Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sisterhood of the Travelling Blog II - Week 2

Sisterhood of the Travelling Blog II
Week Two

Please welcome my guest and friend, Author Sherrie Henry as she shares with us some of her thoughts on what she finds challenging and necessary when writing.

In your upcoming works in progress or new releases, what did you find most challenging to write, or what gave you the most enjoyment accomplishing, aside from finishing the writing?

I would have to say the most challenging for me is doing research for my most recent work in progress “Lucien’s Story.” As a lot of the vampires in the story are centuries old, I had to do research on what even to name them. One of my pet peeves is authors who don’t do research; they write a four hundred year old vampire and call her Tiffany. Come on! Do some research, get the names right. Or they have a six hundred year old vampire and name them Edward, but make him from Italy! Please, Google is your friend. Find the proper names for the proper time periods and from the proper geological area.

I ended up doing research to figure out how long it would take to go from point A to point B during the 1400s, as well as what kind of communication they had between countries. In today’s 24/7 world of instant communication, it was an eye-opener that news on a battlefield may take almost a year to get back to the ruling family depending on what war was being fought.

I don’t mind the research, I find it a necessary part of the story-telling process. I don’t want a reader to do the famous eye-roll if I get a simple thing such as a name or place wrong. I want my work, whether it be paranormal or historical, to be as accurate as possible. I want the reader to be able to immerse him/herself in the work and not be shaken out of the story because the main character used a cell phone in the 1960s. Or even such small things as the use of Prussia for parts of what is now called Germany (fyi – Prussia ceased to exist effectively in 1932 – the things you can learn from research!).

I’m hoping everything I’ve learned and used in my story makes it even more enjoyable for the reader. It’s the little touches, such as calling the automobile a new-fangled death trap when talking about the 1890s, makes the dialogue more true, the story more real. It may not be important to the major plot points, but it gives a wonderful foundation to build upon. A few hours research before starting the story can do wonders. I find myself double-checking my facts as I write, learning new things as my story comes together.

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