A recurrence of scope issues today.
Just a little nervous twitch here and there.
Nothing to concern yourself with.
Just move right along…
While I gnaw my bottom lip into a bloody mass of uncertainty!
*plops head down on desk and grunts*
I really, really should be passed this. The Hushing Days is ¾ done. Its storyline has been laid out in LEGO-like scenes for ages now. The characters are rich, full and thriving in my head. This last week of research dealt handily with my last historical concerns.
I should be good.
I should be great.
But what if it’s too big? What if the storyline is too large to fit into one novel, albeit a novel twice the size of my standard book? What if I’ve thrown everything in there but the kitchen sink in hopes of making that first big splash into mainstream fiction? What if the story does nothing more than sink and take me down with it?
*deep breath, deep breath*
Ok, I feel better now.
It’s all out of my system.
Everything is good.
Carry on with your day.
*slowly taps the end of the proverbial writer’s pencil on lips*
*sighs as the quandary continues to nag and flitter about at the edges of my literary soul*
*ducks a bright yellow, stuffed duck that the dog/irritated muse has tossed at my head; the admonition to “Get the duck on with it!” implied but not actually voiced*
So, my problem is this… How much historical credit should a historical romance writer give her readers?
My next novel The Hushing Days, as you may well remember, is set during the American Revolution. While the war is familiar to well over 90% of my hoped-for audience, just how cozy should I assume they are with the subject?
Personally, before I drowned myself in research the last year, I could tell you little more than Rebels vs. Redcoats rumbling around 1776. (My days of grade school American history have long since faded, I’m afraid.)
So, now that I know LOTS and LOTS and LOTS about the Revolutionary War, how much of that should I throw at my readers? How much should I assume they already know? How much do I keep to myself?
If you’re looking for an answer, don’t look here. I’m as ignorant as that bright yellow, stuffed duck now plopped down on my lap.
Hence the pencil-tapping.
Hence the rather luckluster and altogether untidy ending to this blog.
Hence another sigh.
Toasting marshmallows on thin ice.
Yep, that would be me and mine hunched over the little bonfire on wintry Lake Woebegone.
Stupid, stubborn and always hungry for more.
This last week of research for the homestretch of my mammoth Revolutionary War drama The Hushing Days, I’ve certainly been tempting fate. Being the historical nut I am, every fresh sentence of fact I stumble across begs me to restructure the whole novel around the newly discovered mouthful.
I should really stop.
I should put down the stick, the marshmallow and douse the darn fire before the ground really starts to crackle and pop.
Will I, though?
Because I’m stupid, stubborn and still hungry for truth in fiction.
Geez, I’m such a ridiculous sort.
My big red chair is here! (See yesterday’s blog for all the juicy details.)
This is the be all and end all of my world today, so please pardon the bliss… and the lack of a real post today.
Sunday, me, my muse and my big red chair will return.
Savor the anticipation, people.
This Memorial Day Weekend, my muse and I are trading out our office for a study.
*patiently waits a beat as heads are scratched, brows are furrowed and eyes are rolled*
Yes, there is a difference.
No, it’s not just a Chloe-thing.
An office, in my mind, is for working. A study is for reading.
Admittedly, when one is a writer, reading and working are often the same things. However the settings are as different as desert and forest, moon and sun, cheeky and grim.
While an office often grates with math, deadlines and cold expectations, a study must hum with comfort, coziness, and timeless security. (Ok, this last might be a Chloe-thing. Feel free to ignore.)
So, today, my beautiful glass desk will be placed under my window where utility and beauty will mix quite nicely.
And, tomorrow, a stunning deep red chair-and-a-half with matching ottoman will be delivered and take up center stage in my loft… and a study will be born!
I am unreasonably excited about this.
*grins like a loon*
Occasionally there are little blips in the historical record. Not so much nowadays when everything is tweeted about before deeds are half-done or words are half-said, but before there were deliciously maddening blind spots in time. (Delicious for the fiction writer; maddening for the historian.)
