One of the pitfalls of writing historical fiction is that you have to stick to history. (Well, I suppose you could ignore it, but then you'd really just be writing fiction).
I knew the entire history of my first novel before I sat down and started writing. I've been obsessed with Hatshepsut for more than a decade so it was just the nitty-gritty stuff I had to look up. Like...
Did Egyptians have springs? Nope!
Would Hatshepsut write with a pen or brush? Brush!
Were peacocks around during Egypt's New Kingdom? Yeppers! (Introduced by foreigners, but I'll take it!)
And yes, all these little details matter to history
I'm researching as I write Book #3. This woman's story is fascinating, but she kind of sideswiped me from out of no where. I have an outline of her life that I'm following for the plot, but I'm filling in the blanks as I go. So I read a number of secondary sources and finally got the first chapter all shiny and perfect. Yay!
Then I read a primary source about her early life from someone who knew this woman. I had it all wrong. TWO little words completely mucked up my first chapter.
So I had to rewrite it.
*bangs head into keyboard*
I am now working to force the facts into the premise I've based the entire first third of the story on. But I think I've learned my lesson.
Research first, then write!