Posts Tagged ‘research’

In which Carolyn keeps information from her hero

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I redid what I lost last night. Packing in the research and learning some neat stuff. My 1958 guidebook on Aleppo arrived. Lot’s of neat information some of which changed the plot but mostly it’s changing itself as I write and discover my pretend plot was silly. Still a marriage under dire circumstances, but the circumstances are evolving. I killed off my first character yesterday, which I was too depressed to blog about after the big oops of August 20. A day of infamy, I tell you. Anyhow, this poor fellow had a stroke and well, he died,leaving the heroine all alone with another person who does not have her best interests at heart.

Neither does my hero, but he doesn’t know yet just how low he’s going to go. I don’t have the heart to tell him. Besides, he’ll find out eventually.

I have 41.5K words. Need more.

Off to bed. Will try to do better soon, I promise.

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Why Carolyn is Happy Dancing Despite a Word Count of El Zippo

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Why, you ask? I shall tell you.

If you read yesterday’s post, you know I finished the Revision Read Through That Would Not End yesterday. Yay! And today, I was going to buckle down and get going again on the next historical.

But first I had this little problem of a plot that might not be possible: I want my hero and heroine to be in Turkey in the early 1800’s and I want them to get married under dire and dramatic circumstances. My train of thought has been going something like this:

There were lots of Christians in Turkey then so there are surely Christian churches there (yeah some pretty famous ones, I know!) But probably not the Church of England so the usual rules in Regency marriages aren’t going to apply. They can’t go back to England to hit up the Archbishop for a Special License and then go back to Turkey…

That train of thought died shortly thereafter.

So, where can these guys get married pretty much in the dead of night that would be legal enough to cause a problem when they’re back in England later? Is there an Archbishop equivalent in Turkey? But if there is, I still can’t have the hero trotting off to line up the paperwork and then going back — Ok, bad guys, you can start again, I’m back and ready to thwart you! Thanks ever so for waiting.

Yeah, some questions to resolve, eh? Tonight, after I cleared away some stuff that had to get done first, I invoked the awesome powers of Google.
Dun dun da dun!!!!

Here are my Google search phrases:

  • Christianity in Turkey in 1800
  • British Marriages in Turkey in 1800

Da motherlode folks! Because one of the search results was an article about a marriage that took place at the British Consulate in Turkey in 1894. Ohmygod! Of course! They get married at the British Consulate.

So now my train of thought is like this:

Where the hell was the British Consulate in Turkey in the early 19th century? I can move this back to Constantinople if I have to but that would be seriously lame. Was there even a Consulate for sure and do I have to find out who the Consul was?

More awesome powers of Google.
twinkle twinkle twinkle

Here is my Google search phrase:

  • British Consulate in Turkey in 1800

And this lead pretty much directly to a 1911 Encyclopedia about Aleppo, where the British Consulate was reopened in 1800. And get this! There was some fighting going on there. Is that perfect or what? Now, Aleppo is in Syria but who cares, this doesn’t have to happen in Turkey plus it’s described in the 1911 source as Asiatic Turkey. Wikipedia has this to say about Aleppo: The city remained Ottoman until the empire’s collapse, but was occasionally riven with internal feuds as well as attacks of the plague and later cholera from 1823.

Seriously everyone. This could not be more perfect for my story. Internal feuds. Plus plauge AND cholera. Wow.

I am thrilled to bits.

And now going to bed.

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Plus This!

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Here’s something that really frosts me. I’m all for historical accuracy. I believe in doing research etc. But let’s apply some common sense to the matter. As a general statement, the people who preceded us were not fundamentally stupid or lacking in inventiveness. There are implements commonly used today that were commonly used in the past because 1) the implement is obviously both useful and necessary and 2) does not require the discovery or invention of something as yet undiscovered or not-invented yet. Therefore, some common implements can reasonably be assumed to have existed in the past. It’s not worth fussing over whether that’s TRUE when you have plot points that make no sense.

So, take matches. Useful yes. But not necessary. Matches also require an invention, so yeah, this is something you might want to research so your heroine isn’t striking a match in 1805.

Now take something like, oh, say, a rolling pin. Useful? Yes. Necessary? If you wish to make pie crust, yeah. Is an invention or discovery required? No. If you’re trying to make pie crust, rest assured wood or stone have been discovered. A cook is going to stare at a lump of dough and say, wow, I need something to make this really, really thin. I feel confident that even a idiot cook is going to think of something that will have looked remarkably like a rolling pin.

I just found this in draft status in blogger. I remember why I didn’t actually post it, but now that I read it, I’m going to post it anyway. Apply some common sense people. For crying out loud.

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