Writers Chat: Historical Fiction Panel



yeah hey everyone welcome back to another episode of writers chat we're so glad you here with us whether you're here alive in the Czech community or whether you're watching the replay and if you're watching the replay we do invite you to join us live every Tuesday morning eleven o'clock Eastern ten o'clock central we love to have you with us I'm Johnny Alexander I'm joined today by my co-host Melissa Stroh and our special guest Joe Massaro we're going to be talking about historical research and how we do that I've written a historical novel and a couple strike on the Bellas Melissa is under contract for a three book series all historical and so we're just going to share a little bit about how we do research and organize it and all that kind of thing so we're going to sort of turn it over to Joe and let her lead the conversation and really happy to have okay let me just say that I am not in any way an expert on research so this was a question that I had a couple of months ago and I was really interested in learning more about it because it's going to be one of the things that I start in September and so I thought if I'm looking at this question a lot of other people were probably looking at it as well so in starting I know that research overall is a huge task it is like daunting to think about oh my gosh I've got a research and so one of the things that I am learning is that I really have to break it down break it down into smaller pieces and please feel free to jump in because you guys are more of the experts but you know I just give you a little example I'm my book that I'm going to be starting it's going to be happening around the time of Versailles with King Louie the 14th the Sun King and one of my main characters is going to be a gardener though I have to look at gardening in that timeframe I have to look at the political atmosphere of that time frame I have to look at the clothing I have to look at the food the manners you know anything that you can possibly think of I have to research and so when I looked at that I was like okay this is a lot it is a lot yes but and one of the things I've learned if your goodness talk about history you want to get it right yes you don't want to be you know just second guessing or you know putting this in and not have it be accurate and you guys have done a lot of research so what would you say are some of the biggest things that you could that could benefit someone who's just starting out because that's for a lot of people that I know are just starting out and so maybe you could help them in that aspect I first undertook to write fiction I was pretty much new at it too so I was starting at completely unknown and I kind of fell back on the things I learned in high school is basic research the papers and things like that and so I started out broad I kind of hundred you know what what periods I wanted to set my books in what I and would go with a general history of that that location I kind of started with application first eventually settled on Ireland and I wanted to know what period would fit my story is there a story that I was converting to historical in this instance but you know some people they just have an idea and I started out and I had that with other books but in that instance I read had a story but needed to convert it and I wanted to put it in a period and so I did a broad research of Ireland's history mineral and until it comes to a period that just kind of spoke to me just shut up yes this is the one that I need and then I began to narrow in and I found books that would pertain to that specific period itself and I often times you relied on the bibliographies of those basic books as I stuck it out I'd go to the the back and see him decided or if they quoted somebody often enough I'd make a note of that and I'd go look into their information you just kind of begin to narrow down from there also with everything online now you a lot of people will start with basics there we look for your general your websites then cover those histories and nothing and then just kind of narrow down for their references but you do want to be careful online like a lot of people will rely on Wikipedia things like that it might be good for your basics started it's not reliable at all so yeah you know you go there and you a narrow down as well melissa is right you do have to be careful what you find here and some of the entries are much more cited than others you know because you'll see all the little footnotes and you can go down and you can see where they got the information so you can back into that too which is a really good thing to do is just you know but the Wikipedia is good for giving an overview or at least giving you some general information and then like I said you can go to the original source or it can lead you to other places it's where you know that information is going to be accurate so that's it yeah that's a that's a really good good place the start I guess but just don't rely on it like Melissa said yeah you know to answer just question to you just getting what's something important I think being organized and and I won't say that I was always well organized with with research and sometimes that creates issues you know you've got to find a way to to keep everything together and to keep it straight and since we had a guest on not too long ago we do have a writer side episode on Evernote yeah we I think we all downloaded it that very day and I have been since then creating notebooks in Evernote and putting links in and so at least it's on the same there it's all in the same place I can go back and find it again yeah I still agree that Evernote episode was wonderful and I think that's the really the key because one of the things I had asked Melissa who was very kind in answering some of these things was you know what do you do with all of the information that you get because if it's not organized how do you go back and find it and so that was a great one one of the things that