As an author, it is our duty to paint a picture for our readers. Getting it right when doing historical fiction sometimes is not an easy task. Most of us never lived in the eighteen hundreds, or the dawn of time. How then are we going to know what is correct when we draw these pictures with words?
In my opinion there is only one way; reading. When I chose to write my books there was only one time period that was proper for me. Being a Victorian Chef I read and collect books from the era.
Leaning heavily on how, and what, words are used. The descriptions that those living in that time used helped me pluck out my own distinct style. Whatever the time period is, do your research first before you start writing.
This does not mean that some expert is not going to call you out on some trifle in your story. It does mean that something that could be a big error can be avoided, making you look like you know all about what you are writing. It also will save you time in editing if you know that carriage from the 1800’s had wood wheels and not mag spokes.
Trying to go back and find that error in a few hundred page manuscript is a time waste that believe me, you don’t have time for. Been there done that. One last thing that I will comment on this part; don’t panic over the trivial. Someone will let you know about it later anyway.
This last point I cannot stress enough. Lean on and learn from fellow artist of the craft. Writing is a solo act most of the time, but when you are having trouble with a certain part of your story talk it out with another writer.