National Novel Writing Month – Day I: Research

As I explained in yesterday’s post, I’m not a novelist. I’m a poet; however, all of my books, two published and one being written, use poetry to form clear narratives. Therefore, I’m indirectly observing National Novel Writing Month to help me delve into my writing efforts, all poetry.

My current project is titled Breath of a Devil: the Untold Story of the Outlaw Jesse James. Thus far, I’ve completed  about fifteen poem, each one adding a link in the chain of this “untold” story of Jesse James. Although my story is fiction, I need to be certain that it clearly and correctly connects with actual history. Although my narrator, Silas Thatch, is a fictional lifelong friend of Jesse James, I need to be certain that what he observes and comments on is actual history. I want me reader to believe that my story could have happened. Better yet, I want my reader to believe in did happen. In order to accomplish these goals, I need to research, research, and research.

TJ Stiles’ Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

Research is a joy when you have time to do it right. Sadly, I rarely have that time to spare. I research when I can. Time, I think, is often a writer’s greatest enemy.

I’m reading, rather scouring, TJ Stiles’ book Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War. It provides me with the who’s and when’s and where’s. I fill in the gaps with my story. I also take to the net to find other sources.  Once I’m certain I’ve a clear picture of what really was, then, and only then, can I write and writing is the fun part.

So, obviously, I need to do some research. specifically, I need to find out more about the bushwhackers Jesse James took up with. I also need to do some reading on Bloody Bill Anderson.

Until tomorrow…

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3 thoughts on “National Novel Writing Month – Day I: Research

  1. Pingback: S. Thomas Summers | National Novel Writing Month – Day II: Some Good Progress

  2. Pingback: S. Thomas Summers | National Novel Writing Month – Day 3: The Time of Day

  3. Pingback: S. Thomas Summers | National Novel Writing Month – Day V: Reward

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