in researching as I was looking at some things they were talking about using sometimes documentaries on PBS if you have art issues or anything like that you can both you know look at museums you could use old newspapers photos catalogs anything even an online course if you're if you're focused on art history you know maybe you could do an online course on it so there's lots of avenues oh you can't hear me very well sorry Thank You Rhonda whoever it was who just said they couldn't hear ya story yeah okay hopefully you can alright I'm getting closer to the mic thank you problem let me know I'll get my earphones so let me just look at this so we talked about organizing it so what do you you so you have this huge volume of information how do what do you do to say you know and you may not be able to answer this question this would be pertinent maybe to push my story forward maybe develop the character enhance the story and so how do you if you feel like this is not going to help my story you just set it aside or what do you look at in order to develop your story in your research that's that's kind of like you answer that in kind of a round about way when I wrote where treasure hides it was actually the second world war two story I wrote and many of you know this the first one's not yet been published and I'm kind of working on it again now so I knew there were certain things I knew I wanted to have in the story that historical events so I knew my hero was going to be captured at Dunkirk I so I do he's gonna be a den Kirk I knew he was going to be a POWs from then on for a while I knew I wanted him to end up in Colditz castle which was like the impenetrable you can't escape from though people did powa in Germany I knew that yes that I know I forget but there were certain things you know that I knew I needed to have happen so I got a piece of white like butcher paper and I put post-it notes with with these dates on it and kind of separated and that hero story is intertwined with the first book I wrote so I did have like certain thing it's from in it – like where where that hero would be at certain times and what he was doing in the other book even though it was only part of this book there started to be that gap for him so um I guess gosh now I sort of forgot who I was going with all this but I think it helped me focus then on even though I didn't have like like mid points or turning points so much I did I had stuff to write towards and it helped me know where I needed to go the bombing of Rotterdam was going to be one of those things so by knowing some of the historical events it helped me focus on what was going on in those at those times and then I could sort of put aside other things do you when you let's say for me I research about gardens yeah if you feel like this is you've got this you really want to get it down would you at that point in time feel that you could something at that point fine and about the in the in your story and then go back to it later on or do you do all of your research first oh no okay there will be certain topics where I get enough information ahead of time that I'll start doing other things that research as I go I'm what you call a panther explain it okay so app answer is a person who writes by the seat of their pants they're kind of all over the place poetic and they don't like to be cornered in with too much order when it comes to the creative processes but not every Panther is really a full-blown clone pancer they do have some order they go by and I'm I call myself a hybrid so what when it comes to research I'm ultra organized I create what I have called a working timeline and I do it in a Word document cuz I'm a little old-fashioned that way and so I create searchable headings of every date and I put in actual dates that I found along the way and I just compile as I go and I also put character fictional dates and things in as well all chronologically and I just separate these with little asterisks I can even at some point if somebody wants I can even screen share and show it to you so you can kind of see what it looks like but um so then when you go in to search if you need to find something quick it's there and I do that with my research – I have documents with searchable headings and subheadings and yeah I can just go click and find whatever information I need just by opening up the document and searching it and I've always done it that way I didn't know you could do searchable headings I Rondon is probably run to Dragon here his taught us a couple times on Microsoft Word so we do have episodes on that T and she may have taught us how to do that but I do okay it's actually really easy and I could even I could show that even in the speech if you wanted that you know just a question that oh sorry just a question that I thought of you know all these different all these different classes and everything all these different programs that we're talking about is there an easy way on the website to find those or do you have to scroll down to go through every one or so like a list of once if you want to you know let's say oh I'm interested in this and I can just find a list it probably depends on the topic I'm you know I I don't know and maybe I'm not understanding your question either if I wanted to learn more about the Evernote one do I have to scroll through it once again keep everything in order to find it probably yeah a couple of things you could do is just go to the YouTube channel and make sure you you have the the writers chat YouTube channel which is under serious writer and they're all there and that might be an easy way to scroll through otherwise they're also on our Facebook page the writers chat Facebook page and in the writers chat group there that would be harder to search through because there's also a lot of other stuff in the group that I think on the page we pretty much keep just the episodes on it so that would be a good place to go we yeah we do not have a good list it wants to take on that time we welcome it if you