Researching Historicals...

Deborah Raney had a recent post about why she doesn't write historicals, explaining - in a nutshell - that she would get bogged down during the drafting process "second-guessing myself on every single word" wondering if she was being anachronistic or using the appropriate term for the simplest tools or articles of clothing.

To this I say, bring on the square brackets! Diana Gabaldon talks about this a lot, and it really works. While you're in the midst of a first draft, as long as you have a basic concept of your time period, you don't need to get bogged down in details. If I write "she looked at him across the lantern in his hand" I can just square bracket [lantern] and come back to it later, to see if it ought to be an oil lamp, a candle or what have you.

Of course, if you're not a stickler for accuracy, you could write a book like this one. (Please click on the link - I promise you won't be disappointed!)

In case you missed it, Google had a Doodle for Agatha Christie's birthday on the 15th:

Also, join the discussion at Ink Spells: Where Are the Adult Heroes in Kidlit?

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