Research and Rabbit Holes
I have been thinking about research lately. So much so, I almost feel as though I should capitalize and underline the word, as in “I have been thinking about Research lately.”
You see, I am at the stage in revisions for my current romance manuscript where I am looking for places where I need to do more world building or add historical details. Hence my dilemma. How much world building should I do? And how many historical details should I add?
I love reading a book by a good storyteller who can make me feel as though I am learning about a previous time and place while enjoying a great story. One or two authors come to mind who deftly add interesting details I never knew – and never knew I wanted to know.
However. There is a flip side. If the addition of details is not done well by the author, it can become tedious, or almost come across as a lecture. I do not want to be that writer!
Perhaps you can see where I am going with this. How many details should I add? And what types of details should they be? These questions tie back to my opening comment, since above all, I want to be accurate. What is the right type or amount of research I should do to get the right type or amount of details? It is all too easy to dive down a rabbit hole while researching something which, while interesting, is not germane to my story.
Last night and this morning were a good example. I wanted to know what breed of horse might be pulling a heavy wagon on an English road in my Georgian historical romance. So while I was at the bookstore last night, I cruised the bargain aisles for books about horses. I found two, so then had to decide which one to get. This morning, I spent time paging through the chosen book looking for a likely horse breed – only to decide later that it wasn’t necessary to be that specific. So while it gave me a chance to look at beautiful photos of horses, it wasn’t very productive in the end.
Perhaps I will toss the question out to you, my readers, for some input. If you were reading a romance which took place in England in the mid-1700s, what historical background or details or descriptions would you like to see included?
What could be that factor that pushed to come up with a research about rabbit? Od course, there must be something that triggered your curiosity that's why you are so interested to do it now. I hope nothing but the best on your research as I know that you are just beginning. There are more problems that will rise along the process that's why you must be tougher! I've experienced that, that's why I know it. I wish nothing but the best on you! Good luck!
7/12/2018 05:29:05 pm
I don't know why they keep referring to missing discoveries as rabbit holes. I think "rabid holes" sound better, whatever that means. I just coined the term today. The unknown can be harmful. In as much as we really need to know some stuff, we need to avoid paths whom no one else has walked on contrary to what every good life coach would suggest. We don't know what is out there. If we will choose this path, we should be prepared to die, just saying. This is because again, we don't know.
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I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.