go to my web step sorry I can't talk today my website emminster calm you can actually go to the search and type in Evernote and it will bring up that writers chat replay post and then you can take you straight to the video when you click on the link your website all Olo caps em and stroke calm and I'll put it in the chat listening to the replay in in an ST ROH calm yeah use the search engine because yes I forgotten Melissa does a great job of keeping the information on her website too so thank you yeah thanks for that because I wanted people to know because we're talking about all these different ones to actually access all of this information is there something that you feel as a researcher that you would want to tell us that's important or even the little things I think sometimes the little things are so important that we do the surprises that you can find when you do research that can work with your story and I have it a really good example of that to you in that first world war 2 manuscript I needed my characters to go to Plymouth Sound which is or to Plymouth in England that was like the I'm sorry thing was in Portsmouth that's where they took off for d-day and they were coming back and as the soldiers were coming back that needed medical attention so my character was gonna work in the hospital but the story was kind of like you know I wasn't sure where I was going from there so I started doing research around about Portsmouth England just trying to find some you know what it was what would have been like what it looks like that kind of thing and discovered that's really cool and I'll try and get this really brief it was it was really cool that Plymouth sound is not too far from before and if you look out to this into the water into the ocean there are these rocks and it wasn't with lighthouses and that lighthouse has been built when lighthouse has been rebuilt like three times well the first or second time it was built way back like the seventeen eighteen hundreds it was made out of English oak which is very resilient and very she thought they would have this great lighthouse but the foundation I mean this is so super at the foundation of that cave was we because of the storm and the wind and all that well I mean that's a great metaphor right I mean right there you've got this strong English oak lighthouse but the foundation is weak and so eventually the lighthouse needed to be done away with and now it's a monument to those who built it and it's actually on on land not out in the island and they had to move people I have another rock that was stronger out there and I mean I was able to use that bin as as a spiritual thread in my story as a symbol in my story that I would never have known if I hadn't just been looking around for Portsmouth you know so you know that was so unplanned and yet it adapts to that story that would not have been there so you just never know what you're gonna find just by looking so look and that was in the middle writing I mean I'm you know that wasn't like planned ahead of time or anything that was that was just there so there's lots of surprises when you're researching yeah you can use that yeah and the key advice that people always give to is research like you need to know everything but don't put everything in the story information overload dear readers yeah and we like to do that because we it's exciting right staff and it's actually a problem in that first novel I have stuff in there just because I want people to know and you have to you have to cut it so yeah it's hard striking the balance too because you know you need to have so much to really set the scene and put people in this story but you can't gotta find that fine line and further back you go the harder it is I think yeah yeah I just want to put this plug in for Joanie because did I say Joanie I run the always sisterhood book club yes and you're gonna be with us on in February excuse me September yeah they're gonna be doing where treasure hides so I'm really excited to I have your book I haven't started it yet but very excited that you're going to be with us so if you're listening to this we are on zoom and you can join us off there's information on our Facebook page and we'll put it in the writers chequered see I'm really excited to do that and you will see when you read where treasure rides that whole light house thing kind of pops up in there – yeah I don't know if this is too general of a question but how do you if you're writing and there's a faith you incorporate faith into your book you know are you like making it very plain is it like more low-key you know where it builds up or how do you actually do that or have you experienced that at all yeah like you know what I'm saying listen how you apply the like a theme of faith that should I do or the actual faith of the period which may be the face of the period I would say maybe yeah well and for us as Christian writers you know you're trying to figure out how to put your your fake in there and sometimes your faith and the faith of your period doesn't quite line up or it's a little different I I incorporate it in a unique way in my book because in Ireland of course during the 10th century it was predominantly Catholic and conforming to the ideas of the Holy Roman Church which was represented by Byzantium at that time so the the Holy Roman Empire then split and Byzantium was the head of Ora tea and the church was basically dictating what all the civilized world needed to believe about Christianity and Ireland was one of the more rebellious members and that it held to a lot of ideals that weren't completely aligned but they were slowly coming into it and so they were in that essence a little more relaxed in their take on faith and in some ways closer to what the scripture actually had and so I would dig in and find the little nuggets the things that were the truth and I would kind of bring him to light while still alluding to the traditions of the faith and the things that they believed and I would just kind of put