Monday, August 9, 2010

Climbing Out From Under the Desk

It’s been over a week since I last posted anything, but I have a super good reason...I volunteered to write up a proposal and some chapters for a novella coming out next Christmas and that's taken up all of my blogging time. There's no guarantee my novella will get selected, but at least there's a shot and that's all we struggling writers can ask for, no?

It was interesting to write because it was a novella of only 20,000 words. I usually write in the 97,000 + range so condensing a story to so few a word count was challenging, but I feel I learned a lot also. Nothing like parceling out words to make your descriptions and dialogue tighter.

The parameters of the project were very clear and I had a fun time working within that type of assignment. It’s interesting how we can work around what is required, and still be creative and have fun with it. I learned a lot about pioneers, cabin life, and baking in the 1800’s. Talk about a hard life, people!

Research has always been a great love of mine in writing. I really got into the whole chinking vs. mud sealing, what kind cabin designs were where, and types of cooking paraphernalia actually available at that time, in the particular region of wilderness I chose to set my story. What really got me interested in the time period and genre were the first hand accounts found in letters, diaries, and newspaper articles of the era. We have such amazing access through library digital archives…yay technology!

I said that I would send a few chapters as examples of my work, but I got so into the story that I’m on chapter seven right now. It’s the last chapter I’ll submit with the proposal, but it’ll be a hoot to write because it has a huge storm in it and a flooding creek and whipping wind…whew! Can’t wait to finish it. Another plus about this is that I will have fodder for the Weather Blogfest coming up on August 14th so that's two birds, baby!

Anyway, I missed out on quite a bit over the week and I’m anxious to read what you all have been talking about. Erin over at Hold on to Your Bloomers! said the High Drama Blogfest was awesome so I’m heading over to check out some of your entries. See you in your comment sections…Until next time…Go Write!

Photograph by g-hat.

5 comments:

Mary McDonald said...

That sounds like my kind of story! Like the Little House on the Prairie chapter where their neighbor brought Laura and Mary each a tin cup from Santa. :-) I hope your novella gets chosen, but if not, I hope you post it somewhere so we can read it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad the project made you stretch.

Christine H said...

Thank you so much for adding my Rainy Day Blogfest to your sidebar, Raquel! I appreciate it.

Exciting about your project. I love historical research, too. I keep comparing how our forefathers lived with the luxuries we have today, and am just plain grateful to live in a time of indoor plumbing, air conditioning and modern medicine.

Laura Marcella said...

That's exciting! I hope your novella gets chosen!

I like research, too. I love learning new things and incorporating it into my story. Usually I have more research than needs to be included, which is a bummer. But I almost always win the game Trivial Pursuit, so that's a plus!

Rae said...

I admire you so much for the dedication to your art. Writing is sometimes a painful process, but you make it sound so fun and easy! Thanks for your words of encouragement to others.