Just to set the record straight—most of you probably know what romance is, and if you don’t know anything about finance, you’re in trouble— but pissants sounds so terrible, that even my voice recognition software wants to call it, “puissance.” But it has nothing to do with ants, usually, unless you are at a picnic where they are attending. The word, “pissants” is actually considered vulgar (but when did that ever stop anyone?). Pissants means a person place or thing that is insignificant or of no consequence or… Continue reading →
Category Archives: writing historical fiction
THE PERSONALITY OF THE VILLAIN
No matter what kind of fiction or nonfiction that we write or read, there must be CONFLICT. Without conflict there is little interest. So what creates that conflict? The villain, antagonist, shadow, giant/monster/ogre or whatever kind of “evil” figure can exist, needs to exist, for a STORY to exist. There can even be many different antagonists within a single story. Cinderella and her evil stepmother and stepsisters Yet there must be something that blocks the hero in some way. As a reader, you may not… Continue reading →
HISTORICAL FICTION READING & WRITING: PART DEUX
Why Historical Fiction? How to Write Historical Fiction? Why? BECAUSE: 1. Love 2. Learn 3. Lore 4. Leap 5. Live 1. Love For me, I came to love historical fiction when I was about 12. I introduced myself, I think by accident, to Mary Renault — The Bull the Sea — and their other classics. I fell in love with mythology, historical fiction and probably her and her writing. 2.… Continue reading →
MORE NEW, MORE OLD
I received an email from someone who said that Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai had passed her husband’s “test.” That got me to thinking. In my critique group, we are equally diverse: psychological suspense, science fiction, cozy mysteries, and historical fiction. So how can we critique each other? I think we do it by looking at the pieces, of which you can pick up any book on writing and find a whole bunch, but also by keeping the pieces together as one whole. That… Continue reading →
#4 Historical Fiction — Character, Character, Character
If you’re a reader or a writer, unforgettable characters are what we look for and strive for. Since late Heian Japan (12th century), people have been drawn to the extraordinary Tomoe Gozen, female samurai and wife of Minamoto no Yoshinaka.(above) These past couple of days I have been validated on this CHARACTER point several times: 1. Sunday, December 1, 2013 the New York Times Magazine has an article called, “The Big Picture Strikes Back.” I won’t sum it up for you, I think it’s better… Continue reading →
#3 in Historical Fiction—SIMPLICITY in the history, COMPLICATIONS in the story!
#3 in Historical Fiction—SIMPLICITY in the history, COMPLICATIONS in the story! I usually detest genealogies and long family trees with lots of names I cannot keep track of. I placed the genealogies of the Taira, Minamoto and the Imperial families in the back of my book, because some people need, want, and perhaps like these things. (I’m not one of them, usually. Except when I am trying to learn them to write my story.) I understand about different learning and reading styles, with my graduate… Continue reading →
#2 IN HISTORICAL FICTION—THE STORY!
2. THE STORY What do all of these have in common: Alison Weir, Anne Perry, Ann Woodward, Laura Joh Rowland, Stephen Saylor, Elizabeth Peters, Mary Renault, the early Jean Auel, Philippa Gregory, James Melville and Diana Gabaldon? THE STORY. Amazing plot-driven, character-driven, conflict-driven, history-driven, stories. The STORY is what draws me into historical fiction and the historical background is what keeps me there. IF the history is accurate (See my previous post) i.e. no anachronisms, or egregious errors. I was reading a… Continue reading →
#1 In Historical Fiction—ACCURACY!
There are four characteristics I value in historical fiction. I’ll be talking about each one in the next few posts. 1. Most important for me is ACCURACY. I truly like the facts to be correct. For example, I noticed that Harlequin Romances was advertising for historical romance. Great. I know a little (okay, a lot) about the late Heian period. BUT. But, I am familiar with their standards. The way the romances are supposed to go—is nowhere near the path the romances of the Heian… Continue reading →