If you’re observing Yom Kippur, may you have an easy and meaningful fast!
It’s time again for The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which meets the first Wednesday of every month to commiserate over worries, fears, doubts, and struggles.
This month’s question is:
What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?
I love the rich worldbuilding of historical fiction, and all the little details helping to bring a time and place alive (clothing, food, architecture, interior design, social mores, language, transportation, car models, schools, medicine, technology, music, you name it). Good historical writers spend a lot of time researching, and often enjoy the process at least as much as the actual writing.
The trend towards hist-fic lite, or Gossip Girl in period clothes, annoys me so much. You need to give your head a shake if you truly believe insisting on historical accuracy is gatekeeping and censorship. More like a basic key feature of the genre!
As always, much of my October writing will consist of my blog posts about classic horror films with landmark anniversaries this year. Much to my great disappointment and annoyance, the Monster template I used every year since I believe 2012 was quietly retired in late 2021, and there’s no more way for WordPress users to access our own previously-used retired themes. Since I’m only a WordPress.com user, not a dot org user, I also can’t install a premium Halloween theme.
At least I still have my old October header, and perhaps WordPress will introduce a new Halloween template in future.
My original plans for NaNo were to finally finish Dream Deferred and write the new chapters and scenes. However, I came to feel the writing would be a lot slower because it’s out of order and combined with moving things around.
I believe my disappointing (but never failing) performance on some prior NaNos and Camp months was partly a result of working on a rewrite instead of starting fresh or adding to a first draft already in progress. That constrains my speed.
I thought about resuming my alternative history about Dante and Beatrice, which I’m very eager to get back to, but vetoed that as well. NaNo proved to be an inopportune time to work on such a research-heavy book. There’s nothing wrong with writing slower and more carefully, but that’s just not conducive to NaNo success.
Instead, I’ll be starting my radical rewrite of Almost As an Afterthought: The First Six Months of 1941 (which doesn’t have a new title yet). It’ll be almost a complete gut renovation, with very little original material retained from the 11,000-word first draft which I wrote in fifteen days in August 1997. With any luck, I’ll finally regain my normal daily wordcounts of several thousand.
It dawned on me a few months ago that I never shared the print cover for the book formerly known as The Very Next, now called Movements in the Symphony of 1939. Since I took such a long break from proofing the final version, it kind of slipped my mind. And now I’m leaning very strongly towards new editions of How Kätchen Became Sparky and Movements in the Symphony of 1939.
To my great embarrassment, I discovered the Dante quote featured several times in each is a 20th century fake. The short paragraph I included in the front matter for Movements no longer seems like enough. Why would Cinni’s father, who’s such a passionate Dantephile, be fooled by a fake quote that rather contradicts Dante’s own vision? It’s sticking in my craw more and more.
But before I do some tweaks for these new editions, I need to find a real quote with a comparable message.
Do you plan to do NaNo? Ever discovered there was an error in a book you had to correct in a new edition?