It's been a part of my life ever since I can remember as we swam below its cliff's or hunted seaglass on the rocks below. The shale side was once the launch spot for whalers and the last resting spot of The Glendon, a three-masted schooner. In 1896, when in danger of splitting in half during a snowstorm, The Glendon was pulled ashore with ropes shot by guns, by people from Hampton Village. All crew were rescued. Up until recently remainders of the ship could be seen rotting away on shore.
To find the info for just this chapter, I consulted Babelfish to translate French, went to a site to translate a large Roman Numeral into Arabic numbers so I could know the date on an old pamphlet. Read three historic newspapers online, read and printed out about five different sites on this part of New Hampshire and on Prince Edward Island. Printed out a couple of sites on The Glendon, which I already knew about from a book of postcards of Hampton and Hampton Beach. I viewed 30 or 40 images to get the lay of the land since the 1500's when it was first settled, printed out a number of sites on the Port La Joye settlement on Prince Edward Island, one of the first settlements of the French Canadian seamen, and got sidetracked by videos of the Feb. 2010 fire which took out five blocks of oceanside property at Hampton Beach.. I also used about five books I have in my library, one on shipbuilding in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, another one from the shipbuilding museum there which has photos of whaling boats launched from my beach, books on Hampton and Rye Beach and one on New Hampshire.
Whew - that was a lot of work. But well worth the time.
So how do other writers out there conduct their research and what would be the ratio between hours spent on research and hours spent writing? Have you ever kept track of the hours and the resultant word count? How many authors research the histories of their ancestors for their characters and books?
I know Brian K. Ladd in my writers' group puts in probably five times as much research as I do because he goes into all the various linguistic aspects of individual words.
So I'm wondering how other authors view research too. I'd be curious to see how other authors conduct their research and how many hours the figure they spend.