My favourite things about doing NaNoWriMo is all the cool things I get to research and learn about in the name of fiction. Last year, I found some wonderful resources such as websites documenting historical weather conditions by month/year (from 1900), an archive of photos from Liverpool in the mid-20th century (and earlier) and perhaps most exciting, photos and other information about all the hidden bomb shelters in parks around Leeds, including a large one less than 100m from where we used to live.

I kept a track of the search terms I used in the couple of days last year – and I’ve done the same this year. Both stories are set in the past (last year, 1951-1981, and this year specifically 1851, 1935 and 2010 – I’m on the 1851 bit at the moment) so have involved historical research = lots of fun!

(Searches were on Google or Wikipedia, unless stated otherwise, and do not include chain links followed as a result of the initial search which are, by and large, more useful than the original generic search.)

NaNoWriMo 2011 NaNoWriMo 2012
(day 1)
map – L23
boys names 1940s
traditional children’s games
british bulldog
stoves in air-raid shelters
anderson shelter
dictionary – huff
thesaurus – disavowed
david copperfield
squashed fly biscuits
project guttenberg david copperfield
thesaurus – moratorium
thesaurus – ingenue
summer fashions 1950s
capri pants
urinary tract
apprenticeships 1920s
reserved occupations ww2
silver cross
master craftsman
victorian villa
religious views on masturbation

(much later on)
improvised weapons
Catholic views on contraception
Toxteth riots
CS gas
map – Liverpol 8
map – Cardiff
Welsh valleys
Liverpool halls of residence Greenbank  
Day 1 & 2
Aristocratic surnames
Great Exhibition 1851
The Reverend
Holy orders
becoming a vicar church of england
son of a lord title
earls in england
thesaurus – appointed
map – skipton
19th century receipt
cost of living 1850
calendar 1851
1851 professions
encyclopedia britannica
sir titus salt
roundhay map
formal thank you letter
anglo-saxon place names
river ribble
harrying of the north
wattle and daub
the paper hall bradford
church architecture
rhyming dictionary: skin
rhyming dictionary: plumage
art gallery painting description