The First Book I used to Research my Novel "A White Room"

This is the first book I used to research A White Room. I have a degree in history with  a specialty in women's history, but I had not studied any time enough to possibly write a novel about it.

You have to know facts about everyday life in order to write a historical novel, and once I realized that, I headed to my local library in Churchill County and skimmed the stacks for books on the time period. This one was the first and only title I found that day and it was the beginning of a six-month research spree.

This book in particular is very important because it's focus on home life fueled much of the home scenes in A White Room, like Emeline's chore routine, cooking, laundry, meal times, and the dinner party details.

A lot of people are curious about how much research I did for a historical novel. In addition to the sixth month spree in the beginning, I continued to research as I wrote and edited all the way up until the final copy editing when I double checked facts.

For me research is an extremely important part of my creative process. When I get an idea for a story that's all it is, an idea. I can't build on it from nothing. I have to research the subject, and as I research I get ideas for where the story is going to go. I had no idea that Emeline would become an underground nurse until I started reading about the history of it.

That would be my #1 advice to anyone who asks how to take an idea and turn it into a full fledged story: research. Even if you aren't writing historical fiction research is so important.

If you are following me on Facebook or Twitter, you've heard me talk about my new science fiction novel. After I got the idea, I immediately started researching advanced technology, evolution, and bizarre natural landscapes in addition to the The Quest plotline from which I plan to build my story.


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