Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Historical Romances

A Paranormal Writer's View on Historical Romances.

Now, for the most part I'm a paranormal romance kind of girl. I write it, read it, dream about it, and if I could live in my world I would.

However, I do like the occasional, good historical romance. They're almost like going to another world, too. The characters in a historical have different values, and beliefs than we do. They behave differently also.

I love history, which might be another reason why I like historicals. However, most historical romances don't occur during my favorite time periods. Ancient history is my beloved time period. Particularly Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece.

I'd love to write a historical romance one day, but I don't know if I'd ever feel like I knew enough about the culture of those ancient peoples. Paranormal is easy in comparison, because I've created my own cultures.

So, do all those historical romance authors out there: How do you know when you've done enough research? Do you ever reach a point where you're comfortable with your amount of knowledge?

I'm seriously impressed by all of you who manage to write historical romance.


Pat McDermott said...

Hi Honoria. It's hard to know how to weave the research into a story without making it sound like a history lesson. Critique partners help. If their eyes glaze over, you know you've put in too many facts. But the right balance is a challenge to get and a joy once you know you've "got it." I hope to see you pen one of those historicals one day. No reason it can't contain paranormal elements. Our ancestors were very superstitious! Good luck with your writing.

April Dawn said...

Personally, I never stop researching because I love history. I think for the purposes of writing, however, a little goes a long way. I usually say I get a cup of history, and I use a teaspoon. I say, if you are passionate about it, then try it and see what you get. Besides, so little is known about the ancient civilizations that it wold almost be like making up your own world. Good luck, Honoria,
April Dawn

Honoria Ravena said...

Pat - Yeah, I've heard that about writing historicals. But then, info dumps are common in almost every genre, whether its research or back story. Critique partners are great to have. And I might sneak a little paranormal in there. I'm not sure I could break from paranormal if I tried. But I'll have a fantasy series, and it will mix a little history/mythology with the story, so my historicals might be straight history.

April - Lol, I imagine I'd get so mixed up with research that I'd never write the book. I could read about Mesopotamia all day. Enough is known about ancient civilizations that I'd want to get my facts right.

Paris said...

Researching history has always been interesting for me. I try to research whatever background is needed for the story (costumes,manners, politics, etc) but the most interesting is always the diaries and journals of everyday people. Even if you're writing about the aristocracy of any period you still need to know how everyone lived, what they ate, wore, etc. I know I have enough when I start writing and don't have to keep looking things up, LOL! Incidentally, I'm writing paranormals now too and it is fun to build a world and its rules;-)

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Hi Honoria, i love those genres and have written in both. :) Just do the research and after so many revisions, perhaps with partners, let it go, release it so to speak. If you learn more later, great, put it in the next book. That's my take. -Laura Hogg

Ari Thatcher said...

If you switch the words paranormal and historical, your post could be about me. I'm finally getting brave enough to dip my feet into the historical pool. I believe if you research the day-to-day stuff and focus on the story, not the history, you'll do well. Find a critique partner who knows her history and you're set!

Try combining historical with paranormal so you can bend the rules to suit you.

Saroya said...

It is all true, I would love to live in my world or yours.