To my utter glee, I stumbled across just such an undocumented space in my research for The Hushing Days yesterday. And, as luck would have it, the blip spans the exact time and precise subject matter I’m working with.
This is tremendous news.
Why, you may ask?
The answer is quite simple.
I can fib.
Fib it up big time.
Being such a stickler for historical accuracy, I hate (loathe, detest, despise) changing facts to suit my fiction. Now, thanks to this magnificent blip, I don’t have to.
I can lie without restraint.
What devilish fun this will be!
Remember in yesterday’s blog when I compared starting back up on The Hushing Days to a kid standing at the entrance of the world’s best amusement park trying to decide which ride to hop on first?
(If not, don’t worry about it. That about sums the whole thing up without all the extraneous metaphors. *sighs* I do tend to clog things up sometimes. Kind of like now. Sorry. Moving on now.)
Anyhow, instead of heading to the rollercoasters, water rides or even the lazy choo-choo train, the nerd still taking up residence in my soul sent me straight to the technician’s room.
With toolbox full of old, new and possibly useless research in hand, I settled in for some quality time with the one part of the novel requiring the most graphic, historical accuracy.
But a happy geek.
So, bottom line is this. I got no actual writing done yesterday but I did manage a truckload of the all-important framework.
Geek making progress.
Who knows what today will bring in Hushing Days Fun Land!
With the wildlife population in my backyard reduced by 4.3 million this morning (yes, the ants are dead), I can finally turn my attention back to my long abandoned The Hushing Days!
I’m nearly breathless with excitement. (Yes, I really am that pitiful)
My heart is trilling like I was standing inside the entrance gates of a huge, magnificent amusement park with all the rides just waiting for me to climb on.
Should I head straight for the rollercoasters? The ups and downs of a classically tortured romance would be a thrilling way to jump right back into the story.
Or, perhaps, a gentle train ride around the park would be the better way to start things out? A trip around the sloping hills and dales of sceneries and settings could be the perfect way to ease back in to the festivities.
Of course, I have always been a sucker for the water rides. Give me a boat plunging off a thirty-foot waterfall any amusement park day. Getting all wet in the novel’s tragically churning waters is awfully tempting.
Perhaps, I’ll just stop and stare for a moment? Enjoy the moment. Taste the thrill in the air.
Yeah, I think I’ll do just that for one minute more.
“Welcome home, Chloe!”… chortle the 4.3 million ants who have moved into my wee-tiny garden during my far-from-planned sabbatical.
I believe this predicament well explains the lateness of this post and its wee-tiny brevity.
With approximately 2.7 million wee-tiny deaths on my hands as of the 2 o’clock hour, I have about 6 ½ hours of sunlight remaining to slaughter the rest of ant-kind.
Wish me a steady hand.
As I prepare (i.e. look forward to giddily) for the end of my unplanned sabbatical from writing, I am attempting to view this break from my literary career in the most favorable light possible.
*takes a deep, preparatory breath… that crumbles quite pitifully into a frail hiccup-y cough*
Well, that’s the plan anyway. Let’s have a go at this positive crap, shall we?
Late last night in the middle of another sleepless night (no writing = bad Chloe brain), I decided to look at my sabbatical (unplanned, have I mentioned that?) like an airing out of an old house.
Windows and doors open with nobody about, all the accumulated dust and needless clutter of The Hushing Days manuscript has been gently removed by the warm spring wind. With no work being done amid its hallways, no mad carpenters, pesky third-person omniscients or Lisabels or Rosabels running amuck in its rooms, the novel-to-be has had a chance to just breathe and be.
Ah, how refreshing!
How freaking merry.
Well, that’s all over tomorrow. The dog and my bags are packed and we’re moving back in. Ready or not, here Chloe and the muse come!
Until Monday (travel day on Sunday)…