Saturday, March 30, 2013

Taking Back the Things You've Said

In my case, the statement, "I'll never write a historical because I hate research."

Because guess what? In my wide waiting space to get going on edits for Sing To The Wind I needed something to keep me from going insane. I tried pre-writing blog posts. I beta'd some manuscripts. I read all the time anyway, so reading was no big switch.

Eventually I caved. And started a new project. And yes, it's a historical. Not only a historical but a Middle Grade.


For about a year, this girl Maddie and her mule, Pricilla, have been bouncing around in my head. I knew their story had something to do with the building of the Carolina, Clinchfield, & Ohio railroad line. I knew it was a story about a girl on the verge of adolescence, living with only a father. I also knew it was a story about isolation and loneliness. And the quiet beauty of Appalachia.

Well, the final chinks of the puzzle sort of fell into place. They've been there all along but like actual puzzle pieces, sometimes you don't see they fit till you've moved them around the card table a time or two.

And here's what I'm discovering. I am obsessively researching: the area where the setting is, the small towns nearby, the dates, general history, everything to give this fictional story a real life backbone. I even took a drive yesterday to see what remained of one small town and I have a hike scheduled in about a week to hike into the community that used to be, but has now returned to the earth. And I can't wait to get over to our local history museum during open hours.

The best part is the excitement of starting something new!

(Note: I do have another Young Adult idea but with Sing and Popsicle waiting for stuff to happen, I just didn't feel like I could dive into another teenage girl's brain. Maddie is different enough I can use her as a distraction)

What's new with you?

7 comments:

  1. I wasn't intending to go through my blogger reading list--but the photo caught my eye. When I saw that it was the inspiration for your new project, my heart did a big jumpy thing. Love it!

    Have you read The Girl from the Limberlost (I could be a tiny bit off on the title)? It doesn't take place in the right part of the country, but you HAVE to read it asap :)

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  2. I've actually got a few MG historicals in my TBR-pile. A couple years ago I was convinced I didn't enjoy historical books at all, but then I read a few MGs in the genre and LOVED them.

    Happy writing!

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  3. Yay! I grew up obsessed with MG Historical and I look forward to reading yours one day I hope. :) Happy writing, jaye!! :) :)

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  4. So happy to hear you've jumped on the historical bandwagon. You may love it more than you ever imagined. ^_^ I have a historical MG rattling around my brain. It's been there since I got the story idea visiting Springerville, AZ back in August. Now that I'm back in AZ, the research will be WAY easier. In the meantime, I'm going to do a last bit of tweaking on two MS that are close to being ready to submit and then see what happens.

    Have fun with the new project!

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  5. Thanks everbody! Just got edit notes so this baby's going on hold. Bummer. I was just getting wrapped up in it!

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  6. I read this post the other day and it really resonated with me. A while ago I told someone that I was no longer going to write middle grade. I'm kind of regretting it now because one of my current projects is middle grade.

    Your research sounds like a blast. I do find stories set in the past extremely intriguing. :)

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  7. Sounds like an awesome project! Historicals are so much fun to write (I think) even with all the research. (I now know more than I ever wanted to about the Civil War, and I swear I used like a 10th of it in the book, but whatever, it was fun!) Sending you lots of luck with your revision letter! And a million thanks for Verity :)

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Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'