Research can be rewarding–and fun. With the Internet, myriad facts are at our fingertips. However, I’ve found that in the early stages of planning a book, a trip to the library or used bookstore can yield great finds in a fraction of the time. Research librarians are a fount of information and love to help writers locate that seemingly elusive detail.
Building a personal research library can prove beneficial, enabling us to have quick access to reference books we’ll refer to frequently. Here are some books any writer of Victorian Era stories would find helpful.
The Essential Handbook of Victorian Entertaining
by Autumn Stephens
The Essential Handbook of Victorian Etiquette
by Thomas E. Hill
Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians
by Marc McCutcheon
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Victoriana: A Comprehensive Guide to the Designs, Customs, and Inventions of the Victorian Era
by Nancy Ruhling & John Cosby Freeman
Victorian Costume for Ladies 1860-1900
by Linda Setnik
I create a timeline as I write, using an actual calendar from the year my story takes place. Having this document will make your copyeditor happy and could save you lots of work. You can get a calendar for the year(s) your story takes place at time and date.com. As a bonus, you’ll also get information on holidays, leap years, and phases of the moon.
Historical events affect our characters lives and can provide plot points and backstory possibilities as well. You can create a timeline showing the historical events that took place during your character’s life at Our Time Lines.com.
Sunrise. . .Sunset
Since rising and setting suns along with moonlit evenings can enhance my stories, I like to know when the sun and moon came and went. You can get a Sun or Moon Rise/Set Table for the year(s) your story takes place at USNO.