Thursday, October 11, 2007

You know you write historical fiction when...

You know you write historical fiction when:

You see someone mention calla lilies as part of their wedding flowers and you cringe inside because The Language of Flowers says calla lilies mean death and are harbingers of doom (and you're very glad that your SIL changed her mind about wanting calla lilies in her flowers and went with roses instead)

You get excited over a mundane little piece of information that can make or break your plot

You can spend hours in the non-fiction section of Barnes & Noble or the library and still not find what you're looking for

You get terribly excited over finding a non-fiction book that will help you flesh out your conflict

You're watching a documentary on the History Channel, and a new plot idea lands in your brain. You then have to stop watching the documentary and go work on your idea

Feel free to add to the list! I love lists like this.


  1. ...your dreams are in black and white or include petticoats, top hats and breeches.'re on deadline and a research break takes you on a whole different path of ideas that lead to a completely new plot. find yourself wondering how women these days can dare to show so much skin and why no one else is scandalized by the view.'re out driving and see an historical marker sign that makes you stop, even if you're late to wherever you were headed.

  2. You think of your purse or handbag as a reticule.

  3. You use words like: Indeed, Rubbish, Betwixt, thwart and scallywags when you are speaking to people and they just stare at you incredulously!

  4. actually answer someone's question with, "I reckon so." turn on the electicity and think of it as a 'modern convenience.' wonder why you dog can't 'hunt his own dinner.'

  5. know the difference between a hoop, a petticoat, and a crinoline. know the ingredients needed for gunpowder.

    ...if it the setting of a book is after World War I, it's just too modern. can wax poetical about Indian raids, cattle round-ups, grasshopper plagues, and shipwrecks.

  6. . . . you know the difference between a spencer (Georgian long-sleeved, short-waisted jacket) and a Spencer (rifle).

    . . . you don't have a suitcase, you have a valise.

    . . . you know the difference between pantalettes and pantaloons.

    . . . you know the difference between Regency and Georgian.

    . . . you can answer more questions about your particular historical era of interest than about modern pop culture.

    . . . you buy a dress for the ACFW awards banquet because it evokes a somewhat historical vibe. And it's purple.

  7. What fun! I don't write historicals but your comments made me wish I did. :)

  8. I'm with Jess--I don't write historicals either, but I love the answers!