Monday, November 11, 2013

To Seek Out New Life and New Civilizations...

I do not own this image.

That's how I feel. Like I'm manning the USS Enterprise and boldly going where I haven't gone before...and everybody wants to jump ship.

First, let's just get this out of the way: I'm not doing NaNoWriMo. Boo! Hiss! I know, I know. I suck. But I was 75% sure I would pull it off...and 90% sure it would be absolute garbage. I barely had a concept and the tentative beginnings of something that could have been good. But that was all. I'm a pantser but I usually always have a hazy sketch of what I want to do. And ALWAYS have a clear beginning and an end. No, they may not stay the same, but at the start of a new project, when the journey is shrouded in the dense fog of the unknown, I KNOW HOW IT WILL BEGIN AND END. This time, not even close. So, was a no go.

BUT! I'm still taking November off from my MS and have started research for my next project. Captain Kirk, can you save me?

My new project is a YA historical. Yikes! I'm excited and scared shitless. If done right, I think I can have something amazing, but the chances of it being done right are not in my favor. There's so many things that can go wrong. Let's make a list shall we?

1) Authenticity 

 That's an obvious one.   From clothing to food to customs to clime to politics...everything has to be right! Historical fiction has to be based in fact if it is to be believable, and I know I have my work cut out for me. I didn't study this culture or time period in college. I don't learn about it as a hobby. This is all new to me. Big and strange. Did I mention scary? And no, I would not have been chosen for Dauntless, just so ya know.


2) Voice

It's bad enough that I'm doing a historical, but I had to make it even more of a challenge by making it YA. Teenage voice is hard enough to get right in this day and age, how the hell am I going to pull it off for a teenager in the 15th century?


3) Crossover Appeal

I want my novel and voice to be authentic, but I also want a teenager today to be able to relate. I know the issues a teenager faced back then would not be the same as those of today, but I want to be able to bridge the gap, making my characters issues understandable while, of course, keeping them authentic.


 4) Not Knowing When to Quit

I need to do enough research to get the job done, but not so much to bog down my thoughts and my story. I know too much research can become a hindrance and I need to figure out that line before I cross it. I don't want to write this thing only to realize on word 87,484 that the majority of my story is me sprouting off facts and figures. I want to become one with this world, so when I write about it, I can pull the reader in, not lecture him/her on history.  

Okay, I think that's enough with the lists, don't you? You get the idea. So, why am I doing this? Why do I sit down with my stack of library books that smell like they haven't been opened in a decade? Why am I putting myself through so much stress I'll probably get an ulcer?

For the thrill of it, mate! Oh, and because it's bloody good fun! (No, this is not a hint.)

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