Writing historicals can require a lot of research. For fun, I thought I’d list a few ways I research.
1. Get books from the library. Thank goodness for search tools and interlibrary loans. I especially like getting books written for children. the information is neatly summarized for me.
2. Museums. Some are better than others. One of the complaints I have is so many museums do not include a date on their displays. I can see something that I think is interesting but without a date, I don’t know if the object was available in the time period I am writing.
3. Maps. These give distances, land marks, etc.
4. talking to experts.
5. Travel. I take hundreds of pictures when I am researching an area. I take pictures of pictures, pictures of pages of a book for reference, pictures of flora, etc.
6. On-line. I’m convinced you can find out anything on the internet if you use the right search terms. How far from point A to point B? When did the railroad reach a certain destination (a little more challenging)? How fast can a horse gallop compared to how fast can a loaded wagon travel? I’ve found copies of journals, old maps and so many helpful things.
What do I do with all the research?
1. I read and make notes. Things like distances, any details about daily living, significant events,
2. I create a map.
3. I create a time line.
It can be time consuming and challenging but once I have a handle on the information it becomes intrinsic to my story,