Saturday, February 02, 2008

BOM: The Writing and Research

Since this was my first adult novel and I really had no idea how to write a LONG story, I watched Gary Provost's Video Novel workshop tapes.  They give a fairly simple plot outline:  a character has a goal, and you toss in lots of complications before he/she comes to the place where he/she either gets or loses the goal, thus satisfying a need created in his/her backstory. 

With that to go on--and pretty much only that--I set out doing research into the medieval period.  One fascinating fact I discovered was that in those days people believed that twins were (or could have been) fathered by two different men.  (I have since learned that it is indeed possible).  So I thought, "A ha!  What if my protagonist has twins and this simply freaks her jealous husband out?" 

I also decided that this would be a classic revenge story:  a woman is wronged in her youth, and spends her entire life seeking revenge against the Lady who wronged her.  Toss in the crusades, a few kings and queens, and you have a plot.  

I wrote this book back in the early days of Christian fiction.  My publisher had not published any guidelines yet, and since I hadn't published any adult fiction before, I was sort of writing for the world at large.  So I created Afton, a poor villein on a lord's estate, gave her a true love, and married her off to an old, jealous, abusive husband.  Yes, it was "edgy" for those days; in fact, I think it'd be edgy now.  Medieval times were rough, and I only softened them a wee bit--for instance, the cruel husband at one point feeds Afton her pet kitten . . . in my research I discovered a cruel husband who actually fed his wife her lover's heart.  Ick.  Of course, my editor wasn't fond about the kitten, either . . . 

But that's a topic for later.  The editing. 



Kay said...

These sound really good. I love Medieval stuff.
And I haven't read any of your older books yet.

Kathy said...

Feeds her the kitten???? Ugh. Yuck. Gross. I'll pass on this book. Give me women stuck in the elevator any day.