Monday, July 28, 2008

There Was Movement At The Station...

Apologies to Banjo Patterson.

I rewrote chapter three today after a very inspirational visit to the State Library.

I sat for around an hour, in a special reading room, carefully going through notebooks and manuscripts, some around 150 years old. It was awe inspiring stuff. Not "hey-muse-look-at-this-stuff-and-get-the-creative-juices-flowing" type of awe, but simply to be able to touch history, to actually immerse myself in it physically.

I'm a history nut from way back. I love watching documentaries on times past and I love to visit places like museums or National Trust displays. I find it fascinating. To have researched a great deal about a couple of our states pioneers and then to hold their hand written note books in my hand, to see the elegantly flowing ink from the 1800s slanted perfectly across the page. To read the words of a man's memoir (the draft copy no less - including pencilled in changes) was brilliant. When I finally returned the material to the archivist and left the library to find my wife, I couldn't stop talking about it.

In that hour, I had four pages of hand written notes. I've filled in all sorts of blanks I had in my story and my knowledge on the era. In fact I learnt so much that I knew I had to rewrite chapter three immediately because it was wrong. Not completely wrong but it was definitely drifting toward historical blunders.

I'll let the new version sit for a day or two and then reread it to make sure I got it all. It needs to be right to allow me to move onto another point of conflict in chapter four.

All in all, it was a good research day today. Another up on the writing roller coaster.

I hope things are going well with you. Do any of you write historical fiction? Have you got any research tips I should know about? Want to share with the rest of us?

I write this blog as a kind of journal for what I'm doing and the writing process I'm undertaking, particularly my progress through my Diploma. I try to impart any gems of information I find along the way. Do any of you write a blog for similar reasons? I'd be happy to host a link to your blog if you do. Hell, I'd be happy to add it to my feed list if you do, because I want to learn more about all the journeys writers are taking in learning the craft.

Talk to me, let me know.

Good luck with your writing.


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