My Research Binder


My favorite genre both to read and write is historical fiction and things can get really messy while collecting facts, creating fiction and trying to stay sane. While I was re-writing It Took a War I was constantly looking things up on the internet, writing down paragraphs of info from books, and basically going crazy because I had paper everywhere and I had no idea how to find what I needed anymore. So, I decided it was time to organize.

I divided the information with little tabs labeled with things like, Camp Curtin, Drills, 11th PA, Army Life, and Enlistment/Rally. I scanned and printed pages out of books, printed internet articles, made (somewhat) organized notes, and highlighted certain passages. It's made life a whole lot easier.


I found all the names of the guys who served in Company I, 11th PA. I used some of these names to create characters. For instance, Joe has three good friends in It Took War. One of them is Oliver Willyard. According to this list of names there was a David Willyard, but I liked the name Oliver better for this particular character. The others were Will and Johnny Story. Those were actual names of guys who were in Company I. I have no idea if they were related, but in my book I made them brothers.


It's nice and thick!



How about you? How do you organize your writing? Do you have any tips?


-Emily

8 comments

  1. What an awesome binder! Your book sounds so interesting.

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  2. I have my tons of magazine articles, old and new outlines/notes and an assortment of other things I need to refer back to for inspiration half-organized in a binder. Eventually it'll get more organized according to each book in my series, but for now with the first in the series written, I have time to get it organized. VERY inspired by yours, Em! Can't wait to read It Took a War!

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    1. Oooh you finished Amongst the Roses?!! I can't wait to hear more about it!!

      I'm so glad that my binder inspired you!

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  3. Now that's a good idea. I'll have to try something like that when I start on the novel I'm planning, which should take more research than short stories. :)

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    1. Thanks, Elisabeth! What time period is your new novel? I'm currently reading the Mrs. Meade Mysteries and loving them!! I can't wait to read more of your work!

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    2. I'm trying to decide between two ideas. The one that would require the most research is set in Texas in the early 1870s, with some backstory in the Civil War.

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