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Friday, May 09, 2008

First Research Q and A Day

Today is Q and A Day, a day to ask all your research questions, especially those that relate to this week's blog topics.

Do you have any questions about selecting a setting? Or using Terry's ideas for getting information about a potential setting?

How about making use of National Parks and other sites as research aids?

Or about using your home town or another place you know well?

One thing we might discuss is whether it is better to invent a place or to use a real place. We've touched on this just a little this week.

Janet is on a quick trip to England so she can't exactly answer questions about servants but you could ask them and we'll tell her to come back later to answer.

So, how about it? Have any Q's today????



At 11:14 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I tend to create fictional places that are very similar to real places because I worry I'll get something wrong or I may need to change something about the setting to suit my plot better. Does anyone else do this?

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

I changed a park & ride garage in Boulder, but I put something in my acknowledgements saying that if I wanted to change something, I just did it. Let 'em whine.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Mo, I do what you do. Or I take aspects of several different real places and put them together to make a new, fictional one. I did this with my September release, A Firefighter in the Family. My town of Horizon Beach is part Destin, part Pensacola Beach, and part all the little towns in between.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

I bet you had fun researching that one. I love the Florida panhandle beaches!

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

I love your attitude. Maybe we should invent a new word for your outlook on life--esritude. :)

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

I'm using Trish's method for my current three-book series. The fictional town of Carnelian Cove is a combination of all the little cities along California's north coast.

My primary challenge was juggling enough details so that none of my neighbors would be certain exactly which landmark or building I was describing.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

What's the most unusual thing you've had to research while working on a book?

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Janet Mullany said...

hi there, waving from across the Atlantic (I've been in London for the day and it was wonderful. In fact I thnk I may be the only person who could go to London and get a sunburn.).

Mo, I tend to use yur technique of inventing places that are somewhat like real places because it gives me so much more freedom (= laziness). As for the most unusual research, ahem, whether men in the Regency were uncircumcised (and the answer is yes unless they were Jewish).

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

She's here!!! I mean virtually here and notice Janet did not say a WORD about what she is doing in London to get a sunburn!

If I have to use a real place, like Mayfair in London, or Vauxhall Gardens or some specific Regency site, I try to be as true as possible, using specific street names for example. But for country villages and country houses I make them up because someone lived at those places. I do try to base them on a real place, though.

The Vanishing Viscountess was a huge challenge in this way because I took my characters on a real journey through real towns. When they reached their destination, though, I made up the place.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Mo: What's the most unusual thing I've researched for a book?

Ferret legging.

Although Wikipedia is only talking about official competitions when they say the guy can't be drunk. If ever a sport was invented by a drunk in a pub, it was this one.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

Wow, Esri,
I never knew ferret legging existed!


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