things in here and therebut and then there was there was still a bit of a pagan element as well there was I don't address it as much in these books but there was still Druidism being practiced in Ireland and because Vikings were established there still those who held to the faith in their Odin and their gods and so yes yes but not not quite as fancy as you think it was kind of just like a natural part of life for them it wasn't that part of it wasn't the same and so you kind of get a feel for not only their faith but also the level of devotion that each one had to it and where they were crossing lines or where they were accepting others and actually because Ireland was becoming so profusely Christian most of the Scandinavians who came in and lived there adopted Christianity quite quickly so you see a kind of transitional period where it was fading out and turning towards Christianity more so yeah I think it is important to stay true to your historical era and and I guess just thinking I would and she alluded to this to just really careful not just with faith but with any thoughts let's say or philosophies or you know just be careful about not giving those characters our sensibilities in putting you know imposing 21st century's pods and into character lived in the you know 1900s over the eighteen hundreds or seventeen hundreds or whatever you've got to be very careful about but then I think it's really a it it can be really difficult when you're trying to write a strong female heroine because we want her to be strong and of course during those things a lot of women had pressures that we face today but even then you know you've got to remember that she's still operating within that framework and within that time period and can't me too modern yeah I got a really good example of that in my story though a lot of people hail Irish and Viking history is more more uh I guess what's the word I'm looking for the women were allowed to be a little more outgoing and and forceful and stuff and then they weren't the hilum is having so many rights the Middle Ages they did but not to be extended some people like to tell it to like for instance a woman she had some rights especially since but was always serving the male head so for instance a woman still had to her marriage arranged by her male caretakers so she had father or a brother it was over her grandfather even they arranged a marriage she wasn't he could agree if she didn't like it or not and she could worse was big in Ireland too so they could separate at their time is their definition of an area variable but she was still in one regard to the male head and so I had portray one who was characteristically strong period and in all the ways that they counted a woman's strong but they'll adhered to the tenants of her time today yeah yeah maybe you could talk a little bit about as well of a language at the time that you're writing and how there's a difference between you know in today's world yeah and that that also brings up another fun fact you know we will as Christians will sometimes try to instill incorporate Scripture and you know a lot of people think okay old medieval will go with King right and didn't existed that I had to go to the Latin Vulgate and that's that's fun to go back and realize there are older versions that you know and we're in Ireland that's kind of a fun fact – because Ireland was noted for preserving a lot of the Scriptures so on copies of Scripture at that time while we're being destroyed but that was one of them was the Latin Vulgate and most all the written scripture that exists in Ireland were in Latin and they were translating them to the Irish language at the time but yeah anybody who was educated during that period in the monastic community or in the elite spoke native language and Latin and so that would fit there and so you go and you look at the translation try to look at old story tales the scripture and accounts that they have in the period and you just kind of you'll take the I guess you could say the flavor of the language maybe some of the written fit and incorporated it to give it a little feel but you try to avoid a really technical stuff that you know would confuse people Latin Vulgate German I guess it would be Jerome's Latin Vulgate there actually is a free copy online that you can go in that is that's really cool and that is a really good point to make sure you sometimes see I think you know when you talk about language if you read books that were written in that time period like that were contemporary that time period because we can't do that when we're going as far back as melissa is but you know if you want you might be able to pick up on some expressions is that have kind of been lost to us don't you watch I'm going to be again that were made during that like 1940s movies made about 1940s people you can sort of give give you know what they're wearing what they're doing their hobbies and so forth and then you know you just have to watch out for the little things that can mess you up like I remember writing about an IV bag in the 1940s and and Jamie was actually Jamie has a background in nursing that you know they would have been glass bottles well it never even occurred to me I mean so the course of these teeny tiny details that you have to be thoughtful of so it's like oh I'm so glad she read that you it and then things like ballpoint pens you know he got it was ballpoint pen and did this excuse me but when did ballpoint ballpoint pens become a thing you know they didn't always have them right remember I had to look that up to make sure it was accurate that that's what my character could do and I don't think it was I'm yeah Abby's a fountain pen instead so sometimes these just you know trip the up to but you've got you know you need to have people reading and you need to critique partners and all of that because maybe they don't know something you don't you know yeah definitely and that's where it's fun to try to find people who are experts in the field another thing that I