Research for Fantasy Writing

Research can be a dirty word to some writers; while others spend so much time doing it, they forget to do what they first set out to do: write. You would think writing a fantasy novel would require zero research. Well, if that is anyone’s assumption, they would be resoundingly WRONG.

The Goblets Immortal is set in a fantastical world, which resembles a mash-up of a late Medieval and Georgian England. The main thing I had to do research on? Words. You would not believe how many different expressions, phrases, words, and what-have-you I had to check with an etymology website to make certain that they came no later than the end of the Georgian period. For example, the word “chuckle” is safe, having been thrown into the common vernacular around the year 1803. The Georgian period, as you will remember, ended in 1830. Safe! The word “chortle,” however, was coined by Lewis Carroll in The Looking Glass (1871.) Off-limits.

I had to do a bit of research on horses and horse-riding in England. I wanted a saddle to be cut into, but instead of the cinch, the part would most definitely be the girth (different words, same part.)

Another point of concern was food and drink. For this the excellent resource What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank by Krista D. Ball saved my butt. Pasties are an excellent travel food, they’ve been around for a long time, and I’ve made and eaten them before. A win-win! As far as drinks go, water wasn’t always the cleanest, and I didn’t want my characters to be sick all the time (though Flame Tree might argue that point. Hehehe), so some characters drank small beer and wine, while others… Well, there is a way to purify and carry lots of water without breaking a sweat, if you have magic.

Those are just a few things I had to worry about while writing and editing my book. I did my utmost to make this made-up world as believable as possible. I hope you enjoy it!

Keep your nose in a book,


Five months from today, The Goblets Immortal comes out! Pre-order and shoot me an email for rewards (a bookmark, signed bookplate, and a mini replica of the sword that appears in the book): bethovermyer@gmail.com

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