Tuesday, October 06, 2015
The blessing and curse of writing a historical is, well, the history part.
Some romances are light on history, but this is fine when history does not play a big role in the story--the plot of which dictates the degree and depth of historical details necessary. When I read a romance I don't want to get bogged down in swarms of fine points meant to add ambiance/realism/richness to the story but could have been scaled back so that it doesn't plod. It's different if these are integral parts of the story. And of course a straight historical is different--the history is the story.
That said, I like enough history in a romance to firmly ground me in the time and place. I need to trust that the writer has given me a world that could have been real.
Now for my own tale of joy and woe: joy because I love doing research (but maybe too much at times); woe because my epic/saga requires lots of rummaging around to give me an overall view of the time as well as some pertinent details as they relate to the characters. I have a large cast, so do need a fair amount of these details, some which I will only mention in passing, some which will never make it to the page.
I'm writing about a place I don't live in, a time I may be familiar with from other work I've done, but not how it affects this particular place. This is a large undertaking, but I look forward to the task.
And it keeps me out of trouble.