did in my research despite that get in contact with people who knew something about the period to so as I've been along I've learned about different professors who specialized in those areas and I actually contacted several via email and got some responses really helpful historic groups specialize in those areas that are also really nice to contact with and they they're passionate about those things too so you'll often find friends there other authors who who write in periods are that they're close to you or not exact and found information along the way helpful or can point you to people that they might know a bit about what you're doing yeah those are really a to win points because it was suggested to me as well that there's so many professors that you might be able to contact and historical societies I mean to so many avenues that we may not even think about that could open up the door to even other people like you're saying authors are wonderful by the way I think authors work so well with each other and there's a great resource that we don't always think about so obviously research does not happen you know in a few weeks there's not minds over a period of years well people might get scared they hear how long I've been at it I'm not your typical example so I have been researching that's uh that's not the typical a lot of people who've done historical fiction a couple years maybe that's you but I'm I was a trial and error writer but that actually reminded me where you talk about just going back into the the reference of other authors as a source that actually is where you can find those gold nuggets to those wonderful things definitely don't forsake those authors the one through a group a historical group and LinkedIn I found other people who wrote historical fiction and there was one gentleman I met who lived over in Salisbury England and he had moved to the actual location in Ireland with my stories with him and so automatically we had this connection and we talked and I had just had randomly thrown up an example of dialogue that I had wrote because we were getting into a discussion about dialogue and he gently and kindly corrected me on my example that I set out and told me the Irish don't use yes and no what totally revolutionized everything for me so that I had to go through and really sit there yes and no were responding and the positive affirmative or the negative and so every time I can yes or no responses or I which is me an Irish Scottish I had to rephrase that I do do this or I don't do that or I don't care for that and it really changed not only the culture it became something separate from that I knew and it brought more life to my stories this one authors experience in the culture that's fascinating what do you think Johnny well such a cool example and I was going to go back to Rhonda's comment where she was tries to put a little bit of dialogue in her book that immediately lets the reader know they're in a different time for example for example is she wrote it not or not and of course that's not something that we would say so right away we know we're somewhere so that can just give give that kind of kind of flavor yeah definitely I understand that I'm starting my first children's book and it's Winston Winston Churchill and I realized that how he speaks is going to be different from you know the other people in the children's book and so I and I realize I have to do some research there I have a very good friend who is from England so I'm going to hit her up and have her help me on that but those are the kind of things that we're talking about that you really have to think about when you're writing yeah and into you like non-native speakers and so in in the novel that I'm going back to have an American hero heroine American heroine in a German hero and they're all in England and of course speaking English but you know putting a few little German words in his dialogue you know just a separate him and to remind readers that he's he's English as one language you know you can do those kinds of little things too you know yeah and when you incorporate multiple cultures in your book student that helps as well like in my second book I incorporate a character who's half Irish half Dane and so he's languages oh I'll often just in because he's lapsed into one of the other with certain people but I will kind of spice it with a few words here in there that are Old Norse and and they're playing in context though they don't use the person thank you the simple yeah that kind of sort of thing but they can get context in like they're in the character's head so all the are there any questions that people are asking right now or any information that would be helpful to people listening several medicine wanting to see outlines okay let me see been a while since I've done the share Dori said that she's in the wrong confession writing takes so long and she she's always in a hurry but you know you've got to do a lot of before contemporary there is research that has to be done and even though there has you again you know what clothes are they wearing what well these are they eating what you know yeah I think with contemporary to and maybe quite as much research not nearly as much a research bit but you still have there's still things you're gonna look up and figure out yeah I have oh go ahead well let me see this real quick good I have a dear friend he was so good to me because she will take my female heroine my heroines and I'll tell her a little bit about personalities and she makes closets for me and then I can go through and pick out the outfits I want this those girls to be wearing it for different events and it just helps me not have to do myself and it's really cool okay turning it back to Alyssa this is great okay so here's just a timeline that I created and you see I've got the headings and stuff they see my hidden where the opened up you'll see it it's an outline form basically you have your headings and subheadings and they're instead of like that that all comes