April 19, 2010

Era Hopping

I've been thinking about the direction I want my new story to go. I've got a good premise, which could become a series. The thing is, it is not going to be a medieval. Now I love the medieval era...the chivalry, the hunky heroes with their broadswords, but from what I hear, medieval is really not publishable right now. So I'm thinking a different era....or two.

I originally thought contemporary would fit best, but I've toyed with the possibility of the Regency era. I love Regency--alway have. I have read Regency books since I was in high school. Have you ever heard of Barbara Cartland? Yep, I cut my Regency teeth on her books. I've scoured the library for all the Regency books and have read ALL of the Signet and Zebra paperback line, which are a relatively clean read, as opposed to some of the thicker bound Regencies. I love the propriety, the balls, the dresses, the waltz, walks in Hyde Park, and the class system--especially when love crosess the class line, making the "class rules" null and void.

It's been interesting trying to insert my originally contemporary premise into a historical setting. I've had to do some tweaking, of course, but I think it may work. I think. It is an exciting prospect, to be sure.

Have any of you writers out there changed the era or setting for your story premise? Was it easy? Difficult?
Have any of you ever read Regency? Like it? Hate it? Inquiring minds want to know.

23 comments:

  1. Hey Sherrinda, just popping by to say hi. Sorry I can't comment on Regency. I'd say write what ever floats for you :) You are your first reader after all :)

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  2. I love regencies, though I could never write one. LOL! Too many details I'd get wrong. I've never switched eras but I totally think you can do it!

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  3. I love reading historical novels, though I've never tried writing one myself. So far all my books have been contemporary... it's what I'm most 'comfortable' with. But someday I hope to try and write a story set in a different era.

    Good look with yours! I agree with Jessica... I totally think you can do it ;)

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  4. I've actually thought about changing one of my stories from contemporary to American Civil war times. But I never did it. Too much work. Still...I think it'd be cool to try. A challenge.

    I love regency romances. So, I say go for it!

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  5. I think it's wonderful that you can switch like that, Sherrinda--I admire your versatility! Go for it, and may the Lord favor you.

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  6. Go for it!! If you have a basic plot, you can develop it deeper within that time period! I personally have found it hard to jump from time period to time period. I'm on my third now with my current WIP. You have to continually do NEW research which takes longer. I'd much rather find a time period I really like to write in and stick with it and become an expert at that time period. Ah, but that's not always meant to be!

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  7. I enjoy a regency from time to time. :)

    I've changed locations on a book before, but haven't changed era.

    At least you're in the planning stage where making those changes isn't as daunting as trying to change it all after you've written the first draft. :)

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  8. It sounds like a fun and interesting challenge, changing to a new era--and I love Regency.

    I only write contemporary novels, however I have taken on the challenge of making a shift in the genre I write just recently. It's definitely a challenge but it's brought out a new voice I didn't know was in me :)

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  9. Hi Sherrinda! I am not a huge regancy fan, but I do love Julie Klassen. She has a way with words that really take me there. Regency isn't selling?? What about Linore Burkard's books? I guess that proves that I don't stay on top of the market. :) Have a great day....

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  10. I love Regency - it's so ... regent. lol I've heard the market for Regency isn't as good but it is growing. :) Have fun!!!

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  11. I don't read too much historical but the ones I have read I've thoroughly enjoyed! What is Regency???

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  12. If you can believe it, I've never read regency. All the historicals i've read (which aren't many) have either been biblical times or ninteenth century times.

    In fact, I'm laughing right now because I actually have no clue what regency is. Maybe it is 19th century?? HA! I'm showing my true blond colors right now.

    Anyway - Jeff Gerke, in How to Find Your Novel, actually challenges writers to consider setting the plot in a different time period and seeing if it makes the story more original/interesting.

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  13. Regency? Oh la la. Step over Jane Austen ;-)
    Pick up Ruth Axtell Morren, Sherrinda. She's superb at writing regency.
    I have a regency in my head, but it hasn't made it to paper yet ;-) It involves pirates, though. I seem to have a fondness for sinking ships

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  14. Sounds interesting...and difficult. Which is why I write contemporaries :) I LOVE to read historicals, though, because I appreciate all of your time and effort!

