Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WIPlash Wednesdays- #Research for #CastawayHearts

In 2007 when I started writing Castaway Hearts, I didn't know a lot about Virginia. Originally I'd intended to set the story in Boston, but something drew me to the Norfolk area and the need to write "near" there, rather than further north along the coast. My story also was originally going to be set more in the mid-to-late 1800's rather than the 1790s, but again, situations and circumstances changed as I began to write the story.

One of the most important pieces of research material I used for Castaway Hearts was the book-

I used Wikipedia to figure out the timeline for corsets and stays, when they were and weren't in "fashion."

To understand the proper name for quilt designs I went here- Quilt Patterns Names

Links for other places I used for research follow-

An Outline of American Literature
The Food Timeline
18th Century History- The City of Norfolk, Va
American History Timeline 1780-2010
Great Inventions
Fire and Light
1780s Decade Timeline
Norfolk Highlights 1584-1881
Virginia Historical Society
Tobacco Timeline: The Seventeen Century
Tobacco Timeline: The Eighteenth Century
Virginia History
Virginia, Timeline of State History

I'm not sure I can honestly pinpoint every detail I learned doing this research or what I've used within the story because a lot of it now seems just common knowledge to me. One of the things that always sticks out most is that I learned matches didn't exist yet and therefore my characters, in the 1790s would have used tinderboxes and spills (tightly wound paper) to light their pipe tobacco. And though most of the information I found in these research resources did not appear, by direct means, in my novel, all the knowledge I gathered helped build the scenery and behaviors of my characters and the time in which they lived.
Currently I'm still working on the same WIP, I'm up to 63,156 words of approximately 80K. I left off at a very pivotal moment in the hero's life that deals with his mother, brothers and their deadbeat father. The stormy weekend and my husband's oral surgery has bumped my writing time to the back burner while I take care of family matters, but I'm hoping to get back to work on it today.

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