from this fun little wheel up here so so if I wanted to create a new heading let's see let's say I want to do ad 9:15 so then I would go in and I would type it I can't type today and then I would highlight it and go up here and she was kidding and automatically there it is and you'll see up top little snake hitting title thing no heading so I was like heading one heading two sediments a little bit and then you can go and you can change the font to whatever you want up in your ribbon as well so it's a real simple process there's not not anything technical and so if I have a certain year my first books are say 962 then I'll go and I'll find the United successful them there I am all the events that happened in that time period I mark off fictional characters with asterisks fictional and he's got the little asterisk I don't know I think I do I have to stop there to show any documents or do I just I'm not quite sure how that works I'm sure either I think if you just get out of this one you should be able to open in anything else on your thing yeah I think that's how we do okay and then here's my research compliments and it's a similar see on the side I start out with contents in there but that's not a link that's all in the side then you go and find your your specific let's say I want to learn about social customs and the heavy plows used time period ago and I'll learn about the tools that they would use and find all the information in it or if I wanted to find my information on sports that they play like hurling was really big in Ireland so then I can go to my sports subheading on curling and let's see here I even have images of curly balls and you know what is really great about this is and I'm not sure how much Melissa's doing this but when she does letters when she did the blog her website she's got all this material issues and shares of her blog site is becoming a resource for other people writing in the same genre right yes yeah you know Rhonda actually even mentioned it before with the copying and pasting some sources online too and that I actually use that you can corporate it in you know one want to make sure you change your formatting or is gonna make your documental wonky but yeah you can do that and then I cite my sources that I get it from within my document so that I always have those references to when when historical fiction writer I told me that it's important to try to find at least three resources references sorry that agree with one another before you really go with it as you know this all the truth which is difficult for my period but that's true that's true for academia too I mean like when we were writing papers you know masterclasses she had to three sources it was required so yeah that makes sense yes where everyone's wanting you to teach a class on this Melissa so I unless Leslie asked um if I keep all of this on a blog or do I use Scrivener I've heard another author that you should just keep it all in one place but if you are writing in more than one book your way makes more sense I haven't used Scrivener I've thought about using Scrivener it looks neat but it's one more learning curve for me at this point so I use Microsoft Word for a lot of it's like Word documents I have PDFs and I use OneNote one notes my favorite I haven't quite got the gist of Evernote it the sense I have started out in OneNote I'm adjusted to it and I'm also very much about visual inspiration so I love the effect in OneNote that I can create things around images I have boards devoted to my stories and my research and I'll cut and you know copy and paste things from the internet and put them on there and put little sub headings under them and so I categorize things that way to for the visual inspiration as well yeah someone else mentioned when they choose I'm glad you brought it up because that's another wonderful wonderful tool for organizing oh my but yeah I have taken a class of a free class on Scrivener and yeah you can do a lot of organizing it's very similar on it you can even put images and things in it and it looks like a really neat tool one day right now I'm sticking to what I know it's just not my favorite thing that I know other people that just absolutely love it so you know everyone has different things mm-hmm yeah definitely and my blog is a resource to like you said I do put things up on there all of it comes from my research so everything that's on my is also on my computer but yeah it does help to organize it in one way as well another way to back it up that's another thing we should address backup you're absolutely so Evernote kind of lives in the cloud I think when they're just to you mm-hmm not like like Melissa's and I would be emailing that to myself every time I made changes to it I'd be sending an email to to another email box yeah I have multiple sources I do external hard drives jump drives I do online and I do hard copies yeah cover all the bases or as many bases as you do not want to lose that all that research yeah it happened to me way back in the beginning when I didn't know about stuff back in the early 2000s when I was doing it I had an old Dell laptop and that was where everything was except for some things I'd scribble down in notebooks and I got these tomes of Irish history that I had gotten through an interlibrary loan because at the time we didn't have internet access in our house and so I would go up to my in-laws house to get online but I had to do everything by hand or on my computer that wasn't attached to the Internet and the laptop was on its last legs anyway and then one day it just and I had nothing nothing saved all of that research from that one group of books that I got was gone except for a few notebook scribbles tonight was very sad it teaches you hard knocks for the best person I apologize from moving around but my laptop was going to die I didn't realize it so I had to move to another room so I thought I saw some other questions in the chat I don't know it yeah Ian asked about how did you get to the navigate how