Showing posts from July, 2014

End of Part Three

After some crossing out, reshuffling, and changing the ending of part three into the beginning of part four, I am done with part three of my fourth draft of my WIP.

Yessss. *fist pump*

So, as always, full doc stats first:

Full doc:
Words: 73,718
Pages: 263

Part Three stats:
Chapters: 23 to 40, so 17 chapters
Words: 33,994
Pages: 122

First line:
When Mr. Hogwood of Banner's Edge died childless in December of 1799, the villagers' main topic of conversation revolved around the estate's future. 

Last line:

"Mr. Keegan, I'd like to try to write it myself," Pearl replied, straightening her shoulders. "I have things I want to say. Miss Gresham can help me."

30 Books Read

All right, everyone. I just finished Book 30 five seconds ago! Here are books 21 through 30 in my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge of reading 40 books this year.

I'm beginning to wonder now if I'll pass 40 books this year.

21. Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford--5 stars--Historical Fiction/Depression era

22. Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn--4 stars--Regency Historical Romance

23. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker--4 stars--Anthology/Short stories/Literature

24. Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by the Countess of Carnarvon--4 stars--Biography/English history/

25. A Night Like This by Julia Quinn--3 stars--Regency Historical Romance

26. The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn--3 stars--Regency Historical Romance

27. When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian American Identities by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu--4 stars--Non-fiction/Asian Americans/Racial identity--Review

28. Soulless by Gail Carriger--4 stars--Fantasy/Paranormal/Steampunk--Review

29. Frederica by Georg…

Things I've Learned About Writing Historical Fiction

I am a firm believer that writers learn more about writing with every new project. With the ability to apply what you've learned, every time I have a new story idea, I find myself doing things a little differently than last time, all resulting in a better story, better writing, better execution, better revision.

Before I dived into the first incarnation of The Keegans of Banner's Edge---way, way, way back when it was a Regency historical romance--I'd never really attempted to write an historical fiction. I'd had a lot of ideas going that way, but I was intimidated. Could I be that accurate? Could I really recreate a bygone era? Did my ideas need to be historical?

In 2010, for NaNo, I wrote 50,000 words of a Tudors-era story, which I never finished, all because The Pilgrimage of Grace fascinated me. Then I went back to the Keegans, but this time, as historical fiction.

It's probably not a huge surprise that my next idea is also historical fiction. These are just thi…

The Sunshine Blogging Award

Hi guys! The lovely, awesome, and my blogging buddy Krystal Jane at The Narcissistic Rose has bestowed The Sunshine Award upon moi.

Isn't it pretty? It totes fits in with the decor round here.

As part of the Sunshine Award, I have to answer 10 questions about myself, then pass it along. I'm answering the same questions that Krystal answered on her blog.

1. Favorite Color: Purple. I'm happy with all shades of purple and lavender.
2. Favorite Animals: Ooh...bunny rabbits. Cats.
3. Favorite Number: Um, really? I don't know!
4. Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Mugicha, which is a really refreshing Japanese drink of roasted barley tea that's cooled in the fridge. Or mango juice.
5. Favorite Alcoholic Drink: Well, my standard is a rum and coke. I like cranberry and vodka as well, but I get drunk quickly on vodka, so I can't drink too many of those too often. Also, I'm fond of margaritas.
6. Facebook or Twitter: Twitter
7. Passions: Writing, clearly. Reading. Histori…

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I came across Soulless several years ago on Kristin Nelson's blog. I liked the cover, LOVED the blurb, and then forgot about the book because I don't usually--or ever--read fantasy/steampunk/supernatural stuff. And then I decided to give it a shot because I was in the mood for something fun and fantasy.

Boy, this did not disappoint.

This book was a fun ride of a great narrative voice, awesome kickass lead heroine, and a host of quirky but interesting characters. I loved the alternate history of supernaturals being accepted for centuries by Victoria's reign and what their society is like. I loved that the supernaturals had their own societies and turned supernatural due an excess of soul.

The only reasons why I'm giving this 4 instead of 5 stars are:
-Titles. Look, I know most people don't know this stuff, but I do: Lord Conall Maccon, Earl of Woolsey is either Lord Maccon or Lord Woolsey, not both by the British…

The Victorian Era

Compared to the late Georgian era I've been mucking around in for The Keegans of Banner's Edge or the Regency era which I loll around in when I'm reading my preferred time period of historical romance or the Edwardian period of Downton Abbey or Revolutionary America (when watching TURN), I've always been scared of the Victorian era.

Why? A few reasons. First of all, there was this woman, Queen Victoria, after whom the era is named:

Then there are the clothes:

Does that seem like a comfortable dress to you? And then there's the facial hair, the Dickensian plight of the poor, the Industrial Revolution, the repression, the prudishness, the unsmiling photographs, the general stern air of the times, the patriarchal attitude, the colonialism...
In AP History, we read Rudyard Kipling's poem "The White Man's Burden." It makes me shudder. 
So, of course, my next historical story idea takes place in the late Victorian era. I'm thinking the late 1880s/18…

"I Wanna Write a Book, But I Hate Reading."

Like, really? Really?

I've seen more than a few of these types of posts and each time, I scratch my head and feel annoyed.

So you have a great idea, you think, or you have interesting characters and you want to tell a story. That's great! Go ahead and do that!

But please read some books before you think you can write a story. I realize that there are different levels to writing a story---maybe you're writing as a creative outlet or you're writing fanfiction or you're writing a class assignment. Maybe writing is your hobby. I've been in these places; I think every writer has at some point.

But here's the deal: If you ever want your stuff to be taken seriously--or to be published--then you can't come in with the attitude that your fictional story is absolutely brilliant, even though you hate fiction. Or your book is going to be the next Twilight, Hunger Games, or Divergent, even though you hate reading. Or that whatever you write doesn't need to adhe…

IWSG: What Made Me Think I Could This?

This is my first post as a member of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, which two of my blogging and writing group buddies are a part of--Karla Gomez and Randi Lee. The IWSG is organized by Alex J. Cavanaugh and posts every first Wednesday of the month.

What Made Me Think I Could Do This?

To explain, I need to tell you a little about my WIP. At its most basic premise, this is what The Keegans of Banner's Edge is about: Barbados, 1799: Miles loses his wife, decides to return to his native England with his 2 daughters: one white, the other half black. 

I'm elbow-deep in the fourth draft. I've been working on this same dang story for nearly three years; I only took a break during NaNo '13 to write something else because my brain needed a rest. Of course, there are several things that make this project different from past projects:
It's historical fiction. It made sense in my head to at least give an honest try at writing hist. fic. because that's what I love …