Friday, 23 April 2010

Romance Writing & Research!

Seeing as a few people have posted comments in reference to research etc., not on the research post but on the historical snippet post, I thought it might be a good idea to clarify a few things and obtain the point of view of other writers!

Taking the title "Romance Writing & Research" one is forced to ask is it necessary?

Well, according to Bernard Cornwell, the bestselling author of the "Sharpe" character, yes, research is vital!

I can vouch for Cornwell's honesty in this, for my husband's father was at one time West of England Champion Archer and at present owns the largest private collection of historical Long Bows in the UK.

Bernard Cornwell used Hugh's expertise in his research for a historical novel entailing archery, and wrote a forward for Hugh's History of the Long Bow!


This writer talking on research:
This too, interesting.

Whether your novel is set in the 1890s or 1990s, it is important to know everything you can about the time period and the location. If you use a real place for your setting, or base a fictional town on a real one, you need to know the layout of the area, and detailed information about the people and places found there. If time and money permits, it is best to visit the location. If not, travel guides, street maps and tourist bureaus can be invaluable resources. The Weather Channel can give you information on the climate. Daily newspapers are excellent for getting a feel for the people and their interests, as well as speech patterns, popular names and local events

Read more at Suite101: Researching Your Novel


Karen said...

GORGEOUS picture again - where do you find them??

I love research, and don't think you can beat writing about somewhere you've actually been for authenticity - obviously not possible for historical!

Some of my novel is set in the future, and I defintely haven't been there!

Suzanne Jones said...

Great post. And a very good point about research being important even for a novel set in the 1990s - it's easy to imagine, because you've lived through that time, you know everything about it.

Francine said...

Hi Karen

Does a futuristic novel lend more poetic licence to that of the past, in that certain things considered PC at that time are now shunned upon as utterly a NO NO. The present so wrapped up in what is "Politically Correct" to such an extent that reprints of Enid Blyton etc., are changed to fit with contemporary thinking on the subject of multi culturalism and ethnic differences within society. Is that a good thing, for does it not then in the future give a false sense of life in the 19th century. We know much of the past hs been distorted one way and another with political propaganda and like.

How then will the future shape up in terms of social change and mass migration as vulnerable areas of land are affected by the planet's climate change and differing geographical appearance to what we know as is? More Wars? More Starvation? The mind boggles!

Hi Suzanne,
1990s? Yee gods, I go back a lot further than that. I'm from just before the great "biker era" when Elvis was in his prime and Cliff Richard was Summer Holidaying on a Red DoubleDecker. Oh for the good old days!


Anonymous said...

Goodness Francine

It's occurred to me your choice of Sean Bean for fun movie goes deep.
Hmmm, Bernard Cornwell and the Sharpe series? And again Sean Bean appears on your blog.


Karen said...

My novel's very silly, so in terms of the future scenes I've played more for laughs than anything. (I think I have anyway!)

Francine said...

Hi Karen,

Cynical satire or futuristic comedy chic-lit?

Shall wait in anticipation of getting my puddies on a copy when it comes off the press.