Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Research for Historical Mystery Novel

I’m writing my first historical mystery. I’m in edit mode and reworking my rough draft at the moment. The whole research world for a historical novel is fascinating. Since my novel takes place in June, 1919, I’ve been reading old newspapers at our local library. The daily paper is on microfilm, so I’ve learned to use the machine (with the patient assistance of the librarians). There was also a weekly newspaper at that time that is available in paper form in the archive. I’ve enjoyed reading about national events, local events, advertisements and reports about local people in the newspapers. I’ve used specific references but also a lot of the research entails becoming acquainted with that point in history, the words and phrases used, how people dressed, what they did for entertainment, etc. I’ve also perused a number of old photographs that are in the archives. Although this research could consume all my time, hopefully I’ve achieved a balance of finding what I need without going overboard.

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