Sunday, May 16, 2010

Historical Instruction for Writers

As a writer of historical romance I found this very interesting. Imagine, writing advice from 1834 England, to women.

From, "The Ladies' Magazine," 1834.

"It is difficult to frame a story to amuse, and yet keep it strictly to the point of doing good. But Christians must do this. They are as much bound to do good when exercising their talents in story-telling, as though they were writing sermons. And they should never attempt to amuse the world at the expense of truth in principles, any more than they would dare to deceive the world by the violation of truth in practice."

This was a letter to the Editor of the The Ladies' Magazine, and I just wish I had the article it was a response to.

When I hold this advice up to my work-in-progress, it presents a problem, were I to take it to heart. My new book is a time-travel, and so is of necessity a violation of truth, since I don't believe in time travelling, and I hope you don't, either.
I will just have to conclude that such advice goes far as far as it goes; but that fantasy writing, such as for a book like mine, is an exception.

Any thoughts, fellow writers?

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