Sunday, February 28, 2010

Your Novel’s Time Frame: Researching the Big Picture

"To give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian [fiction writers], but the inalienable privilege of any man of parts and culture." Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Anglo-Irish playwright and author, in The Critic as Artist, published in Intentions, 1891.

Need to move into time groove of your novel? Where do you start researching daily life, politics and fashion? Google, Project Gutenberg and JSTOR provide interesting leads. Reading encyclopedia articles, general history texts and children's books with illustrations provide great overviews. Below you’ll find a few online resources to gain a big picture of the time period.

Recapture the year’s nostalgia

What was like ‘back when’? Whathappenedinmybirthyear http://whathappenedinmybirthyear.com/ focuses on American pop-culture, as well as some world and sports history. The information unfolds as if typed by someone, which may be irritating if you’re in a hurry. It also jumps ahead to your teenage years to include some pop culture. I immediately started singing the words to the year’s most popular hit song.

Generate a customized time capsule

Check out top news headlines for the week, the decade’s top songs, books and consumer prices, President, VP and academy award winners. The advanced time capture allows you to select specific headlines, birthdays, songs, TV shows, toys, and books for the selected date. You can edit the information and add your own information to the final page.

Review the time period news stories

HistoryBuff.com focuses primarily on major, and not so major events in American history were reported in newspapers of the time. Time periods cover 1700-1739, 1740-1769, 1770-1799, 1800-1830, 1831-1860, 1861-1865, 1866-1885, 1886-1915, 1900-1915, 1916-1940, 1941-1945, 1946-1965, 1966-1980, 1981-2004.

Looking for a fashion blast from the past?

This website sorts costumes according to historical periods. The history of hairstyles provides an overview of hairstyles from 3000 B.C. to present day. Did you know that women in the 1660’s wore six-inch heals? Check out the history of shoes.

Find holidays and observances for every day of the year

The Daily Almanac provides a fascinating list of trivia, plus a timeline of the world.

Recreate historic recipes

Did you know the Chinese ate ice cream in 3000 BC? From 17,000 BC to 2009, the Food Timeline presents a buffet of fascinating tidbits about food.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unable to give you a heart. so have a reply to push up your post. ........................................