Sunday, August 11, 2013
Sunday Salon: Trying a New Genre
Living Write: The Secret to Inviting Your Craft into Your Daily Life and Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind. The author is a licensed professional counselor as well as a writing coach, so she presents the material from a slightly different perspective than other writing books I have read. I enjoyed her smooth writing style and practical advice, although I have read so many books on the subject that I found hers to be mostly a review of what I have already learned (and now just need to put into practice). I was initially interested in this author because of the 90 Day Writing Challenge she offers each January; I think this would be a great follow-up activity to the November NaNoWriMo event.
Paris, by Edward Rutherfurd, and I am now a bit more than half way finished. This is my first foray into Historical Fiction and I must say, I am falling in love with this genre.
I have never been a fan of history; it was simply a class that I endured to meet the high school graduation requirement, but I think that was perhaps because I never had a teacher who was passionate about the subject. I remember memorizing a bunch of dates to put on a timeline, which I dutifully completed and then promptly forgot. I never understood the significance of those dates... and I certainly don't remember the stories and characters and settings that helped to bring the past alive and relevant to our present.
I have always enjoyed research, however. I love the hunt for information, the analysis of the facts (and the inevitable search for truth in conflicting data), and the final organization of material into a cohesive written essay. It never dawned on me that Historical Fiction would be the ideal marriage of my love of literature with my passion for research. And while I am certain that I cannot judge an entire genre based on the work of one particular author, I must say that Edward Rutherfurd has opened my eyes to not only a new reading past time, but perhaps to a new writing adventure.
In reading this book I am not only learning a bit about the history of my beloved Paris, but I am also learning how to balance those facts with a narrative that creates a compelling story. I can easily see myself delving into the history of a particular time period, conducting a thorough research, all the while allowing myself to ask "What If..." It is exciting to think that I can combine my passion for writing, my talent for detailed analysis, and my desire for creativity in one project. I have the germ of an idea.... now I am ready to water it, fertilize it, and watch it grow.
I hope to finish Paris by the end of the week and perhaps I will begin reading another one of Rutherfurd's works sitting on my shelves --- or perhaps I will try another author in this newfound genre. Do you have a favorite Historical Fiction novel that you would recommend?