Tuesday, June 9, 2015

2 Essential Historical Fiction Character Qualities + Summer Bash Author Party and Teasers

Hi Everyone! Quick announcement before we get to Character Week. I haven't promoted this NEARLY enough because my life has been so crazy lately, but tonight I'm participating in an Author Summer Bash Party if anyone would like to attend.

It's completely online, a Facebook event from 6-9 pm tonight, MST. The URL is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/112803962385057/

Basically it's me and eight other (awesome) authors. We'll each take a 30 minute time slot (my slot is 7-7:30 pm, MST) to run things. We'll ask questions, which our audience will answer. They'll have a chance to ask us questions. And there are tons of great prizes. I'm giving away a bunch of ebooks. I know others are also doing giftcards. And the grand prize we all chipped in for is a Kindle Fire HD. So the prizes are pretty darn awesomesauce!

Other authors include: Allison Rose, A.S. Winchester, Christy Sloat, Emma Raveling, Emm Cole, E.J. Mellow, J.Kowallis, Kirstin Maddock, and Sunshine Somerville.

So stop by at the above URL tonight and ask or answer some questions for a chance at great prizes. We'd love to meet you! 

Okay, onward! (Teasers below.)

Character Week

It's CHARACTER WEEK here on my blog, and I'll be giving tips on writing characters in different genres. These won't be tips on how to write a well-rounded character, as is the norm for talking about characters. Rather, these are extra things that characters in specific genres should possess. 

Today, we'll focus on the Historical Fiction Genre. I write and love historical fiction, but it can be a challenging genre to conquer. 

Here's the thing about historical fiction characters: just like every other aspect of the genre, they require a bit of research. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you view things, but if you're big on historical fiction, I'm gonna take a wild guess that you aren't opposed to historical research. :D

So here are a couple of things to remember about your historical fiction characters:

1) They must have the beliefs that people of the time in their circumstances had. If you're writing about the sixties, you need to do some research into the decade to figure out what people knew and believed. Depending on the character, time period, and setting, it might only be subtly different from contemporary beliefs, or it may be vastly different. 

For example: The middle ages was full of monarchists, most of whom believed in Divide Right to Rule. This meant that whoever became king or queen was God's will and that person, because God had directed circumstances to place them on the throne, could do no wrong. Everything they said, did, or thought came directly from God. This was a sincere and powerful belief of most people who lived on earth at that time. It informed every political and religious decision they made. Can you see how characters living in this time would be vastly different from contemporary ones who believe in democracy, choice and accountability, and the will of the people through popular vote?

2) Despite potentially outdated or ignorant beliefs, your characters must still have some over-arching, transcendent belief that makes them likable and/or relatable. Historical fiction is all about the regrets our society, and sometimes the human race as a whole, has about our past. We need to see both hope and struggle from these characters. In fact, this is a an invaluable opportunity to create dichotomy in your character 

For example: Someone who is closed-minded in some ways due to his belief in Divine Right Rule, but who the reader also roots for because the character is a genuinely decent and compelling person.

Make sure characters in your historical fiction have both these qualities. I've read histfic where one or both of these were lacking, and it definitely did not make for compelling or memorable characters. 

What qualities do you think Historical Fiction characters should have?

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teasers come from Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia. I read book 1 like two years ago and am finally getting around to the sequel. (Yea!)

Another crash. Now I was covered with the fine white dust of her fallen ceiling, broken chunks scattered on the floor around me. That's not what I meant and you know it. 
Do I? All I know is that it shouldn't be so hard. Loving someone shouldn't be so hard. 
I never cared about that. I felt her fading away, pushing me out of her mind and out of her heart.

What are you reading this week?

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