Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Advice to a historical romance writer

In today's blog, Miss Snark gives advice to an aspiring historical romance writer who was told that her writing was "flat and unevocative" and often sounded contemporary.

While I was writing this post, I read the comments and saw that the first respondent directed the author to the HNS. There are some other helpful responses here - only five so far, but I'm sure more will appear as the day progresses. A round of applause for the agent who provided constructive criticism to the author, and to the author herself, who was brave enough to come forward, and whose experience inspired some interesting and very useful remarks.

6 comments:

  1. Sarah Park Rankin10:51 AM

    I mentioned the HNS on Miss Snark and I hope the writer in question follows my advice. I enjoyed the responses as well -- and surely having a historical novel win (and another as the leading contender) will make the relationship between history and fiction even more relevant and lively.

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  2. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Oops -- I meant win the Pulitzer.

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  3. You were the anonymous HNS poster? That's cool :) I should check the website stats to see if the site had a flurry of visitors this morning. Many more good responses, I see, especially those that suggest that the author immerse herself in the period by doing more research.

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  4. I wish I could join the HNS but I don't have a credit card, and since I'm unemployed I can't get one. :-(

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  5. Credit cards aren't required, though I know the website doesn't list anything else. (I'll be investigating whether that can be changed...) I'll ask the UK membership coordinator to get in touch with you with details. She can accept checks or money orders, though I don't know if they have to be in pounds.

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  6. I was the Anonymous poster (cue dramatic mask-stripping music) -- and while I thought Miss Snark's response was good, I did think lack of research was probably a lot of the problem. I mean, it's not just a matter of sensory perception -- with historical fiction, the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of the past are specific to the period.

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