The WIP continues to progress.
At the end of summer I reached the halfway point in the MS and hit a wall. I decided to go back and incorporate all of the notes and research concerns I’d scrawled in the margins. It basically amounted to rewriting the first half, and it was exactly the right thing to do. I reread the first six chapters yesterday, and found that they were of a quality I wouldn’t be ashamed to submit–which puts me ahead of where I thought I’d be by this time.
The bad thing is, in the meantime, I’ve been doing some writin’ and reviewin’ and public pontificatin’ about the importance of research and historical accuracy. But this MS has a very strong speculative element. I’ve grounded these elements in the spiritual and scientific ideas of the time, but between these things and the liberties I chose to take with women’s social roles, this is not going to be a straight historical. (It’s not going to be a straight anything, actually. The heroines are lesbian and bisexual. But you knew that wasn’t what I meant =))
On one hand, I’ve been a-scoffin’ at “costume dramas” and the idea of declaring something “alternate history” to cover lazy research. On the other hand, the speculative science, spirituality, and sociology are taking this WIP a bit out of the realm of reality anyway.
But not because I’m glossing over research.
Porcelain Dog was anchored to the minute in temporal fact. I even checked lunar tables and weather patterns. This book isn’t going to be like that. I’m researching to the same degree, and hope to present a realistic, historically accurate setting. However, this isn’t going to be a purely historical story.
The question is, of course, how to write an historically-based speculative story without giving the impression that the deviations from reality are due to laziness or ignorance.
Or am I the only one who sits up at night thinking about these things?