Devil in the Details

Non-Amish curtains
Non-Amish curtains

When you’re writing and your characters visit another time or culture, just how much research do you do?  And I’m not just talking about what people ate and how they dressed.  Do you get into the artifacts that clutter their lives?  Do you go beyond reading about them and actually look at them, either the artifact itself or a good photograph? 

I thought of this while reading Carol Parenzan Smalley’s blog post titled “Crossroads of old and new.”   She mentions that in the background of one of her photos, you can see the curtains hanging in the window of an Amish home.  The curtains cross the window diagonally like Amish curtains always do. 

Curious, I clicked on the photo to enlarge it.  Sure enough.  

But if I was researching Amish life and read that they hung curtains on their windows, would I get the right picture without seeing them for myself?  Probably not.  As much as I love to research my topics, I’m not sure I use as many visual records as I should.  Hopefully this will inspire me to go deeper.

Thank you Carol!