|Virginia City, MT|
I'll be doing a very similar thing in Garnet. I love immersing myself in the aura of my research. I love imagining who lived there, what they did in their daily lives, and wondering about the difficulties they faced. This town, Hidden Draw, is fiction. However, I placed it in a small finger valley that really exists. But I need a town that's less developed than Virginia City, MT. So Garnet here I come.
Today, as you're reading this post, I'm off to a day of historic immersion. My friend is going with me and we're taking a picnic. Why? Because I want to know what it would feel like to have a town picnic. I need to look at similar circumstances to my characters in order to see what they might encounter. The beauty of fall in Montana opens my novel. How much more perfect can it be?
Well, a lot more...my friend plans to play with ideas (yes, play acting), characters, and relational issues my characters will experience with me. She's also a great brain-stormer! Two or three minds are always more able to create the story world than one. And how cool when someone else is willing to play with imaginary friends with you!
We'll be taking two cameras and my iPhone to record our adventure. I'll post them on my blog and likely my Pinterest account as the book builds. Somewhere in my shoulder bag will also be a notebook, pen, and a bit of money to visit the gift shop on the grounds. I'm so hoping to bring back description concepts, potential dialogue ideas, and some unique problems for each of my ladies in the novel.
What else am I doing for research? Going over hundreds of photos previously taken around Montana, reading (as needed) about 1864 Montana Territory, the effects of the Civil War and the Indian Wars during 1864 in Western Montana, and researching more of Swedish family life during that period. I was raised with a lot of Swedish information from my grandma. But she was born in 1904. I need to go back 40 years before her birth to find historically accurate information, though there is a lot more from family writings than I expected. Another issue for me is going to be putting my ladies into the situations and jobs their husbands managed before all the fellows in town managed to get killed off for one reason or another *Can't spoil it now, can I?* So guess who will spend a little bit of time at the local Montana library with stacks of books around her??
Each new book has different needs. But for an author, that's like handing them a favorite piece of candy! I think it's a mandatory element to an author's personality to love research and learning. I know it is mine.
How about you?
Do you like learning? What about?
Would you go on a trip with imaginary friends and play act?