Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Research holy grails

Weather is important in books. I'm a firm believer in that. In historical fiction that's not set in a well-known place, the weather often gets overlooked.

The Yellow Flag is set in a place that's not very well known. Most people have never heard of Alexandria, LA. That's part of the reason why I want to write something historical set in my area, so more people will hear about it. I'll even have a real person or two from area history making cameo appearances or being mentioned in passing.

And the weather. It's a forbidden love romance, and the weather can wreak havoc with those stolen moments that the hero and heroine try to grab. I just realized this morning that I have access to day-by-day weather reports for the entire year of 1860. The high temperature for the day, when it rained, how much it rained, and how dusty the roads were after 3 weeks of no rain in the middle of the summer. It's all contained within the ledger of one Robert Cruikshank Hynson. He was a merchant and a banker in Alexandria before buying a plantation to play with in his retirement. He turned into a wonderful farmer, didn't take him long at all to learn how to complain about the weather! Recording the weather was one thing that he was most faithful about from 1854 until 1875, minus a year and a half during the War.

This morning I wrote down that scene that landed in my head yesterday. It wasn't much, only 400-something words, but it was still writing and it felt good!

1 comment :

  1. Congrats on 400 words! And what a research find. You've got me going through my WIP making sure I use the weather to my advantage!