Since I’d decided to write about reincarnation, what prior life would my heroine experience?
The practice of child labor in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries really intrigues me, so that’s what I began researching first. But since my protagonist was going to be a middle-aged woman, I didn’t find a “prior life” that seemed like the right fit. I kept searching.
I also thought it would be fun to write about Dallas, my own city, so I researched what it was like in that era. I discovered The Virginia K. Johnson Home and Training School, a real Dallas institution that was formed in the late nineteenth century. The Home provided housing and occupational training for prostitutes who wanted to leave the sex trade.
Bingo! I found the bones of my story!
Elaine’s prior life would belong to Eliza, a fictionalized reformed prostitute who lived at The Virginia K. Johnson Home and struggled to save more young women who were virtually imprisoned by the prostitution trade.
Here is what I learned:
- Research can be really fun, so don’t “not write” about something just because you aren’t intimately familiar with it.
- Be open-minded. Your research might just steer your story in another direction.
- DO. NOT. QUIT.
More to come…