I’ve been lured into the NaNoWriMo Camp. I tried keeping up with writing a novel in July once before but the summer just hit me too hard and there were just too many other things to do other than write. But this year I’m keeping a promise I made by writing a novel for my in-laws and because I want to keep my word in a timely fashion I’m writing in July (instead of the November challenge).
Writing challenges help me to stay focused and I’ve had difficulty focusing with this story. Mostly because there is so much research that has to be done that as I write, I’m taken out of the plot way too often. My method I decided would be to write the story and just RED LETTER places where I need to research and slip it in later.
It’s funny, because when I say research, for those who never wrote a historical novel before, here’s a sample.
I have my main character go inside the Nissen hut (yes I had to find out what kind of hospital there was in Petworth England in 1942, what kind of structure it was made of, the difference between a Nissen hut and a Quonset hut, and its resilience should a bomb fall on one, was there electricity, and so on and so forth). Once she enters the hut she makes a cup of coffee. (The letters she wrote from which this story is based tells of her love for coffee). This sounds like one sentence which should take only a second to write. However, in order to be factual, I have to research the answer to these questions.
- What kind of stove did nurses in WWII use?
- What kind of pots?
- Did she haul the water from a tank outside?
- What sort of shelving were there in the Nissan huts?
- What sort of cups did they use?
- Did they have commodities such as sugar?
- What kind of light did they have? Candles?
As you can see, having to fill in the blanks for almost every sentence slows the writing process down. Especially while researching you come across all sorts of other interesting tidbits!
Anyway, you can guess that there will be a lot of red letters in this story for the first draft.
Where the Yellow Violets Grow is a historical romance that takes place during WWII and is based on the actual letters and life of a nurse in England and a wounded infantryman she cares for.
A note as an author to a reader. Please do not complain about spending a little money on a book that was well researched. I know so many authors that spend a good deal of time writing historical fiction, and its a sad thing when readers want only free books from these authors. I so appreciate the hard work that goes into them!