Page one, paragraph one – I could see it all in my head. The hero’s arriving, in the middle of the night, in a carriage. Ok, a carriage. The one in my head is pretty generic but, like the cars of today, I know that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ periods. Two wheels? Four? Open? Closed?
Carriage sorted. Hero arrives. Meets heroine. My instinct is to have them shake hands –that all-important first physical contact and all that, but was it ‘the done thing’ back then?
Heroine needs to show hero upstairs to his room but does she light the way with a lamp? Candles?
Google enlightens me that lamps were somewhat smelly and there is more than one type of candle possibility ...
... and I was still only on Page 1.
As I write erotic romance it wasn’t too many pages before my heroine was being undressed. I’d undressed heroines before and it wasn’t too tricky to describe their underwear but what would lie beneath Louisa’s Regency dress was a complete mystery to me. Probably not such a mystery to the hero, but he was no stranger to 1815 undergarments. I was.
I rummaged in Google’s lingerie drawer and found the appropriate bits and pieces for Louisa.
This trip into a time-warp was intriguing and educational. And extremely distracting.
I’m not the world’s fastest writer and definitely don’t need yet another handy excuse to stop writing but my story needs to be historically accurate. I also need to finish it without making half a dozen detours every time I need to check details (research and procrastination aren’t the same thing in different clothes, right?).
In the interest of finishing my story and forcing myself to ‘just write’ with lots of brackets to (check this later).
My brain wants answers and my fingers itch but until this story is finished, I’m pushing through the urge to Google.