The Devil’s in the Details

I used to love doing research. In school, I loved assignments that required research. Friends and family know I’m a research fanatic. I’ve researched canine nutrition, electronics, demons, ghosts, various animals, computer security, eco-friendly cleaning products, and of course, agents to name just a few things.

So, when it came time to research architectural styles of homes in the mid 1700’s in order to get facts straight about a house in yet-to-be-started manuscript, I was excited. After all, it wasn’t the first time I’d ever done research on architecture for a book. It’s been nearly a week, and I thought I’d be well past house research by now. I had planned on starting the outline on characters at this point. Instead, I’m still wrapping up a few things on the setting. After hours of research, I’ve had to change when the house in my book was built to reflect how I envision the house. I’ve had to move where the story takes place – an extra twenty-some miles outside the original town.

But, finally, it’s all coming together. The Devil is in the details, or so they say. It’s important that the setting for this book be just right. Now, I just hope the rest of the outline doesn’t give me as much of a problem. I’ve been through enough hair pulling and gnashing of teeth to swear off research for a long, long time.

Well, maybe.

Have you ever wondered what you’d gotten yourself into when doing research for a book?

P.S. This week would have marked Agatha Christie’s 120th birthday. In her honor, I’ve chosen one of her quotes for my Quote of the Moment.

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5 thoughts on “The Devil’s in the Details

  1. Love the AC quote. It’s a good one! I too enjoy research, but then after re-checking and making sure everything fits just right, you find you end up researching something else because something didn’t fit. Yes, it can be fun, but it is also exhausting when everything doesn’t fall into place. I am guilty of researching things to death to make sure I have the correct facts. But, you’re right. It’s necessary and makes your story more plausible. Good blog…this one hit home! Thanks for the insight. I feel the same. 🙂

  2. First of all, I disagree w/Ms. Christie, the best time is in the shower. 🙂

    So far I’ve had fun w/any research I’ve had to do for manuscripts. I haven’t had any period pieces or unusual settings, so I haven’t run into any major problems as of yet. I did have to change one of the settings in my NaNo project last year. I had the girl moving from California to New Mexico because of a dad in the Air Force. I wanted her to be from San Diego, but it turns out there’s not an air base in SD, only Navy & Marine. Go figure. So, I had to move her San Francisco. I could have made up a base, but it wasn’t a huge deal and I’m familiar w/SF, too.

    • Shower, dishes, and for me – 3 in the morning. Ugh!

      Funny you should mention a fictional base. I’m creating a fictional town. Surrounding towns are real, though.

  3. Writing a historical novel is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Research for my work is time consuming but so important and sometimes it can be fun as well. On the other hand…making everything up is a lot of fun too!

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