Monthly Archives: November 2016

Expertise

I’m in the process of reviewing my editors comments on a new short story/novella. It’s the bonus story in my Merry Men Box Set #2 (which will be available December 15th).

box-set-2In Box Set #1, I included the story of how the parents of the hero in one of the books in the box set met, so I thought it would be fun to do that again. The problem is that to write this story I had to learn all about the treaty negotiations between France and Spain at the beginning of the Napoleonic War. That would have been fine. I love history. But I didn’t just have to learn what happened, I had to figure out how a negotiator would have actually conducted his negotiations. I had to figure out all of the nuances in this delicate task and the underlying political consequences of each move.

I had to learn all about the politics at the time and how treaties are actually negotiated! Ugh! I am not a politician. I don’t like politics all that much. It’s really slippery stuff. But in order to write a convincing, authentic story I had to have an idea of how these things worked and how people who engage in politics (and treaty negotiations) think. Once I did that, I had to make sure that the story wasn’t actually about the politics (because, lets face it, you don’t want to be reading a dry recounting of a pretty minor treaty negotiation, you want to be reading a romance novel!), but about the people. studying

It made me start thinking… as writers, we actually have to know a lot about things work. If we’re going to have someone murdered in a book, we have to know exactly how it happens, how the blood spurts, how it feels to hold a gun, or sword, or whatever the murder weapon is in your hand and how to wield it. Just how hard is it to slice off someone’s head? Well… actually, it’s really hard. There’s a lot of bone and tissue and tendon in there that you have to slice through. Why do I know this? Because I’ve written about it, so I had to learn about it.

I’m beginning to think that if people knew how much research goes into every novel, they’d have a lot more respect for writers. We become experts in whatever it is we’re writing about. We need to be in order to write convincing stories.

How is it then that writers are dismissed and thought of in the lowest possible terms? We know how to kill you. Er… I mean, we know a lot of stuff! 🙂 History, medicine, politics, law, you name it, if a novel has been written about it, that author had to know that subject pretty darn well. No wonder the authors I know are so intelligent–intelligent enough not to get upset when our work is dismissed as frivolous.

So, what is your specialty? What could you write about? Or what have you learned by reading a great book?

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Cover Reveal – Just Within a Highland Mist by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Just Within a Highland Mist

 

The fifth tale in the Highland Gardens series

Coming Winter 2017

 
 

Published Books in the Highland Gardens series:

Poster_Small_Highland_Gardens_300

Available at Amazon.

 
 
~Dawn Marie

November is A Very ODD Month

jap-maple-2013November is one of my favorite months, and not because my country celebrates Thanksgiving Day on the 24th with some of my favorite foods: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie! It is also my birthday month (the 13th), and the holiday shopping season starts on the 25th with a day most shoppers refer to as ‘Black Friday’, and the following Monday, November 28th, called ‘Cyber Monday’.

The word ‘November’ comes from the Roman word ‘novem’ meaning nine, because it was the ninth month in their Roman calendar. What is so special about this month? Well November is the official month for the following:

 

Aviation History Month

Child Safety Protection Month

National Adoption Awareness Month

National Diabetes Awareness Month

National Epilepsy Month

National Model Railroad Month

And National Novel Writing Month which is also known as NaNoWriMo. Many authors and would-be authors sit at their computer screens and write, write, write. The goal? To write at least 50,000 words (the start of a good book) and to commiserate with or get inspiration from writers all over the world. I participated once, and although it is not my cup-of-tea, I highly recommend joining. Learn more at their national website HERE

November is also known for being the official month for some very ODD Holidays, such as:

November 2   Deviled Egg Day…one of my favorite foods, but I HATE making them!

November 5   Book Lover’s Day…print books are like kittens because they are fun to cuddle up with.

November 7   Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day…need I say more?

November 13   Sadie Hawkins Day…when I was 16, I asked a boy out because of this day!

November 16   Button Day…I have a big tin box full of buttons.

November 19   Have a Bad Day Day…what? Guess I will stay in bed.

November 27   Pins & Needles Day…our parents gave sis and I cats that we named Needles & Pins!

When not celebrating with one of these ideas, try one of my books… find all my titles HERE

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Have a great month!