Researching for Historical Fiction- A personal journey

I’m still a bit in awe of other people’s blogs with 10 tips for …….. and you must remember these key points when you………I’m afraid I find the advice a bit daunting, although extremely useful. If you are not a full time author – do not despair. You will reap your rewards from your diligent planning, thorough research, social media networking on Facebook and Twitter and blogging. It’s just that it might take a little longer.  I hope that my down to earth blog will give encouragement for lesser mortals like myself who are learning along the way.

Researching for Historical Fiction, ‘Riduna’ and Beyond

I will not repeat my previous blog which goes into detail as to how and where I researched for ‘Riduna’ but I do want to explain briefly my journey of discovery on how to research effectively. I wrote Riduna in a bubble. I delved into books and archives, looked up some (but very little) information on the internet, visited museums and libraries but the majority of my research I carried out on my own. (This may have been a reflection of my state of mind at the time, or just inexperience or lack of confidence)

After several months I poured through my notes and using my research and my initial plan side by side, I formed an outline of the story. After less than a year I was writing the novel, but I came to a standstill every now and then when I realised that I had gaps in my knowledge and understanding. I found myself writing different parts of the book, leaving huge chunks waiting for further research, which often involved a trip down to the Southampton area, back to Alderney or over to Guernsey. In fact I wrote my chapters set in Guernsey at the very end (apart from the final chapter which I always leave til last) when I could plan my trip to over there. (see Researching for Riduna  )

On researching for my new novel, whose name I have finally decided upon and I will share with you shortly, my methods have been so different. Alongside all of the above I have more importantly engaged with people, asked questions, referred to them for advice and started up a dialogue which has become a reward in itself, as I have formed new friendships based on mutual respect. The added bonus to this is in opening up of numerous avenues for the promotion and marketing of the novel once it is published. (Keep positive here) Mind you, I will need to give away many more copies as a gift of thanks and my acknowledgements will be lengthy!

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Marketing your novel, Planning a novel, Research, Writing, Writing a novel

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