right first hello im new on this thread,..... i am writing my first book which is fictional but based on real places but during the forties.i am free this week as the children are home and thought i would travel to london which would not only give the children a day out but also gie me achnce to check out the places in my book and see what is as i imagine would be now a few buildings are there now which are in my book from then ,and i need to see how much they have change.if that makes sence.has anyone else done this sort of research?.........also i havent been writing it for long but isnt it addictive its now my goal to get this published as i feel i owe it to the main people in it does that make sence as they are just figments of my imagination or am i mad lol.
Yeah, I think it's imperative to do that kind of research. I'm not a novelist but there are several in my circle of friends, some of whom have discussed their research methods a little. My best friend did the kind of research that you're describing, but took it a step further. She tried to become her main character by going everywhere the character went: a McDonalds in inner city Queens (NYC), or a Montauk beach in winter. She even took the same job her main characcter had. She really got into the character's head, the way an actor might.
On the other hand, a writer like my ex (& yet another ex, too, come to think of it), is more sedentary about research. He reads. For example, he's doing a scene about a French dinner party right now. Though he's been to many a French dinner party, he decided it was also important to read a book about a French dinner party--which he says he now has to promptly forget so there's no danger of stealing it in some overt way. And because one of his characters is a film-maker, he's been watching & re-watchng loads of films about film-making and photography in order to better understand the mind of a director.
Good luck with your book! It sounds really interesting.