1 June 2012, Development - Historical Study, more Methods of Language and Historical Feel
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
I'm writing about sources of historical research and how to make historical research. These apply to any novel or any subject you might wish to study. Here is a list:
1. Primary source documents or artifacts
2. Secondary source documents or artifacts
3. Tertiary source documents or artifacts
If you do get the history right--that is the details as well as the basics--there is another piece of history that needs to fill out your works. This additional part is cultural awareness. Here is the list of how to develop your target period for writing a historical novel.
1. Primary sources (secondary second)
2. Clean slate
3. Add in only what you find from primary sources (secondary next)
4. Cultural awareness
5. Historical feel
I took an entirely different approach to my published novel, Aegypt. Aegypt deals with modern Tunisia where you have French, Bedouin, Arabic, and Tunisian cultures, and ancient Egypt. I use some prominent language pointers to announce the cultures to you. For example, I use "merde" and other well known French words and names to accentuate the French culture. (If you don't know what merde means, go look it up) I show you the Bedouin culture, and through that showing try to accentuate the differences from AmerEnglish and French cultures. I am helped in this because I have English characters (actual an Englishman and a Scotsman). With an English character, it is easy to show differences.
Where the novel is really unique is in its use of ancient Egyptian culture and hieroglyphics. My main character, Paul Bolang, communicates with the other main character, Leora, through hieroglyphics. To get to that point, I have to teach you, through showing, all about how hieroglyphics work. I have to introduce you to the ancient Egyptian culture, and because Leora can't speak (I never give you her POV directly), you can only know her mind through the hieroglyphics. Aegypt is a fun novel that approaches suspense through language and culture.
One of my fans has characterized my writing as entertaining but intellectual. That is exactly where I want to be. I would like you or any other historian to read my novels and not be able to find any historical fault in them, but I want everyone to be entertained by them.
I'll write more about this tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.