Friday, January 26, 2007


I thought I'd give you an idea of what kind of research goes into a novel.

Take the romance I'm working on now, the second in my career series. It's about a restaurant owner who can't cook. Her present chef left, she needs a new one. Manny, her head waiter, recommends his nephew, but she's indecisive. More . . . Ask Sharon, she read the first three chapters, or my critique partners.

I've researched:
Knighthood, cooking schools and any information pertaining to cooking (foods, pay, etc.), certain illnesses, British foods, phrases, and words. I anticipate also doing research on ballooning--and maybe some other sports, and abuse. My research papers are approximately an inch thick--so far on just this 40 some thousand word manuscript.

Now take my suspense. I researched:
Montana (all kinds of things--animals, flora, weather, special things, etc.), Blackfoot Native Americans, P.I. work, a little archeology, detective information, arrows, garbage bins, and rope traps (took me forever on that one). My research notebook on just this one novel (90,000 works) is about three inches thick.

(The research is not counting the manuscript pages)

Do I overkill on research? Maybe a little. It's work, and I like to have what I need or more. I can keep that handy notebook with me, consult it for information, double check certain items.

What kind of research is coming up for future manuscripts I've planned? Here's a short list: Harleys, The Smokies, RV's, KOA Campgrounds, junk shops, painting, Second World War, more archelogy in depth, spiders, Jack Russell Terriers, Real Estate Realtors, Hobos, trains, fire. Just to name a few.

So, yeah, you don't just sit down and type words. And if you do, you gotta go back and research. Make sure of your facts. Document. Do all you can to make your book interesting and factual. Real. So that my friend in Oklahoma won't say: no way that happened in this state. So the reader in Pennsylvania will agree that yes, that sounds like what we'd do.

Just thought you'd like to see a little bit of what kind of work is involved in writing a novel.

Best to you all for a wonderful weekend, my dear readers.

Cute hints from salvagable goods:

Find a junk store door and use it for a table.

Take an old creamery container (or something else similar), place a piece of glass on top for a small table.

Or need a table in the kitchen? Convert a potting table into a work station.

God bless the friend you sees my needs and reaches out a hand, who lifts me up, who prays for me, and helps me understand. --Amanda Bradley


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