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  15. I write contemporary, because I'm too lazy to keep historical details straight. ;-)

    Love Regency novels though...wonderful time period for shaking things up between the genders...

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  16. Love Regency... I don't read a LOT of it but I'm not horribly picky (the only historical fiction I read rarely is Biblical fiction... because I end up getting confused over what is fiction and what was actually Biblical, ha!)

    I'm a firm contemporary writer... so whereas I've changed maybe a state before, nothing so big as a genre/era. I KNOW you can do it though, cause you're just awesome like that!

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  17. Hi Sherrinda -

    If you can fit your story into another era, go for it!

    While I enjoy reading Julie Klassen and Linore Rose Burkhard, I can't see myself writing a Regency.

    I've never switched eras although someone suggested that I should. Maybe I will someday.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  18. Tabitha, I've heard you should write what you love to read...so...I will have to give Regency a go at some point!

    Jessica, thanks! I don't know that I can get the flavor, but it would be fun to try.

    Mia, you can do it too! I don't know that I could do contemporary. I've never tried!

    Linda, a regency lover! Yay! You should definitely try a different era! Challenged are a good thing!

    Jeanette, awww, I would love the Lord's favor!

    Jody, I'm convinced you could do whatever you set your mind to. You are a force to be reckoned with!

    Erica, I would never dream of changing something as big as era DURING the writing of a book! Yikes!

    Cindy, what genre are you trying now?

    Casey, Regency is selling more now due to Klassen and Burkland. It's medievals that don't sell in the CBA. :)

    Jaime, you are right...it's growing, so that's a good thing!

    Krista, you encourager, you! So you are a picky reader, huh? So if I wrote a Regency, you might not read it??? lol

    TAnne, Regency is set in a short time span in England when the Prince Regent was all the rage and was a force to be reckoned with on the social scene. Early 1800's.

    Katie, I've heard of Gerke's book and it's on my list to buy!

    Pepper...you are your sinking ships! I love it! You would write a great pirate book. Arrrrrgg!

    Karin, I love historicals too! Just about any era!

    Jaime D, I hadn't thought about anyone being lazy in not writing historicals! lol Maybe more sane, but not lazy!

    Susan, you should give it a go! A challenge is a good thing, right? :)

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  19. Sherrinda, I think it's great that you're willing to try your hand at a different time period. That's the way to discover which one clicks for you. (I attempted a contemporary once with less than great results and was happy to return to my stories set in the second half of the 1800s.)

    My CP writes Regencies, and I admire her for doing so. Avid fans of the sub-genre are very knowledgeable, and she really has to do her research.

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  20. Mmm, I love Regency. (I like Medieval too though). I don't write historical fiction so I've never toyed with different time periods, but I'm sure it can be done. And I've read your excerpts before and I think you are definitely up for the task.

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  21. Oh, I LOVE Regencies! My fave authors of Regencies are Stephanie Laurens, Julia Quinn, and Eloisa James. They are not Christian writers, and the books get spicy, but they all are tremendous writers.

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  22. Keli, I knew you had tried contemporary and that's what gave me the courage to even THINK about trying. :) You inspire me...always!

    Natalie, aren't you sweet! I can't imagine anyone remembering my excerpts! LOL I just love the regency era and I hope I can do it. I'm sure it's alot harder than I think. :)

    Jill, I've read some of Quinn's book and really liked them. The Regency world was tangible!!!

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  23. As someone who writes both contemporaries and historicals ("Regencies" as a matter of fact), writing in disparate eras can definitely be done.

    One thing to think about when considering setting a story during the Regency Era (1811-1820) is to choose nontraditional Regency settings/characters---for example, choose Liverpool rather than London, gentry/rising middle-class versus aristocracy, conflicts other than a difference in social status in the hero/heroine---to make your story stand out and be memorable, both to editors and readers.

    The reason I put "Regencies" in quote marks above when referring to my own writing is because the Ransome Trilogy doesn't fit nicely into the stereotypical definition of the Regency genre---the first book does, a little more, as it's more of the "sitting-room romance" that one sees in most Regencies. But the second and third books diverge greatly from that sensibility.

    One of the eras in Christian fiction I find woefully lacking is the early Victorian era (1840s-1850s), especially with British settings (and now you know what setting I'm looking at for my next series)---so another idea is to look for eras/locations that aren't over-represented in the market.

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