Gosh, how did writers do research before the Internet? Before Netflix and Prime Video?
Sure, there were libraries, and libraries did (at least in recent history) have videos you could check out… but dang! I’m feeling so lucky to live in this Information Age, in which so much information is available.
Books? Yep, I’m finding oodles of them. I’ve ordered so many, I don’t know when I’ll find time to read them. History books full of details on the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, the civil rights movement in general. Biographies of important figures at the time. Anthologies of popular culture of the time. Fiction books that demonstrate how similar topics have been portrayed by successful novelists of our time. And so many more!
Videos? For sure! Documentaries galore! They’re in my watch lists, and I’m absorbing them daily – some, I’m even planning to watch multiple times to let them really sink in. Movies either made during or about the 1960s are helping me get the “feel” of the times.
I feel like I’m gorging myself on so much information that I may never actually continue writing on the manuscript, but it’s all helping so much. My original plan was to vomit out a first draft and then go back and add the historical details and time-and-place feel in a second draft, but I’m realizing that if I continue much further with my rough draft, I might become too “married” to a subpar storyline and lackluster, unrepresentative characters.
I now know this time spent learning and absorbing upfront will make my novel infinitely better than it would be if I dove in now.
I need more hours in the day!