Novel Research and Fun Facts from 1955

Novel Research

I’ve always enjoyed researching. Growing up, The New Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia was my favorite resource. Any time I’d get interested in a topic, I’d grab the correct book off the shelf, pull out my pad and pen, and start reading and taking notes.

Now, with so much information at our fingertips through computers and the Internet, I can get lost researching anything and everything my heart desires. One of the aspects of writing I love most (besides, of course, the writing itself) is research.

With "The Catalyst" series, I have had to do a lot of research on what life was like in the 1940-1950s, on personality disorders, and on different occupations such as farming, aircraft mechanics, and much more.

Collecting images has been a great way to put myself in a different time and place. Images also have a way of bringing forth questions that don’t immediately come to mind, allowing for better, more detailed research. I use a Pinterest board to keep track of images I find as I research and reference them often during the writing process. Combine images with music, and it feels like I’m right there with my characters.

When doing your novel research, be sure to document everything. Write down every fact, website, article you reference. Use a Pinterest board to keep track of images. Don’t rely on your memory to keep track of this for you. If it’s easily accessible, you will save a lot of time in the long run.

Fun facts from 1955:

Did you know?

Cost of Living:

  • Average cost of a new house was $10,950
  • Average rent was $87
  • Average yearly wages $4130
  • Minimum hourly rate $1
  • Average cost of a new car $1900
  • Average cost of a gallon of gas 23 cents

Popular Culture:

  • The first McDonald’s opened.
  • First riot at an Elvis Presley concert took place.
  • James Dean starred in the movie “East of Eden.”

Popular Music:

  • Elvis Presley
  • Bill Haley and the Comets
  • Chuck Berry
  • Fats Domino
  • The Platters
(Source: ThePeopleHistory.com)

What has been the favorite part of your novel research? What has been the most difficult?