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Puma
07-03-2006, 05:47 AM
05-02-2006, 09:12 AM JenNipps (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=127)

A conversation with friends IRL brought this up.

What do you take into consideration in your writing and preparations? How much do you consider/research relevant history?

When is the time where you think you have researched enough and begin writing?

I know it's a bit unfair that I post and run instead of giving my answers, but you will get them from me later.

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05-03-2006, 07:36 PM pdr (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=185)

It depends.
Mainstream/contemporary short story writing = Enough thought to have a vague idea of what is the plot then I write. I can do this because these are short stories about a character and the character is already alive and demanding the story! I 'know' the character well.

Historical work. Research research research until I feel comfortable in the place my character lives. Then write. This always means more specific research after the first draft and more writing.

For me to sit and plot and plan and think and worry means I've killed the story or produce a bland overwritten one.

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05-05-2006, 11:35 AM AprilBoo (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=244)

It may be bad form, but I usually fly in blind on the first draft - that part of the process is all about getting the basic story down before the idea runs away from me. I'll use the handy highlight option in Word or write in a different color ink to mark things that I want to go back and verify or flesh out, and then do some research before the second draft.

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05-05-2006, 11:52 AM Julie Worth (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=388)

In writing novels, I'm somewhere in the lazy middle. I research as I go. That way I don't have to learn anything I don't need.

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05-06-2006, 11:13 PM kpmcneil22 (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=7102)

I am only working on my first novel, so this is an inexperienced answer, but I am not sure that I would have finished the first draft of my WIP if I stopped my momentum for even one second to do research. Now that I am turning to the editing, I am planning to research (as little as possible) as I go. I feel like there will always be time to polish in some research during the third or fourth or tenth draft. I am afraid to take any of the fun out of the writing before I have to. :)

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06-13-2006, 10:13 AM JenNipps (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=127)


A conversation with friends IRL brought this up.

What do you take into consideration in your writing and preparations? How much do you consider/research relevant history?

When is the time where you think you have researched enough and begin writing?

I know it's a bit unfair that I post and run instead of giving my answers, but you will get them from me later.

I realize this is technically an old discussion from over in the Mainstream forum, but considering the topic at hand and the fact that with historicals, you have to do some research, I wanted to bring it here, too.

I'm curious. How much is too much? How much do you, personally, do?

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06-13-2006, 04:48 PM BardSkye (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=7421)

For me, if it's to be set in a different time period, I read, watch, listen to everything I can from that period. Once I can wear the era, I start the story.

Same thing for backgrounds. I did a hockey mystery once. For one season poor hubby had to live, eat, watch, and attend hockey games. Once I finished the ms, I lost most of my interest in the game.

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06-13-2006, 05:43 PM Puma (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=7222)

I've got two novels I'm trying to market at the moment and a third through the first draft. First book is unknown genre, possibly mainstream - research amounted to a couple hours. Second book is historical fiction set a little after 1800 - research went on for days and days and infiltrated the writing, proofing, and editing process. Third book is science fiction (but not space type) - and the research is following much the same pattern as the historical fiction. Puma

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06-13-2006, 07:40 PM pdr (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=185)

Maybe...
it's that we have a much more interested readership, and a better educated on the general facts. For me this means we have to be careful about the main facts and happenings as they will know those. It's the little details that matter and you only find those out by actually firing a black powder gun, wearing the clothes, riding a horse side saddle, trying to live for a day without electricity or gas.

The readers know the broad outlines, you give them the smell, touch, taste and general mind set of the time you are writing about. But above all you give them a character they can identify with yet is not a 21stC bod in fancy dress. Tough stuff huh?

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06-14-2006, 04:59 AM stumpfoot (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=6766)

Most of the people I know who read "hardcore" historical fiction love the stories and characters (if well written) but also enjoy learning something they didnt know. Me? the more the better, I read about 75 non fiction books on history every year so I dont mind when someone goes on a bit, but thats my taste.

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06-15-2006, 07:57 PM arrowqueen (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=212)

'...you give them the smell.'

Unfortunately, this is mostly raw sewage!

(Giggles and falls off chair.)

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06-16-2006, 12:35 AM BardSkye (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=7421)

For myself, although I was raised in a large city (Montreal), I've given myself some of the qualifications mentioned above. I can milk a cow by hand, clean out stalls, pluck a chicken. Never had a chance to learn to ride sidesaddle as most of my riding has been bareback. I sew garments by hand and mostly make my own patterns. I know how to judge cooking temperatures in an oven without a working heat gauge (i.e. the terms "slow," "fast" and "very fast" oven that you find sometimes in very old cookbooks). I've made my own bread and churned my own butter, used an outhouse and spent a winter living in an unheated tack room at -40.

Fun to do but it sure makes you appreciate the little things most of us take for granted.

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06-20-2006, 10:47 PM NeuroFizz (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=1846)

I did a significant amount of background research before and during the time I was roughing out the story, but since I am not an overt outliner, that roughing out was just a very vague story arc. As the writing progressed, in the first draft, I found it necessary to dive in and research some subjects that came up. One might think this is a good way to stall a story, but I get energized when I can find a way to put the story in proper temporal context, so the writing picks up with even more steam. A little more research was necessary with the second draft, mostly where comments were made by beta readers. Do save your research files, though. You never know when you may have to, or want to, revisit them.

JenNipps
07-03-2006, 07:02 PM
Puma, thank you for finding these discussions. :)

stumpfoot
07-05-2006, 01:50 PM
I'm sure glad some of this stuff is being found and saved.