Thoughts on Completing My Novel’s Second Draft

Thirty-one chapters rewritten and accounted for

It took an entire year.

In not even counting the two months where I purposely did no writing at all, it took an entire year to write the second draft of my historical fiction novel-in-progress, which amounted to a complete rewrite of my first draft.

It took longer to write than the first draft itself, which I completed in 10 months back in in 2005.

Continue reading

On Writers, Sensitivity, and the Supposed Threat to Free Speech

Last week, I wrote about sensitivity readers.

That is to say, about those who are subject matter experts on different forms of marginalization in society, who writers can recruit to help them bring verisimilitude to the portrayal of marginalized characters in fiction.

The use of sensitivity readers is a growing trend in fiction as more and more stories about marginalized characters are being published – particularly since more and more of these sorts of stories are being written by writers who themselves are not marginalized.

Continue reading

On Writers, Sensitivity, and the Savvy of Modern Readers

Fiction writers have always employed the advice and experiences of subject-matter experts to help bring authenticity to their stories.

Sensitivity readers, as it happens, are subject-matter experts on experiences with different types of marginalization in mainstream society.

Continue reading

My Cheating Writing Heart

good-and-evil-hearts

Usually, it’s writing that I cheat on other activities with.

Many years ago, in a fluke of proprioception I’m largely unable to reproduce with my moods and in other activities, I mastered the skill of daydreaming with a neutral expression on my face.

This revolutionized the way I move through the world, for it enabled me to almost always be working on my writing, even when I’m not literally writing.

Continue reading

The Rest of the Story on Those Seven Honest Women (Medieval Mondays #5d redux)

They're not who you think they are

They’re not who you think they are

It remains to this day the most incredible piece of medieval research I’ve turned up, even if I’ve since learned it’s not completely true.

In previously Medieval Mondays posts, I’ve written at length about medieval marriage.  This in turn led me to write about medieval divorce.

Divorce (technically annulment of the marriage in its strictest sense) was a matter at the sole discretion of the Church, whose preference was almost always to keep marriages together.  As such, the Church generally only granted divorces for six specific reasons.

Continue reading

Filing the Holes in Black History

african-roots

During my undergraduate degree in environmental studies, a particular course in the history department caught my eye.

This course was called History of Africa South of the Sahara.

I first I discovered this course during my first year while thumbing through the course catalogue planning for my upper years.

Ooh, this would be an interesting elective, I thought upon reading the course description:

Continue reading

Replaying Xena: Season 6 – A Backslide, Yet Still Ahead of Its Time

A reporter determined to get the scoop on Xena

A reporter determined to get the scoop on Xena

In time, all good things come to an end.

In a way, I could have said this at the end of the season 5 of Xena Warrior Princess, which itself wasn’t as strong as seasons past, in my opinion.

By season 6, much of what previously made the show great – Xena and Gabrielle wandering Greece and interacting with various gods and mythological figures – fell by the wayside.

Continue reading