Gold Mine Research=Rabbit Trails

ikea book shelf, writers bookshelf

 How much time should you spend on research?

No matter how many books you have, 
the right one isn’t on your shelf
when you need a fact to support your story.

I have the Time-Life The Old West series on my shelf. (The brown ones in the bottom left of the photo.) There are 26 of them filled with stories that intrigue me but don’t have anything to do with what I’m currently writing, except for this one. 

The Miners leather bound Time-Live Old West Seires volume

This volume is The Miners  and it’s filled with rabbit trails. I’m researching for a story set in Colorado in 1860 except it wasn’t called Colorado then, it was Idaho, or Colorado Territory or Jefferson Territory. (Rabbit trail alert! Idaho was called Montana for for a while.) Because of the rumblings of the Civil War, the state and territory naming was halted until 1863. So that leaves me with making a writer’s decision. Do I go with what the reader would be comfortable with or the historian?

 Help me decide by leaving a comment, please.

And if you’re wondering those aren’t matches under the book. That’s a copy of Rob Eagar’s Sell Your Book like Wildfire. Why is it there? Because it’s another rabbit trail I need to follow.

*ROW80 Check in 2000 words written on proposal
met my blogging goal 
met the workout and food tracking goal for the week AND–cleaned my house!

9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I think going with fact is usually the best decision. That way both readers and historians are happy; the only time I'd use creative license with something like that would be if it were alternate history fantasy or something similar, but that doesn't sound like it's the case here. Good work on your word count 🙂

  2. Oh, I love research! I would tend to go with the more historically accurate terminology, although I've gotten some flack for that in my books. 🙂 But a gal must remain true to herself, yes?

    Congratulations on meeting your goals and good luck in the coming week!

  3. Good going on the goals and I'd go with fact – in historical fiction, it's just so important. And i think the reader with respect it more (which is more important than any historian) too. X

    1. Shah, I agree with going with the fact. My problem is the fact could be any of those four choices. So I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do yet. 🙂
      Had to delete the comment I first made thanks to my cat who pushed publish before I was ready!

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