Rockin’ the research!
Research is a wonderful thing. My entire fascination with Eleanor of Aquitaine comes from research for Boadicea’s Legacy. One line about Eleanor dressed as an Amazon with her ladies, defying convention, sparked an entire series – The Queen’s Guard. Who were the woman closest to the queen? Why were they trusted?
That is how her ‘guard’ was created, although at first I called them the ladies in her garden, and each one has a flower code name. I switched to Guard and kept the flower names…
Researching food gave me the idea for my non fiction book I’m planning for a Medieval Cookbook. I want to showcase a fabulously disgusting medieval dish, such as jellied boar’s head in clam sauce, and then actually make something similar that is edible <g>
Research can also be a gigantic time suck. I want to read all the tidbits and tangents but that means that I am spending hours/days/weeks browsing instead of writing. Some of this is necessary for the process, and I can justify it, lol, but the book will not write itself no matter how well I’ve researched it. In the series that I am doing now, I try to be as correct as possible but I am not writing it in French, as they would have spoken, and especially not MEDIEVAL French, lol. I take creative license and let the reader know in the author’s note. I love the author’s notes in other writer’s books too. It’s where they confess their secrets, or explain small details that are ‘extra’ 🙂
As much time as I put into my historicals, the same effort is needed to create a brand new world, or to fact check my contemporary YAs. I love the internet, but I also like an actual book to dog ear, highlight and tag. I have an Alison Weir book that looks like its been through the ringer! It’s important to double, sometimes triple, check information and to give credit to the place you pulled it from. Amazon will often have used books listed for next to nothing, and I’ve had good luck getting decent quality stuff from them.
Does anybody out there have an amazing tip for research?