NaNoWriMo 2009 update …

November 12, 2009

I am behind, as usual, in word output. I’ve played catch up today and am a shade over a quarter of the way to where I want to be at the end. This makes me behind but not nearly as behind as I could be, or as I was in years previous. I guess that’s something, especially since I seem to be concentrating more on quality than quantity of words.


It’s easy to get caught up in research, especially if you’re a history buff researching something you are writing about. It’s easy to get side tracked down an alley, into a dark door, or into another frigging region of the country. I’m talking research here, not the actual writing of the piece.

One of the problems with writing historical fiction is that documented history can be limited and/or limiting. You can find yourself locked into what is known as true.

And then, for drama’s sake – even if the real life events were dramatic – a writer needs to switch things around. He might have to put unsaid words into the mouths of real historical figures, or take a hint of gossip or rumor and make it true. He might need to take a small incident and make it larger, or, by contrast, make a large incident less so.

He might also have to take an event that happened in, say, 1881, and put it in 1885, to heighten dramatic effect.

Which annoys the shit out of me.

How can I write about a real historic event and put that event somewhere else in time, thus rendering it false?



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