Between the Lines: On the Streets of Charleston #research

One of the more challenging aspects of writing historical fiction is attempting to transport myself back in time. How can I experience living on the streets and in the buildings of the past? One way I tried to put myself in an earlier time was to walk the historic streets of Charleston, seeking out the houses and buildings that still exist today that were built in the 18th century. Fortunately, I was able to buy The Revolutionary War Walking History Book by Mary Clark Coy at the Visitors Center. Ms. Coy is not only a fourth-generation Charlestonian but also a licensed city tour guide and former teacher. Her guide proved invaluable to me and my hubby as we walked the streets of Charleston, and then even as I returned home to write my book I could refer to the historical details and the pictures of the historic homes and structures. I also used street view of Google to see the streets and houses from the comfort of my own home. All in an effort to bring the past to life in my stories.

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By walking on the cobble stone streets, my shoes sliding and toes straining to grip the rounded surface.

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By standing on the battery with the wind in my hair, and the scents of the ocean and rivers combining with the sounds of the gulls and terns flying overhead.

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Peeking down alleys into small fenced in gardens beside two- and three-story homes. Strolling past the Rainbow Row of houses along Bay Street. Hearing the sound of footsteps on the wooden floors of historic homes and churches.

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We even took a carriage ride so I could describe the sound of the wheels on the roads, the jostle and bounce of the vehicle, the jangle of harness and clip-clop of hooves. All to bring the past to life for my readers. I’m thinking another trip to Charleston may be in order for the new trilogy I’m currently working on, too. A hardship I’ll gladly endure!

Have you read the A More Perfect Union series set in Charleston in 1782-1783? Could you see and hear and feel the rhythm of the town and environs? I hope so, of course.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks, and happy reading!

 

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