Showing posts from August, 2016

It's Saturday. Have an excerpt.


After effectively getting some creative juices re-flowing because, after I bitched and moaned about this latest writing project to my best friend, she broke out into song: "Chapter 18/I hate Chapter 18/That's two thousand words/ I gotta delete," I have decided to re-read said Chapter 18 and figure out why I hate it quite so much. (Upon reading it over, I see that it's actually not so bad. Why is writing so annoying like that sometimes?)

Also, I need to figure out where the heck the pacing went in this section of the novel, because it's taking a bit to get to the frickin' point already.

In the meantime, have an excerpt from about thirty pages ago.

5 Things I Learned About Colonial India

My main character, one Miss Victoria Ponsonby-Courtney, was born in India in 1873. Although my story takes place in England and Victoria was sent to England to live at age six, she carries a few memories of her Indian childhood and they help illustrate her insecurity--in herself and her familial and social position. It's not a huge portion of the story, but it's important to the character and the era.

Queen Victoria wasn't the Empress of India for nothing, after all, and the 1890s, when Victoria lives, was very much a time of the British Empire.

Authenticity vs. Accuracy

Among historical fiction writers, the authenticity vs. accuracy debate is a thing. That is, depending on the kind of historical fiction you're writing, you are going to have to balance historical accuracy, the absolute facts: the year of certain Big Events, the layout of cities and towns in whatever era you are writing, the politics and social conventions of the time, the clothing, attitudes, maybe even language.

I guess I'd say authenticity is integrating all the factual things with the elements of fiction--characters, a plot, atmosphere, dialogue--and making the history work in the context of the story (and with your perspective of the history)--and to make sure all of that is readable and entertaining.

An Interview With Author Emily Steers

Emily Steers and I both went to Emerson College and I remember sharing at least one writing class--there may have been more. Emily just released her first novel, Collecting The Constellations, a mystery-action-adventure story. So naturally, I had to interview her for the blog.

Charlotte Daly is goal-oriented, inquisitive, and tireless— ideal for her role as a researcher at a prestigious museum. She’s celebrated as an up-and-coming talent. She just never expected her greatest find to come from her great aunt’s basement.

It’s dazzlingly unique—a dagger made entirely of blue sapphire, flawless except for a few specks in the handle. To determine its secrets, Charlotte convinces her boss to let her re-trace her aunt’s travels to its source– with the accompaniment of her longtime friend and co-worker, Rory Hobbs.

Charlotte’s clues take her to Kathmandu, where they discover Charlotte’s aunt may not have been the noble adventurer she imagined. Conspicuous wealth, violent attacks, and grand myths…

IWSG: My First Pieces

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a large group of writers--and we post on the first Wednesday of every month. Thanks to August's co-hosts: Tamara Narayan,Tonja Drecker,Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor,Lauren @ Pensuasion,Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders!

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

I started writing when I was 9. I wanted to be a "writer" by the time I was 12. To say that I have a backlog of childhood scribblings is not an understatement.  Cheekily, I started calling it my "Juvenilia" because that's what Jane Austen called her childhood scribblings. 

I mean, none of it's good. Oh, except for a snarky poem that got published in the elementary school magazine; that one was pretty fun. I have some of these pieces in a folder, on yellowing pieces of looseleaf. I have some things from high school and more from college, too. It's the college stuff where I can…

Real Historical Figure Alert

I knew going in to this Victorian project that I wanted my characters to come across a few cameo appearances by real historical figures. They're not just popping in and out of the woodwork for no reason, but the truth is, Victoria, Ursula, and to a lesser extent Beatrice, would and could have met various people, both famous and not famous, of the 1890s because they move in high circles.

None of them are major or even minor characters, but they will be interacting with my fictional characters. I've never written people who actually existed into a historical story of mine before. They only got name-dropped before, you know?

And the first Real Historical Person walked into a scene on page 115.

His name is Prince Victor Duleep Singh, an acquaintance of Victoria's, and in real life, he was the son of Maharaja Duleep Singh of the Punjab. Born and raised in England, Victor was a godson of Queen Victoria's, brother to Sophia Duleep Singh (she who later became a suffragette), c…