Writing in Haste…
Haste Makes Waste… an interesting thought for the day, really. Today we’re told that haste makes waste in publishing, so be careful what you write when writing quickly. Isn’t that the truth? And here I am, hastily blogging about that subject.
I’ve recently switched WIPs away from contemporary – which was fun (my promotional short story Tessa Takes a Chance will be available soon from Wild Rose Press – YAY! 🙂 — so, I’m back to re-writing a White Rose Historical – set in the golden era of Hollywood. It was one that was tabled and reviewed by Harlequin ages ago – but never made the final cut due to (looking back on it now) some hasty writing that was long on dialog and short on research and historic detail. *How mortifying to admit to this! but I was young. What can I say?*
What I love about writing historicals – is that you must research a subject, know it, practically live it before you can etch one word – rather than just streaming it all down off the top of your head. Granted, we are living in contemporary times – but I digress.
When researching All or Nothing – I made a home for myself in the reference room at Fort Lowell Museum. Now, I have my favorite online research sites I haunt on a regular basis; there’s nothing like hesitating mid-sentence to wonder: What sort of underclothes would my heroine be wearing? What does her hat look like? Her hair style? how would she voice that particular thought? The deeper I research, the more in tune with her I become, and the better able I am to weave her plights, and share in her victories!
I remember Jude Deveraux once saying that she was always most interested in underclothes and where people went to the bathroom. Think about it. What’s more intimate than that? I’ve also read that with regards to setting – the worst thing a writer can EVER do is to jar their reader out of the universe you are creating. Setting is such an important part of that universe. As is avoidance of all anachronisms.
So, perhaps the internet allows historical writers to conduct our research a little more hastily – however, it also enables us to get the details spot-on as we don’t have to stop writing, get in the car, drive to the library, get sidetracked by the new releases, etc. and so on.
Finally, this begs the question: Where do you, as readers, find yourselves most intrigued when diving into a historical? What gets you flipping pages? What do you want to know about – regardless of the time period you are reading? Do you want to know how they cook? sew? gossip? shop? how much things cost?
Please comment – I’d love to know your thoughts