Friday, October 19, 2007

Research

I'm working on the third book in the series. Before I get too far into the process, I've got to make certain that two elements of my story are factual. That will require research on migrant workers and sugar beets production in 1899. I've been told that in the 1930s farmers used a special plow to bring the beets out of the ground, and migrant workers cut off the tops and bottoms as they gathered them from the fields. That tidbit gives me hope that similar procedures existed at the time of my story. One thing I do know--sugar beets, a source of sugar, were grown in the Midwest at the time of my story. I'll also need to make the migrant workers' dialogue sound authentic. The trick is to write a compelling story that doesn't overwhelm the reader with more information than he needs, yet gives enough history to make the story come alive. Contempory novels require research too so writers of all genres do more than put words on the page. But if we're not careful, we can get too caught up in research and never get the book written. As in most things in life, balance is important. I've learned to pray before I sit at the computer, asking God for wisdom and words. He hasn't let me down yet.

Blessings,

Janet

6 comments:

Myra Johnson said...

Boy, do I relate to getting bogged down in historical research! I'm nearing the end of my WIP set in 1929, and I've been caught up in the events leading up to and including the stock market crash. Not that I understand much of it, but it's riveting! You're right, it's a difficult balance keeping everything true to the times without overwhelming the reader with unnecessary facts.

Janet Dean said...

What an interesting time period. I'm sure I'd find your book fascinating, Myra! Do you research as you write or gather as much info as possible before you start the book?

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I like research and all the info I find is so interesting. But ironically, I don't use half of it. It would be way too much. Hope your research goes well. And thank you for stopping by Terry's blog.

Janet Dean said...

Thanks, Jennifer! And thanks for stopping by.

Liz Flaherty said...

Wow, Janet, I just went over to visit Seekerville (yeah, I know--I'm off-topic) and what a cool place that is!

Your blog's great, always interesting to read.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Liz! I love the seekers. They're such fun. And savvy. Thanks for checking us out!