What has Vietnam, “The Feminine Mystique,” Vermeer, art looted by the Nazi’s, circus performers, vegetarian lasagna and two rare neurological diseases?
The partial list of things I need to research for my new novel idea.
Research —on the Internet, in the library, visiting locations and interviewing people— helps me ground my completely fictional stories in the realm of the real. I’m often scrambling while I write to verify historical facts, identify places or nail down the tenor of a particular time & place.
This time, I’m experimenting and front loading my research phase. I’ve created a list of all the things I want to know more about before I get rolling on the story. And, although I tend to be a pantser (writing by the seat of my pants as opposed to working from a carefully planned outline) I’m thinking about developing a timeline with both historical events and the major experiences of the principal characters.
I’ve tried outlines before and they’ve never worked well for me. This timeline idea is more about the world outside the characters than their internal and interpersonal dramas. Still, it’s a departure for me and I’m excited about the experiment.
Any thoughts this or advice?
The joke is on me!
During the sliver of time between the evening I drafted this post and today, I started writing — by the seat of my pants and noting what I needed to look up/into along the way. LOL… I’m a pantser even when I try to be systematic! I had to start working on the story. I just couldn’t help myself.