Friday, March 5, 2021

Storyteller's Journey

The Rewards of Research

One of my favorite things about being an author of children's books is the research that is needed. Whether it's a fiction or non-fiction story, to pen a compelling tale requires research. What I've discovered is that without exception, I've always learned new and unexpected bits of knowledge that not only seasoned my stories, but made the process of researching feel like I was on a treasure hunt.

Another benefit of researching is that I'll inevitably discover an essential tidbit that was absolutely necessary to my story. Sometimes it takes the plot in a totally different direction, and sometimes it confirms an important portion of my story that really needed verification.

Below is a photo by Roger Viollet LAPI Copyright - June 1940.

This is the profile picture for the article: Eighty years after millions fled the German army, revisiting the 'Paris Exodus' by Charlotte Wilkins

This article confirmed the fact that there was an exodus from Paris during WWII; something I'd not been able to previously verify. (Even though I was well aware of children being sent away from London.) It was the exact piece of information I needed to authenticate the premise of my historical fiction novel. (My protagonist had been sent to the countryside of France from Paris when the Nazis invaded that city.)

Needless to say, the day I discovered this article was a wonderful day in the process of crafting my story. (It was surprising to me that it had been so difficult to verify the fact that Parisian children, as well as adults, had departed the city.) There were additional tidbits in this article that were helpful with regard to clothing, transportation, etc.

While a novel is a work of fiction, elements in any story must ring true. To reap the rewards of researching, a writer must have a curious mind.

"Curiosity is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein