What do these two random things have to do with each nothing?
Back in July, my husband and I finally saved up enough money to take the boys. I don't like the heat, so there was no way I would plan a trip in Florida during the summertime. Since Christmas is my favorite time of the year and Disney is just plain awesome, I wanted to go during Christmas time. We called a local Disney travel agent and met with her. She suggested going sometime in November because they will still be all decked out for Christmas, but we will miss the majority of the crowds. During November the boys have school, but they do get the whole week off for Thanksgiving. Since my husband works for the school corporation, he would only have to take Monday and Tuesday off to have the whole week off too. So we scheduled our trip to Disneyworld for the week of Thanksgiving. As an added bonus, my birthday just happens to fall on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Score!
Now we know when we were going and where we were going to stay. I had to come up with a doggy sitter for our Golden Retriever and our Beagle. Thank goodness for grandmothers who love dogs! Make sure we had money on the debit card. Make sure the bank knew we were going to be in Orlando, so they would okay our debit card to work. (Something I never knew until the travel agent mentioned it!) Figured out and reserved a hotel an our outside of Disneyworld, so we could sleep before the fun begins. It is a 14 hour drive from our home. Pack our suitcases! Remember the camera with the sharing port for the battery. Laptop with the battery pack. Extra battery for phones and such as we drive down there. Cash for food to eat meals along the way. Snacks in the car. Cooler in the back with some drinks, so we don't have to stop every hour.
Doing all this reminds me of how much planning goes into writing my novel. I might have a great idea, but will it flush out completely into a novel? I have to do research. My latest novel is a spy novel that takes place in World War II in London. I have never been to London, so I have spent a lot of time glancing through hundreds of images of London. Found a house I think my heroine and hero would live in. I found a map of London and have it printed out, so I don't have my characters traveling down the wrong road. I have images of clothing, lists of music, and favorite past times near my writing area. This helps me bring the 1940's to life for my characters and for my readers.
I also have my story plotted out on the door in my office. What needs to happen when. If I reached a certain climax in the story and haven't covered an important part, then my story will fall apart for my readers. I want my writing to flow smoothly.
Just like planning for my Disneyworld trip, planning for my novel takes a lot of time and energy. But both of them will be worth it in the end as my family had a great time in Disneyworld last week, and hopefully, someday, I will have readers who will truly enjoy my historical spy novel.
What do you do when planning a novel? How do you bring your era or setting to life? Share with me some of the resources that you have found that make writing your novel even easier for you.