As I approach retirement from what I often call my “tentmaking job,” because my real work is actually writing, some folks have asked me what I intend to do. Will I be playing golf every day? Will I go fishing? What about sitting in front of my television set watching old Westerns all day? Nope. None of these. Why? Because I’m going back into writing full-time, something I did for ten years when I was younger. And writing, my friends, though it is my passion…it’s also extremely hard work.
Particularly my genre, historical fiction. It’s easy to slip up on historical details. To my chagrin, I’ve done it. Even the best historical fiction authors have. We must consider so many minute details while weaving our tales! I cannot stress hard enough how important it is for our stories to be accurate.
In the interest of accuracy, I like doing on-site research whenever I can. This means such things as visiting old homes, museums, and other historical spots. One of the first things I plan to do upon my retirement is visit the setting of one of my current Works-in-Progress (WIPs). Sure, I can find photographs of it online, but there’s nothing like onsite research to get a real feel for my story’s setting.
So if your story’s setting is a real place, if possible, make time to visit it Not only will it help make your descriptions more accurate and believable, it’ll also help you write more confidently, knowing that your setting is accurate.
Till next week, friends. Keep on writing.