Friday, September 12, 2008

How The West Was Won

Okay - not really. Actually, it's more like "How the West is researched" because that's what I'm about today. Research. On the American Old West.

And I don't have a clue where to start.

See, with the exception of Eden's Pass, my books have all been set in and/or around the Regency era. Plenty of information on that time period. Loads of it. Too much info at times, if you want to know the truth. Eden's Pass originally started out around that same time period as well in its original incarnation. It only moved upon revision, when I decided to rewrite 90% of the book.

But now, I'm a little sick of the Regency, to be honest, and I've had this idea simmering for a story set in the Old West. It's an idea I originally came up with almost 20 years (YIKES!!!) ago and now, I think I have the story worked out to go along with the idea. Now, of course, it hasn't taken me 20 years to figure out the story, but that long to decide the time has come to write it.

And that leaves me a little... lost... because I have no idea where to begin with the research. I mean, I know roughly, but it's a little weird because all of my bookmarks are either Regency, Colonial, or late 17th century related. But my Google-fu is relatively honed, so that's where I begin this journey.

I'm also doing something new - I'm going to attempt to outline the entire story before I write it. But not how I've done in the past. I want to have as much of the story written out as possible, so that by the time the outline's done, I'm thisclose to having a first draft done. I've had such a problem with stories petering out on me by about the fourth or fifth chapter that I think it's time to mix it up and this is the best way I can come up with it.

So, wish me luck - I'm off to Google-fu. Though, if anyone's got a good website or book recommendation... I'm all ears! =)


Mary B said...

Oh boy. I'll be sending you a big list of recommended reading, my dear. This Texas gal happens to have a mother addicted to memoires of cowboys and pioneer women. I especially recommend checking out some smaller Texas Presses like A&M's. The have printings of lots of original source material.

Kim said...

Oooh.... a list would be FANTASTIC because my Google-fu is letting me down! Thanks a mil and I'll be hitting the small presses as well. =)

Mary B said...

Do you have a specific time period or region in mind?

Kim said...

No specific region (the story's going to take place in various southwest settings) but the time period is roughly 1880-1890ish. =)