did you bring up the navigate menu Oh in the word document you just up in the ribbon there's the search or find button up in your top right corner do I need to bring it up to show is that does that make it just to make it and yeah here let me pull up my timeline again here okay so up here you have the find/replace options so here I could close it out that's what you've seen on your document if I want to bring it up again I hit the find and automatically it gives you that but you can just hit your headings and all the math all your headings will show up so you don't actually have to do a specific search but you can you know if you have a specific word and you don't want to go through all of your headings then you can just type it in and find it that way too but yeah that's what I do is I just go to the find up in the top right corner it's really good and someone asked about being afraid I think was Norma just being afraid of getting started I'm not that's probably not exactly how she worded it but and then right under it was knowing when to quit so let's if I think sometimes because you know having to do research for school well can sometimes just be so boring and you don't need a thing you don't like to do research but actually if you're doing research on something you're passionate about something you love it's not longer research it's just fun you know and there may be aspects of it that aren't as fun as other aspects but you know I think when you're when you're wanting to delve into historical x' you have to love that era I mean Willis obviously you can just tell she loves that Scotland of the nine hundred you know and and I yeah so yeah and um yeah sorry and you know and I love World War two I just just love it so it's no longer it's not a chore it's fascinating it's interesting and so I think you just have to find that period that you really love in you know work out that way and when to quit you know yeah that can be really really hard too because you're so interested in and you don't know what you're gonna find this just going to add to your story but sometimes you just have to start writing the story and then those things kind of come hand in hand and when you come to something you don't know you know sometimes you stop and you research and sometimes you just say I've got to come back to that and go on so like like Joe was talking about the gardens of Versailles and I mean they were beautiful if I was writing and did not know the exact name of a flower or even like what season because that's always kind of stumbling to me even again with contemporary what is in bloom where when you know I you know just I just put brackets flowers and go on because that's something I can look up later and it's not gonna affect the whole story if it's something that is deeper than God that may affect events in the story then I'm gonna probably spend some time researching it right there before I go much further so you just have to sort of feel what or you know realize what the purpose of each aspect is if it's just something guide background or for something that's integral to the story but you still won't get all the details right I mean I don't want to have the wrong flower in the wrong state at the wrong time of year growing you know so yeah it's a tough balance too and there is a point where you have to say I I can't know it all I can't get it all in the book and I'm probably gonna get some things wrong and so you you just do the best that you can with what you have and – another thing I was going to address there it's a lot like writing – your research you can become too close to it and so often times I think it's good to have somebody an outside source to look at it and say yeah this is this is too much or what about this I'm not sure about this and people getting that feedback will oftentimes open it up so you like oh I never thought about that before when I was first starting out writing I had referenced a tent a canvas tent in my story and a kind of–the er who also wrote in the sort of fiction pointed up would they have had campus back then I'm like that's a good point okay now I know I need to make this two different material interesting just the little things that we sort of take for granted and things really came into being some words – I mean you know some words are very modern and you have to be very careful about not including those in a time period where those would not have been the words that would have been used yeah lesbians about the best way back up your research harddrive and online links and I think it really just did I just back of that I mean whatever works for you but just make sure you've backed I emailed my manuscripts every day that I have written that I am you know that manuscript to myself so that I know that I've got the last copy but you know but it's also in the cloud now because my stuff does that but yeah whatever whatever works for you you want to make sure you have multiple places where you can get that get it back yeah I am with the everyday stuff before I shut down for the day any document that I've updated I'll copy it to Dropbox so it's automatically saved online and then periodically you know weekly or monthly or whatever the timeframe is that I feel I need to get it in there I'll do backup somehow the other hard sources so I'll do an external hard drive backup I'll do jump drive backups whenever I feel that I need to get those in or I've let too much time lapse in between them so yeah whatever works best for you something that you're comfortable with and you can operate yeah well my goal today was just to get us started on conversation and let the two of you really take off and I think you you know really helped us tremendously I also think that out of this another class taught by you Melissa would be really really helpful so put that in your pocket and see what you guys can work on that for us yeah yeah I I have learned so much and being somebody who is just starting on research one of the things I've realized it and what you