Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hands on Research

They say children learn best if they can touch and handle what they are learning, if they are given real experiences.

That seems to apply to us writers too.

I love writing historical fiction because I love research. (Hey, my first job out of college was a as a research assistant. I got paid to go to the library!)

But the best kind of research is the kind you can't find in books.

Here's a couple of things I did this summer in order to get a better feel for my novel, set in Russia in 1812.

Although it was not possible for me to travel to Russia to see a reenactment, I attended a Civil War reenactment nearby my house, just so I could talk about wartime medicine with some experts.

Tools use for amputations
I conveniently brought my 8 year old son as a foil and asked lots of questions. Their answers changed a quite a few details in my book.

I also have a falcon in my book, so thanks to some advice from Oregon writer, Emily Whitman, I went to my local Audubon society
and met Finnegan:

Finnegan the Peregrine

Asking lots of questions again was key. I took movies with my camera to refer to later.
My kids enjoyed going on a "field trip for Mom."

What has been the most memorable research you have done?

No comments:

Post a Comment