Research! Research!

Interestingly enough, there are times when editing and research save you from a ton of heartache. For example, I was reading over my story and was curious how long it took a man to become a Captain in the Regency era Royal Navy. I had intended for my hero to have purchased a commission. In researching I discovered a fatal flaw–one could not purchase a commission in the Navy. They could do so for the Army, not the Royal Navy. That throws quite the monkey wrench into my plan. It leaves me with a decision: shall my hero become an Army man, or should he work his way through the ranks to become a Captain in the Royal Navy? It seems a small fix doesn’t it? Yet it actually messes up my timeline and reasoning for his joining the Navy.

Basically I am saying, it is good to look up the littlest thing if writing historical. Particularly with Regency era historicals (as the popularity is high, so there are many with the knowledge of smaller facts), the last thing any writer wants is the editor to catch such a glaring error, let alone readers!

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