Wordsmithing 101

Writing is a lonely business.

We all want to make our writ­ing the best it can be and, to that end, we all need advice from time to time. A com­mu­ni­ty of writ­ers helps to pro­vide that. From now on, I want to be part of your community.

On this page, you’ll find tips on writ­ing and edit­ing. Use what you can to strength­en your own writ­ing. If you work dili­gent­ly, there’s a good chance we’ll end up sit­ting side by side auto­graph­ing books someday!

Here’s my writ­ing advice:

girl writing
[pho­to cred­it: girl writ­ing © Oleks and R Mar­ta | 123rf.com]

His­tor­i­cal Fiction

Have you ever tried your hand at his­tor­i­cal fic­tion? I’m wrestling my way through such a man­u­script, right now. I’ve dab­bled in this before, hav­ing writ­ten fic­tion­al treat­ments on the life of his­tor­i­cal and bib­li­cal char­ac­ters in Talkin’ About Bessie, Por­trait of Mary, Dark Sons, and A Girl Named Mis­ter. The lit­er­ary biog­ra­phy or work of his­tor­i­cal fic­tion can be won­der­ful gen­res, espe­cial­ly for those writ­ers who, like myself, are char­ac­ter-dri­ven rather than plot-dri­ven. When you base a sto­ry on one or more his­tor­i­cal events, or on the biog­ra­phy of a real per­son, you already have a core-plot on which to build. Of course, you still have to do the gru­el­ing work of extend­ing that plot, estab­lish­ing your own point of view in that sto­ry, and pac­ing the sto­ry so that it crack­les with as much ener­gy and dra­ma as the actu­al life or event once did.

A work of his­tor­i­cal fic­tion also requires that you fill in the day-to-day, moment-by-moment details that a dry, bare-bones chron­i­cle of the event invari­ably leaves out. You must, in a sense, re-imag­ine the event in your mind, as if it were hap­pen­ing right now. Why? Because, if you don’t, you have no hope of bring­ing the sto­ry to life for your readers.

The idea of his­tor­i­cal fic­tion may be sim­ple, but the work of cre­at­ing it is far from easy. This work, of course, begins with research. More on that top­ic in the com­ing months.