Before you read today's post, be sure to check out JoAnn's interview with Donna Gephart last Friday. You'll want to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Donna's acclaimed (and funny!) novel, How to Survive Middle School. Entry deadline is Friday.
On Monday, Mary Ann kicked off a new TeachingAuthors topic: Writing Fears. This topic struck a particularly strong chord in me because my current work-in-progress has instilled more fears than any other writing project I've tackled. I hope that by sharing a few of my fears, and how I combated then, I can help some of you struggling with similar issues.
I fought my fear by educating myself in the genre. To do so:
- I read books on writing historical fiction, such as The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction by James Alexander Thom and Writing Historical Fiction by Rhona Martin. And even though my novel isn't a mystery, I read How to Writer Killer Historical Mysteries by Kathy Lynn Emerson.
- I also read and studied all sorts of historical fiction written for adults and teens. I tried to focus on books set in the same time and place as my novel. That turned out to be more challenging than I expected. I have yet to find any set in 18th-century Milan. (If you know of any, do let me know!) So I branched out to books set close to that time period, not only in Italy, but also France and Germany. The YA titles I read included The Vanishing Point by Louise Hawes, Hidden Voices by Pat Lowery Collins, In Mozart's Shadow by Carolyn Meyer and The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap.
- I joined the Historical Novel Society's Yahoo group for readers and writers of historical fiction. Thanks to that list, I learned that the society's North American conference was being held in Schaumburg, Illinois in 2009. (Yes, that's right, it was in June, 2009. Ove Display Comments Add a Comment