Writing a Fiction BookWrite a fiction book
Letter of historic literature, by Cora Harrison
I Was Jane Austen's Best Boyfriend, Cora Harrison, writer of Debutantes, gives her hints for her work. Begin with images. This is the first of my hints for composing historic literature. Don't begin to write until your spirit is full of past scenery - images of those who eat, fight, dress, dance at the ball, travel across the ocean, travel through the landscape.
As I was composing my second volume about Jane Austen as a teenager, Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend, I stayed in Bath for three full working nights, walked the street, went to the Assembly Rooms - which were renovated as they were in their time - and walked through the Dress and Dress Factory and gazed at the window of a home she was in.
Third tip: Do not post historic fictions unless you like them. I' m writing a great deal of it - about 40 until now - because I've always found it my favorite one. and I drew the women in these tales (very badly), then I trimmed them out and made nice clothes out of papers to hang on my women with little flaps.
Then I built ball-rooms or hills in the hump and depressions of my bedding where they could run the heroes over and save them in mortal peril, or rooms and yards where they could mate with young men, or a London castle where they met the Kings or Queens of the Age.
So, a past romance must come before the tale. In my case it certainly doesn't work to invent a history and then insert the history detail. In my opinion, this kind of book always looks as if the writer is trying to give the readers information instead of immersing them in another time.
Indeed, I believe that you have to like the story and know it well before you begin to compose historic fiction. In the 1920' for my Débutantes I' ve got racks of contemporary literature - Galsworthy, the Mitford Sisters, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Scott Fitzgerald... but again for many folks who watch the film.
Indeed, The Great Gatsby's disc is beautiful for anyone who wants to talk about this period and really fills you with images of the clothing, the settings, the dance and the sounds of the age. As soon as you have the backdrop in your head, you can concentrate on inventing the plot, but you are not done with your research.
Nearly every page you type comes to your head with question. You wrote it in black and white or in black and white? During this period, how did humans wander the city? One of the biggest advantages that contemporary authors have is that you can quickly Google a bunch of them and not stop the stream of your letter to go to a bookstore, or even browse your book shelves.
However, I think it is very important to have the historic backdrop in your head before you begin, otherwise the figures are made of wood - or like my little puppets, only of pap. Historic novelists must come up from their backgrounds and have no backgrounds behind them.
So maybe the best piece of good old wisdom is not to make a historic novel unless you know and enjoy the historic periods in which your history is at work.