“Historical” Voice: Are We Letting it Go?

I’m writing my historical YA in first person, present tense. I made a conscious choice to do this, way back when, because I am not fond of the dense, slow voice and pacing that can  be one of the markers of historical fiction. I hoped present tense might let me get to more immediacy in […]

Research: Facts AND Feelings

As I work on my historical YA, I’m finding that the longer I do research for it, the more specific I start feeling that research needs to be. It’s relatively easy, I think, to find books and other information about the general history of a place or era. It’s trickier–at least for me–to find the […]

Historical Fiction: The History Part

I think I’ve told the story here of how I started writing historical fiction. I was reading a nonfiction book about the 1913 Suffrage March in Washington, D.C. I read a scene about the march and knew, instantly, that I wanted to write a hero who was part of that scene. Of course, that turned […]

YA Historical Fiction Challenge: Flashbacks in Jacqueline Davies’ LOST (One Spoiler)

I have a thing about flashbacks. Actually, I have a thing about not liking them. Usually. In most cases. I blogged a bit here about making sure they have a function, that they aren’t simply a fallback safety-net when we can’t figure out a better way to weave stuff in. As a reader, though, I […]

The YA Historical Fiction Challenge–I’m In!

Last week, Joyce Moyer Hostetter at The Three R’s—Reading, ‘Riting and Research posted about the 2011 YA Historical Fiction Challenge. Sab Horande at YA Bliss is hosting the challenge, and you can read all about it here and sign up to participate. Basically, the challenge is to read 5, 10, or 15 historical fiction novels […]

Monday Method: This is My Brain on Research

Thought I’d just give you a (not-too-scary) glimpse into my favorite research technique these days. And not just favorite because it involves a comfy couch and books. Remember, this is the research I’m doing to help figure out my characters, what they want (which means figuring out what is possible, probable, and/or dream-worthy in 1911), […]

Thoughts on History and Historical Fiction

So many times, as I sit down with a history book these days, one I’m reading for WIP research, I get this mixed feeling of… Wow, things were really different back then. Wow, has anything changed? Okay, maybe this is because I’m reading a lot about things like women’s roles in society, working women getting […]

Two Steps Forward, One Step Somewhere

Here’s what I’ve decided it’s like to write historical fiction. You go along, sort of researching and writing together, at slightly more than a snail’s pace–or so it feels. So you put the researching aside for a while, because you want to just GO for that flow-of-words feeling, even when you know the flow is […]

True Confessions: When Research Gets Scary

Remember this photo? I posted it sometime last year (?) to show how big my stack of research books was getting. Of course, that stack has grown since then, and let’s not even count the books that have come home from and gone back to the libraries. I find research at once exciting, inspiring, and […]

Historical Fiction: Keeping the Background from Taking Over the Foreground

I just thought of two historical novels I need to go back and reread, and they’re both by Rita Mae Brown. The first is High Hearts–a Civil War Novel, and the second is Dolley–novel about Dolley Madison. I read both these books while I was living in Charlottesville, Virginia, and both–especially High Hearts–blew me away. […]