I am on the last stretch of my major rewrite of Helter-Skelter, after which I can take a month off with a clear conscience to visit my family in UK and Canada. When I return to it at the end of October I shall print the whole thing off, read it, and edit anew.
These final chapters are the ones that entailed the most research, as they are set in France and Belgium in early 1940. There is a dearth of information about the Phoney War in the first months of 1940. In a way this is good because there are fewer details to get wrong, but it also means that I did a lot of guessing.
Now that I want to weave in another thread, I am having to refresh my memory about why I sent Albie to a particular place on that exact date (what a good thing I kept the relevant parts of my research!) and there was an unexpected bonus.
I revisited one of my former research sites and clicked on a hitherto un-noticed soldier's diary of the very place and time I wrote about. He mentioned a real incident I had already imagined two years ago, which proves I managed to get into the mind of my soldier. I can re-flesh the bones of my story knowing that the underlying structure is sound.
The moral of this is - never bin your notes!