The website of the historical fiction writer.

The Masque of the Red Pen

This post is the first I’ve written on my new tablet so hopefully there won’t be too many mistakes.

Well, the second draft of the Russian novel is (I think) complete. Now the time has come for editing. Since I started writing it in January 2012, this novel has been a challenge. For a start this is set in the last hundred years so there is much more historical evidence available than there is for the Viking novel that is set between 789 and 825. One the one hand this is good as it helps with the narrative and it makes the checking of facts much easier.

However, this also means that there cannot be too much liberty taking with the plot. With In the Shadow of the Gods I based the plot around three events (the visit to Portland, the raids on Lindisfarne and Iona and the petty kingdoms of Norway at the time). With this new novel there are more detailed records of speeches, diaries, addresses, reports, photographs and so on. Therefore I could not invent certain things such as what historical characters looked like, where they were at certain times, weapons used, etc.

So, there’s something to bear in mind when writing historical fiction. Both time periods have got their good points, both have challenges. Either way, they’ve been good fun!

Anyway, time to do some editing. I’ve got a stylus with this tablet so I can draw red lines and handwrite all over the manuscript without having to further dent the world’s rainforests printing out endless amounts of drafts!

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