Aside from finding your perfect time period and creating your perfect plot and characters, research is perhaps the most important rule to writing historical novels.
Because you will never be able to draw your readers into a different time period if you don’t know what you’re talking about!
So how do you know what you’re talking about? Research.
Ah yes, the good old days of school are back! Well, maybe not quite, but I have to say that sometimes you might feel that way. Research will become either your best friend or your worst enemy. While it’s often fun to dive into piles and piles of research (I mean, isn’t your love of history the reason you picked the historical genre?), sometimes the overwhelming pressure of getting it right, or not finding what you are looking for, can be frustrating. Make sure that when you are considering which time period to write in, you are picking an era you are interested in. This will help keep you sane while you’re digging for details.
So what are all the research avenues you can take?
- Non-Fiction books
- Internet search – Websites, Articles, and Photographs
- Museums (extra if you are allowed to talk to a curator)
- Old newspaper clippings you can find from local news outlets or online
- Specialty books
- Traveling to destinations
Be sure to check out the other parts of this series:
Elements to Historical Fiction and Historical Romance
Rules for Historical Fiction and Historical Romance