Being there

My first experience with writing historical fiction was, in a word, fraught.

The research. I knew a lot about the practical aspects of life in my chosen era, but almost nothing about the manners, fashion, slang, currency, economy, politics, or geography of it. All had to be researched. People claim to do a lot of research for fantasy novels? Honey, I’ve written light fantasy/sci-fi, and that ain’t much research. When you write a historical you know you’ll be pounced upon for every minor inconsistency, so if you are vain, as I am, you have a fire under you to minimize them.

The story, as I’ve discussed before, didn’t come easy. Working with a narrator whose mind you can neither intuit nor invent is surprisingly difficult, if you’re used to writing more-or-less modern main characters with attitudes more-or-less like your own. My male lead couldn’t behave the way I like my male leads to behave, either. The two of them together (or should I say three?) couldn’t behave the way I’d like a couple to behave. In short, NO ONE in the book behaved the way I’d have preferred them to behave. The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.

But oh, there is one sweet reward for writing historical fiction … and oh, I got it. You are writing about real places, and if you’re lucky, you get to go to them.

My characters. Their fort. Their quarters. Their store. Their bags, bundles, traps, bolts, firkins, guns, nails, blankets, kettles, and carrots of tobacco. I. Was. There.

sett002

sett009

sett022

sett023

sett033

sett035

sett039

sett041

sett044

sett047

sett056

sett106

Advertisements

One thought on “Being there

  1. This looks so much like Michilimackinac and so many of your photos look like Northern Michigan. Must be the latitude. Good luck with your new novel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s