have said it so well if you really love what you're doing and want to learn more it's going to be fun and that's how I feel for myself that what I'm gonna be researching is going to be a lot of fun and and Johnny you brought up some things that I hadn't thought about yet is you know what games were being played all kinds of things like that that I have to really look at and research so I appreciate you guys so much I don't know if there's any other questions well I only bring everybody online because we've got about four minutes I mean the time has just sort of flown by so if everybody wants to come on if you have trouble getting on let us know we can can help you with that I do want to say to you if you get a chance to to visit a place like I you know I wrote a novella recently and took takes place in Oak Ridge Tennessee and I was able to go there and of course the town has changed since the 1940s but there's this little Historical Museum run by people who parents moved to Oak Ridge in the fort in the 1940s that's the place where the atomic bomb research was being held the government you know built that town out nothing and you know there was a lot of pictures or just a lot of really cool things and that little museum so you know I can't always do that I mean and of course you know if you're way way back you can't necessarily you're not gonna see it exactly the same but if you you know if you aren't able to travel it can be a really fun thing to do anything less deductible when you're writing it for stories now that is not tax advice talk to your own account that's better generally speaking okay anyone want to add anything I just think was so interesting it was great thanks thank you thanks for to Joe for suggesting it yeah yeah I think this is not I wanted to try – what was that joke I said I think this is part one that there needs to be a part – just another Club Melissa yeah yeah yeah we'll do that I mean definitely because I think that was really helpful I loved seeing her her outline and you know she does that so I will say quickly Johnny I've learned never to assume that I know something lots of things I think I know I go back and I'm like oh for example I recently I typed the word Somalia in my manuscript and then I thought you know him wonder and I looked online it didn't that word did not come into use until two hundred years after my time period you know there's a word etymology and so if you're not you know I just typed in the word Somali a first of all you have to figure out how to spell it then etymology and it was instant I mean that's the beauty of the Internet you get an instant answer to a question like that and oops okay then I have to go back okay what did they call what was a person called who served you know alcoholic beverages in a castle in 16th century you know and if I come with it and guess what it's Butler I said you've got to be kidding and Leslie asked where D where is there the resource you used to find out when the word was used yeah I use the internet and you search using the word etymology ety mala G and there is a website for that too and I think there is isn't it etymology calm and you can do the search for phrases to you know say she drew a line in the sand okay when did that term come into use and you might be surprised when it did or when it didn't so you know I've learned not to just toss off certain expressions without looking it up and it does take more time but in the end I'm confident that I won't have a gotcha you know from some reader and I've read reviews online Amazon reviews online where they just murder somebody if they didn't do their research you know you will get called out on it yeah and some fans are more ardent about that than others if you're right in Regency romances you better know everything about that time period and one more thing about just knowing when the end lots of times you'll fight you'll realize that you're coming across the same information again and again again and when that happens it's probably time for you two to move on that you'll see that as you're reading you're not learning much new because you've already gotten that all in your head so that can be a good time to realize okay you know I'm ready to get this party going the name of the library in Oak Ridge it wasn't a library Rachel it was that oak ridge History Museum I thinks what it's called yeah they were so cool the people there were very very nice so anybody else have anything to say again thank you for bidding this cat if you're watching the replay we thank you too we're always glad to have you do that I'm trying to remember real quickly what we're doing next week next week is the critique that's right yeah Norman take it away baby so next week we're doing a live critique online so either on our Facebook members page upload one page that you want critiqued or feel free to private message me Norma Knowles poor on Facebook and I will be sure to get your paper to the right person the right genre to be critiqued and so we're looking forward to doing doing that next week we think it'll be helpful and talking about good ways to critique and not so good ways to critique so anyway that's next week I did was ask some questions yes it's got a sisterhood book club we are we meet the first Thursday of every month not only do we meet under read a book in advance but we also get to meet the author and so next month I have let's see Michelle Medlock Adams who's going to be with us and I'm very excited about that so our Facebook page is Yahweh's sisterhood book club fw4 Fort Wayne so you can get more information about us on there and then there will be a link so that you can join us on zoom for much when we meet next month and you can be with us in September I think it's September 5th yeah but we're excited about that yeah that's why I appreciate your inviting me that I'm really excited about it to you alright everybody we will see you next week writers chat thanks for joining us by buying

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *