Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Research Books!

New research books arrived in the mail this week. Yay! Can you tell what I'm researching?
Yup, lawless behavior in the wild west. R. Michael Wilson authored these three books, and I'm really enjoying reading them, getting lots of ideas from history to incorporate in new stories.
I love books that are as specific as these are, with names, dates, places, times, weather, etc. Taken from newspaper articles, diaries and letters, legal transcripts, and testimonies, these stories are great for ideas because of their detail. Rather than bare facts and figures, these details bring the characters and the times to life.
I really enjoy reading old newspaper articles from the time I'm trying to portray, because the language used is always so interesting. Journalism of 130 years ago
was flamboyant and descriptive. In the days before commercials, sound bytes, and CNN, the newspapers of the Old West provided information and entertainment.
And they're carrying on that duty still today, because I find them highly informative and entertaining.
How about you? Is there a particular source you enjoy using in your research? Is it Google? Wikipedia? Diaries? Movies? Family stories? Legends?


  1. I used an episode of ER once! That was SUPER fun. :)

  2. I love the real life stories too. I read biographies and in fact have an autobiography in waiting to dig into. And I love the "old" books, ones written at the turn of the century or before. They have so much of the language and story-telling that flames my imagination into a bonfire!

  3. I am a compulsive 'googler' It is the source of all reliable information, right?

  4. You outlaw! LOL Can't wait for the stories you come up with

  5. Research? THAT'S what I've been missing....

  6. Specific. That's the key, and I'm sure you will glean tiny details from your latest research books to bring your stories to life.

    In my current WIP, I purchased THE COLORS OF OKLAHOMA MUSIC (John Wooley) because I have a jazz singer as one of the main characters. I also went to the Oklahoma Jazz Music Hall of Fame, talked to the good folks there and then went back on another day to a concert. I found one of my characters there and snuck a picture of him during the intermission. I also stood w/in range of him and listened to his voice. It was a thrill, and although he's a minor character, it has turned out that he's my favorite in my book.

    I use google a lot, but nothing can replace "in person" research.

    Great topic.

  7. Interesting!

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