a writer's research process, Author productivity, Chinese weddings 1910, pictures if Chinese weddings in early twentieth century, transporting readers in time and place, transporting readers to the past, writing a novel set in Hong kong, writing about Hong Kong
The current work-in-progress is set in Hong Kong with two timelines, one in 2015, the other in 1912. I’ve included a wedding in the historical timeline – not the actual event, but a photo of the Chinese bride and groom, which my protagonist discovers. And what would that have looked like? An important question when you’re writing historical fiction.
Fortunately, Google did not disappoint.
I found several photos – some with very traditional garb, others more western in style. Ultimately, I chose to create a composite based on two photos – taking the bride’s outfit from one and the groom’s from the other. Then making up the rest.
I like the way this bride’s dress seems to combine Asian and Western styles.
And I thought the groom’s formal attire in this photo would suit my concept for the male character in my story. Both photos came from Pinterest boards.
Here’s an early draft of the brief description included in the manuscript. No doubt it will change 🙂
Patricia looked at the couple standing in front of a folding screen on which a scene of birds and blossoms and distant hills had been painted. Her great-grandmother wore a white dress with a multi-tiered skirt that blended Western and Chinese styling, and a circlet of what looked like pearls in her hair. She sat stiffly upright in a chair next to Li Tao-Kai. Patricia thought he looked handsome in his long cutaway jacket and formal attire, one hand resting on the back of the chair, the other holding a top hat and white gloves.
Research – about an hour. Words = 95. Historical fiction takes a lot of time!
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.