Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fabricating History or Handcrafting Fiction?

It's one of those days where you're happy you actually got your work done ahead of time. I've been at the hospital with my oldest son Adam since Monday (trading shifts with my husband as we juggle the two other kids, David's work, David's school, and Adam's care). It's cholangitis again (infection of the bile ducts), and writing historical essays is one of the last things on my mind.

But it looks like the post I wrote two weeks ago is now up on English Historical Fiction Authors. Did the early Britons really conquer half of Europe? That's what Geoffrey of Monmouth's would have us believe. Click here if you want to learn more about the historical novelist who lived before that genre was invented.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Past is Another Country: Saturday Links

The past is another country with its own customs and mores. But history isn’t lost to us. Good historical fiction is our passport to that far shore.... Writers hoping to craft convincing historical fiction need their own set of rules to help navigate this unfamiliar landscape and bring it to life for the contemporary reader.
This week Mary Sharratt has an article on Publishers Weekly with five writing tips for historical novelists. What's number one? Research comes before writing. Sharratt says:

I generally research for at least six months before beginning a new novel. But it doesn’t end there. For me, research remains ongoing, in parallel with my writing until I reach the final page proofs—just in case I’ve missed any tiny detail.

And with that said, I'm off to do a little research on the treatment of Jews during the First Crusade--that topic is figuring prominently in the current chapter of my WIP.

Click here if you'd like to read the rest of Mary Sharratt's writing tips. The other four tips are just as excellent as the one I shared, and may give you some food for thought if you're thinking of cooking up a historical novel of your own.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Marooned with Only Three Books

Well, it's finally happened. Somebody's marooned me on a desert island with only three books to read until rescue comes. I chose three that I wouldn't mind reading over and over again: one classic, one contemporary, and one nonfiction.

Stop by Deborah Swift's The Riddle of Writing to see which three books I brought along in my satchel--and if you have an extra spot in your boat, I wouldn't mind hitching a ride home.
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