Moving Ahead

Cover photo from Cadeyrn’s Tale

Is it really Monday already? Yep, I guess it is! The next few months will be filled with busyness as the holidays approach. I love this time of year. The fall colors and gentle breezes speak of the storms of winter on the horizon. That’s okay. Spring follows.

Be sure to check out the excerpt and this week’s question and leave some comments. I always like hearing from you.

The rough draft of Cadeyrn’s Tale is finished. Now, the real work begins. Hopefully, it will be completed and available for your bookshelf by the end of November.

It was fun to write. It’s set in 5th-century Ireland – a time period I love. During my research for the story I discovered that there is some evidence that leprechauns and fairies really existed. There are supposedly forests and fields where the wee folk rule even today. Do I really believe that? No. But then again, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility.

Something else that I discovered, and I do believe this to be fact. Snakes have never inhabited Ireland. The legend says that St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland, but apparently there were never any snakes to be driven out. I wish the forests of Pennsylvania were more like that. I love to hike the back-country and well . . . I wish St. Patrick was here.

My next project is entitled, The Marisol Deception. It’s in infant form at this stage, but you’ll soon be able to catch the rough draft on HubPages. I’ll let you know more about both Cadeyrn’s Tale and The Marisol Deception as time goes on.

I am also editing my wife’s newest poetry book, Sweetest Jesus: Volume Two. Hopefully, that will be ready to go soon. She has a lot of new poetry worth reading. No doubt, I will be featuring some on the Excerpt page from time to time.

Next week, we’ll get back to some writing tips for you. Until then – Keep on writing.

Home, Sweet Home!

After taking a brief vacation, celebraing 39 years of marriage, It’s good to be back home.

Welcome to my Monday – which, by the way, is your Monday, too. I think it’s wonderful how our paths cross. You’re a part of my life while at the same time, I’m a part of yours, and I thank you for that privilege.

First, just let me say that the new new question for the week is up along with the new excerpt, My Shepherd’s Love, written by my wife. Check them out.

Now, let me ask you a question. When you choose a setting for your story, what do you consider? How much research do you do in building the setting? How realistic do you try to make it. Hopefully, your answer is, very realistic.

Even though you may be involved in writing a fiction story, to make it a believable story, you must include certain facts – at least if your story takes place in a realistic place. Of course, if you’re writing fantasy, you’re free to build your own land and suroundings.

Over the past several books, I’ve noticed different ways I’ve developed the settings. Let me know what you think works the best in the comments below.

Winch-Hunt – The setting is a fictiouse town, Sandy Hill, Maine. The story is built around a lighthouse on Lake Erie that I’ve had the pleasure of exp;oring, but it’s placed in Sandy Hill. Sandy Hill does not exist as a town, but to make the story more believable, I had to research the Maine coast since I have never had the opportunity to visit Maine. Totally fictional, although I had to add research to make it seem real.

The Voice – Again, the town of Lafayette was, in a sense, fictional. I chose the name Lafayette because it seems that just about every state has a Lafayette. I deliberately kept the details vague, which allowed the reader to imagine the Lafayett they may most likely be familair with.

Dear Ellie – This was different for me. The story takes place in three different locations. One, my hometown, of which I am very familiar. Two, another location was in a neighborhood where my cousin lived many years ago. The third location, Brownsville, had to be researched and is based on an actual location that I have never seen. The first two needed little to no research. The third needed much research as a real location, known by real people, was used.

Manchan’s Tale and Cadeyrn’s Tale – Both are set in 4th century Ireland. You better believe more time was given to research, especially Manchan’s Tale, than any other. The Celts ruled Ireland at this time and were heavily involved in magic. That allowed for magical things to happen, but the setting still had to be as accurate as possible.

Jacob’s Ladder and Stage (f)Right – My first two books were largely built around my own life, something that is quite common with new authors. It’s what I know best so it’s the easiest to write about. Jacob’s Ladder began as a journal. Most of the beginning is built around facts, but later the setting shifts to Colorado – neve been there, So it called for research. I might add, don’t we as authors quite frequently interject our own personalities into our characters?

Okay, so just some different ways to think about setting. How do you develop the setting for your stories?

It’s All in the Past

An Irish Moor. If  you look close, you just might see Cadeyrn.

Monday! Monday! Yes, it’s that time again. The rain is pouring and the cooler fall weather is here – my favorite time of the year. I have some more writing thoughts for you, but first, let me mention the site updates. Eric Dierker’s excerpt is up. If you want to be blessed, be sure to read it. Leave a comment as well. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you. The new questions are up, too. Give them some thought.

Next week, I will be away with my honey as we celebrate 39 years of marriage. She will have my full attention so you won’t be hearing from me until the following week. But never fear – I’ll be back. Now, let’s move on.

My newest project, Cadeyrn’s Tale, is set in the 4th century AD in Ireland. That qualifies it for historical fiction. Have you ever written or tried to write historical fiction? I’m no expert, but let me give you ou some tips.

Research is Necessary

The mere fact that you are writing a fiction story says that your work is not true and factual. Still, if it is to be believable, there must be a realistic sense to your piece. That calls for research. How did people live? What were their occupations? How did they eat, sleep? In what kind of entertainment did they indulge? The list goes on. As best as you can, you must be accurate in representing the period of time you are visiting. That takes time. That takes discipline, but it must be done.

Watch the Fun Facts

You no doubt will come across many tidbits of information as you research your topic. It’s okay to note these tidbits, but don’t overdo it. Stay with the main facts. To overload your readers with a lot of unnecessary detail will only facilitate boredom. Remember, you’re writing a story, not a fun facts book. Make sure the detail you use is needed to move the plot and your characters forward. And above all, show – don’t tell.

Make Sure You Tell a Story

It’s way too easy to get absorbed in the facts, the culture of the period you are writing, the nuances of the day. And it’s way too easy to just lay down facts with no solid story. Your protagnoist needs to be able to carry the entire piece from beginning to end amid conflicts and problems to keep your readers entertained to the end.