Sunday, August 5, 2012

research and rewriting

My first romance, written six years ago, is set on a ranch in 1880's South Dakota and the dangerous docks of St. Louis. Living next door in Minnesota, I am familiar with the South Dakota landscape. I also know about herding cattle and building fences, but I knew nothing about riverboats and little about the chain of Army forts staggered along the Missouri River basin to protect settlers.
I ordered books from the regional library and from I researched period clothing and medicine, Ojibwa cooking and rites of passage, popular dances and provisions in small general stores. I studied banking and real estate sales and when electricity was introduced to St. Louis.
I drew plat maps of my fictional town, Prosperity and layouts of the Hawkins' homestead.
I was going to post two excerpts, one from my first draft, and one that I would quickly polish. Just to compare.
I started but have run out of time.
I am still in love with my hero, but have found that my heroine is too much like me.
And I need to layer in more deep POV, as usual.
I'll work on it some more.


  1. I would love to write a historical romance, but the research is what scares me. Especially because I'm afraid that all the research would require me to write like I do from an outline, and we all know how well that turned out! ;) But I'm totally in awe of those of you who do that research.

  2. I'm with Jennifer on this. I'd love to write a Civil War romance someday...I even have an idea for one...but I want to be sure it's absolutely historically accurate...and that scares me!

    Ana, good luck with your rewriting. It's always interesting to come back to a mss after you've grown as a writer.

  3. I really admire all your research, Ana. I don't think I would have the patience these days, despite the fact that I'm an historian by profession! Or maybe that's the reason, because I would want to ensure that every little detail was accurate, and I fear I would become bogged down in very trivial details. Also, I think one of the hardest things would be to get into the mindset of people in the past.