(Continued from Part 1)
Last week, I wrote about the care I take with word choice in writing
Specifically, the first of three questions that I ask myself in attempting to create a narrative that sounds of a bygone era for historical fiction.
Being a writer of historical fiction has made me even more mindful of word choice.
Specifically, on February 26, 2006, I wrote the following:
Case in point: in my previous post, I argued that physical descriptions of characters of the sort that itemize their hair colour, eye colour, height, and hair style are largely irrelevant to the plot and point of most stories.
It had to do with the physical description of a certain character. Specifically, the fact that, in her mind, I hadn’t provided a physical description at all.
The first half of this book keep growing in revisions, while the second half keeps… not…being revised.
Cut it in half and call it a duology? 😅
— E. K. Thiede (Emily) (@ethiedee) July 10, 2019
(At least the first part of the tweet; it’s pretty hard to create a duology out of a story that’s already been envisioned as a trilogy!)
It was this—the inherent uncertainty of any long gap of time—that convinced me to go to the recent writers’ conference of the Historical Novel Society’s North American chapter, held June 20-23 in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Writers’ conferences are expensive, even more so with the exchange from Canadian dollars for those held in the United States. Still, as a writer of historical fiction, I felt it was important for me to go.
You also have to present a well-constructed setting that captures the culture, customs, details, and ethos of the historical period in question. In this way, histfic genre conventions have as much in common with an honours-level history class as with any other genre of fiction.