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What To Do

December 6, 2012

I didn’t do NaNoWriMo this year. I have too many first drafts and not enough second drafts. So instead, I’ve been working on draft two of Mortality, my vampire novel from ages ago. I picked it because it has the simplest plot and is a good way for me to get some experience editing my own work.

But I’m running into a problem that’s unusual for me.

The novel is set in the late 1800s. The setting is still up in the air. Originally it was Seattle, now it’s New York, but it could change again.

Also, part of me is considering making some major changes and moving it to the 1920s. But I’m not there yet.

I normally write either either a modern or fantastical setting. A historical setting is new territory for me. The way people spoke back then, they used a lot fewer contractions than we do now. If I want to stay true to the time period, I should mirror that, which is what I did in the first draft. But it just looks strange. However they spoke back then, we don’t speak like that now, and it’s noticeably distracting to have my characters talk that way. So do I stay true to the time period? Or do I modernize it a little for the sake of potential readers? And I’m not talking about word choice here—that will still be appropriate to the time period. I just mean contractions.

So, I’m not sure what to do yet.

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From → General Advice

2 Comments
  1. David Simon permalink

    You could always find a really good historical fiction novel that you like and see what worked for that author.

    • That’s a good idea! I haven’t actually read much historical fiction. I’m (coincidentally) currently reading some early Sherlock Holmes. It’s helpful, even though it’s set in England, not the U.S. I should probably see if I can find other examples.

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