Getting the Details Right

Everyone knows a writer is supposed to do research for each project.  Is your character a fireman?  A policewoman? An arson investigator?  Whatever bits of the real world find their way into your novel better be accurate or someone will call you on it.

But what about the nitty gritty things that apply to everyday life?  How much research do you do on stuff that doesn’t necessarily impact the plot?

I’m particular about every aspect of a book, which is why the materials I’m consulting on a daily basis as I get my new story off the ground include various  calendars of 2013.  Setting doesn’t just apply to descriptions of the physical location and the weather. It also includes things like days of the week, times of sunrise and sunset, phases of the moon, moonrise/set, and upcoming holidays (think decorations).

I have a file with all of those dates, times, and calendars at my fingertips while I’m writing.  I can’t have a full moon in the sky on November 5th, 2013 if the correct moon phase of that day is waxing crescent.

How much attention to those nitty gritty details do you put in your novel? For those of you as obsessive as me, are there any other ordinary facets of daily life that you verify before writing a scene?

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