in. My client’s notes got me thinking about the extremes authors go to to do book research.
I know that Robin Jones Gunn traveled all over the world to research for her Sisterchicks stories.
And my client, Karen Barnett, shared on her blog that she visited a Soda Fountain to taste all of the drinks served in the 1920′s for her book, Mistaken.
Michelle Ule was watching YouTube videos to refresh her sensory memory of typewriters yesterday and she asked her friends on Facebook to report in with their typewriter memories.
Liz Johnson, a client of mine writing military romance, will call military contacts to make sure she gets the facts straight.
A nonfiction client of mine, Allison Flexer, did extensive interviews for her upcoming release Truth, Lies and the Single Woman.
Authors of all genres need to focus on the details in one way or another and sometimes the details are difficult to track down.
What is the most memorable or most difficult research you’ve done for your writing?
Research is also one of those tricky things, where if you try to add too many fun facts or details into a book, you can lose your readers in the details. The readers either get lost and can no longer follow the plot well, or they feel like they are being taught something and they can’t enjoy the read. However, if you don’t include enough facts, the book won’t ring true.
Have you ever run into this–either in your reading or writing? How do you know when enough is enough when it comes to the details?