Friday, 3 September 2010
I read somewhere - probably in one of the million or so books on writing I seem to have purchased over the years - that in order to write realistic fiction you have to do even more research than you would for non-fiction. Not only do you have to know the facts about the world you are creating, you have to internalize them to such an extent that you can create real people to live in that world.
I don't know how true that is, never having attempted non-fiction, but I would say research is something of a quagmire for me. It's so easy to get absorbed in the details and carried away with immersing yourself in an area of research you can find yourself drifting away from the original point of the exercise. At the moment I'm looking into faded stately homes for my current WIP - it's not a major plank of the book but it helps me visualise the setting for the main part of the story. The upshot is I can spend far too much time trawling through books on the subject. It's not a hardship by any means - I've always loved visiting stately piles and looking at classical architecture - but maybe that's the trouble.
But for all the pictures I can't seem to lay hands on architectural plans for these houses. Any suggestions?