Research--the Bane of my Existence (Frances Louis)

I'm an inquisitive person. I'll be the first at a dinner party to ask you where you're from and what you do for a living. I'll also, should your career or residential location sound interesting or unique, be the first to inquire more on said topic. I like to know the 'whys' and 'how's' of the world around me...but I don't fancy research.
Now wait, I guess that isn't entirely true. I did spend the last week delving into the back stories of the entire British monarchy. How else was I to prepare for the royal nuptials between Wills and Kate? I HAD to know my facts, and by golly, I wanted to know who was who and if I got the scoop on all their dirty scandals--even better.
But when it comes to writing and researching...blech. As a writer of historical novels, the whole yucky feeling that encompasses the actual 'work' part of the writing doesn't bode well for me. Research, no matter how much I dislike or loathe its role in my novels, is essential to my writing. A Regency novel simply isn't the same if I lack proper description of the setting, wardrobe, meals,and of all the nitty gritty details that make up that particular era in time. I mean, whoever heard a Marquis whisper the words, "Dag nab it?" or a lady of the ton wear 'overalls'? The simplest detail is crucial in creating a believable world that allows you, dear reader, into the work I have so carefully created.
Perhaps the biggest reason I dislike researching is because I so often have to interrupt my true passion to do it! There is nothing more frustrating than being in the writing mode and having to stop to make certain that what I'm writing is: a.) viable b.) possible and c.)factual. This is especially annoying when the research takes longer to complete than originally planned. Alas, research is a natural and normal part of the writing process, and I trudge forward with a smile on my face knowing that every minute I spend verifying the truth, is a minute in knowing that this author delivers a story that is historically accurate--at least to the best of her abilities...and hopefully, it shows.


Reese Mobley said...

I admire people who are willing to tackle writing a historical. It's not an easy task so you really have to love it. From what I've read, you have a wonderful grasp of the time period and I wish you continued success.

Melissa Robbins said...

With regard to research, I don't let it bog me down. If I'm writing something and I think, "Oh, is that a Blenheim or a Hinkel?" I don't stop my writing to look that up. I jot down my question on another piece of paper and keep writing. I highlight my manuscript with the highlighting tool usually in green so I know I have to research later. Sometimes I find myself with several questions at the end of my writing time. I can look them up all together.