Do you recall the old Roburt Burns quote about best laid plans? That was my day yesterday, though not necessarily in a bad way. It all started when I sat down about ten o-clock to write my daily quota. I thought “I’ll just finish up a little bit of research first, before I write.”
When my husband came home in the late afternoon, I was still at it.
You see, when I started my Georgian romance, I did not have a solid historical understanding of the mid-18th century (beyond a general idea of really cool dresses and lovely Robert Adams rooms.) Hence, the long trip down a research rabbit hole yesterday. It all started because my heroine is taking a long trip via carriage, and I was wondering what type of carriage she might have used. This expanded into a “quick” refresher on the various types of carriages in both the 18th and 19th centuries. After that, I wanted a few more examples of the clothing my hero might have worn. (I didn’t have too much trouble narrowing down the heroine’s dress styles, but still needed to pin down his attire.) Well, then I remembered I still needed a good image in my head of what her home and the hero’s home might look like, both inside and out. Do you see why I was still at it when my husband came home?
But I can’t really blame it all on pure research. Part of it has to do with my writing habits. I like to combine pictures of the characters, key locations, etc. into a collage mounted on a large piece of foam board and hung on the wall next to my writing space. Looking at this helps me to get into my story more quickly when I sit down to write. This year, I was thinking how much fun it would be to go a step further and have a doll wearing some of the fabulous outfits my heroine gets to wear, until my practical side pointed out this would take a lot more time or money than it was probably worth. But then a little voice in my head said, “Yes, but what about paper dolls? Wouldn’t it be fun to have one sitting next to your laptop in a long hooped gown? Think of the inspiration!”
So this is why a grown woman found herself looking online for paper dolls yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. Apparently, there are many different paper dolls available for not just different time periods but also movies, etc. (Who knew?) I found several for the Georgian time period, complete with several outfits. If I choose to use these, they will give me great visual inspiration to come up with designs for my heroine’s dresses.
I also found a nice booklet with a Regency paper doll and several outfits, created by Isobel Carr. This is all in one nice free downloadable file. Since I promised to add “something fun” to my website from time-to-time, I included a link to download the doll from her website on my “Fun Stuff” page.
This gives you an idea of the things I will do to set the proper mood or tone when I am writing a story. What are some other ideas?
I write historical romances, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.