So, I’m writing a historical romance

I almost hate to say that out loud. Not because I’m embarrassed, but because many of my favorite authors write in the genre and I feel rather unworthy.

But since my latest romantic suspense is out on submission, I wanted to start something new and stretch my writing muscles.  Cue one of my closest friends who basically dared me to write a “long dress book.” Mostly because they’re her favorites, and partly because she says my heroes are all historical heroes in modern clothes anyway.

To break out of my comfort zone even further, I’ve plotted this using beat sheets and turning points. Me – the eternal pantser and consummate content editor/re-editor, who’s known to over-write everything. I’ve actually spent a lot of time considering this plot and these characters before I’ve ever written a word.

I’m tired already, and I’m only on Chapter 3. But here are a few things that I’ve noticed so far about switching genres:

  1. Tension, not suspense.

No one is running for their life in this book. There’s no threat of a villain in the shadows with a gun, no dead bodies, no mortal fear. This time the villains are armed with words and manipulation. It’s tense. And, because there isn’t an overt threat, there are many more potential antagonists to manage.

Garden graphic2. Research is fun, but such a rabbit hole.

I love finding out those great details about Regency food, clothes, manners, etc. However, it’s easy to fall into the “ooh, what’s that?” trap. And, honestly, sometimes those great details get in the way of actually telling the story.

3. A manageable number of people

One word: servants. And families, and villagers, and  … See? I’ve already gone way past one word. Because most of them are integral to the story (see tension, above).  How on earth do I keep this believable but keep my hero and heroine center stage? It’s a drafting puzzle, and it’s an exercise in keeping the pantsing side of my brain occupied by something new and shiny. (Hello, Spotify.)

I’m going to keep up with my daring experiment and see if I can tell this sort of story – if I can do my characters and the plot justice. I really want to expand my storytelling skills, and my plot bunny – all about English country houses and gardens, second chances, and making your own family – is perfect for this genre.

Sometimes you simply need to try something new.

Stay tuned.

Mia Kay - thumbnailMia 

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12 thoughts on “So, I’m writing a historical romance

  1. Pat Amsden says:

    I’ve always thought writing a historical would be fun but find the idea of researching it to be both daunting and fun. Kudos for accepting the challenge. I’ll be interested in reading it when you’re done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mia Kay says:

      Pat – I have been terrified about the research. However, once I started discussing this plot bunny, I knew it had to be a historical. Nothing else fits it. And thank you for being so kind. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

      Like

    • Mia Kay says:

      Thank you, Joanne! My writing career seems to be a collection of “What the heck!” sort of decisions. This is no different. If it fizzles out before “the end” then no one has to know. Right? 🙂

      Like

  2. Marsha R. West says:

    Hey, Mia. Boy am I impressed. You’re one gutsy lady. Can;’t imagine shifting genres. Oh sometime I might want to add in a bit of paranormal, but that’s not the same thing as what you’re doing. I’d drown in all the research, which would be great fun, but wouldn’t get the book written. LOL Good luck to you and keep us posted. I’ve shared. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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