The Value of Primary Sources (Part 2)

So, continuing the discussion of how primary sources can feed our stories … I forgot to mention that spelling and punctuation were not standardized until sometime in the nineteenth century. This can be very jarring for those of us trained to be picky about these things! Just keep in mind as you write that misspellings [...]

The Value of Primary Sources (Part 1)

Story research can be intimidating, thrilling, exhausting. When it comes to writing historical rather than contemporary, it’s doubly so. You must consider dress, transportation, location, accessories and weaponry. Then there are manners, customs, modes of speech … and a sometimes-overlooked aspect of writing the past: mindsets and attitudes. People in different time periods often thought [...]

The Name Game

I’m in the research and rough draft stage of a new novel. This phase led to planning a genealogy for the male character in the novel. Names are important. They are especially important when writing a time specific book. Would you name a futuristic alien Joe? A Biblical setting would evoke certain names. Contemporary names [...]

Writing Lesson 3.24 – The Curse of the Thirty-Pound Sword

You see it all the time in stories … the hero has a sword so awesomely big (hey, he got those muscles somewhere, didn’t he?) that the heroine can barely lift it. I even wrote one such sword into my own story … “If you are Lady of this kingdom, then I would be your [...]

Writing Lesson 2.8 – Where Motivation Lurks

What if you’ve got a time to write and a great story idea, but still the words won’t flow? Here are several ideas for jogging the story loose.