Showing posts from March, 2012

The Victorian Trousseau

This week I worked on the proposal of marriage offered by Patrick Rochester to Charlotte Gray. After torturing the man for a good five pages, she finally relented to marrying him.
Her sister, Lilly Collins, is actively involved in preparations for the wedding. One task that she is helping Charlotte with is preparing her trousseau. This French word refers, of course, to a bride's bundle of personal possessions amassed prior to the wedding that include undergarments and clothing. Late in the 19th and early 20th century a collection of household wares (tablecloths, towels, linens, etc.) were included.

My story is set roughly around the 1885-1890, so Charlotte's collection of personal items deal mainly with fine undergarments and clothing. Below is an excerpt from Vintage Connection describing a typical trousseau around 1884. It would include the following:

"... a dozen chemises trimmed with embroidery or insertions, a dozen nightdresses, six well-trimmed combinations…

The Romance Genre - It's a Tough Gig

Every time an author sits down to write a book, you ask yourself a lot of questions. Is the story any good? Is the plot okay? Are the characters believable? Is there enough conflict and suspense? Is it too predictable? The list goes on and on.
I just received a new book on how to write good conflict and suspense. The only books I read are how to be a better writer. I always hope that my next novel will show growth in my craft and become more appealing to readers. I'm still tuning my style and finding my voice. Of course, this being my fourth fiction, you'd think I would have found it by now!

Today I stumbled across a few historical romances on Amazon from best selling traditionally published authors. I wanted to read why people liked what they wrote or why they didn't like it. Wow, what an interesting exercise, which reminded me that the romance genre is one tough gig.

Here is a sample of the few colorful comments written in reviews:

Tiny Taste of First Impressions

I'm over halfway finished with the novel. A few weeks ago, I was writing like a maniac, but then my life situation threw me a few curves and my time to write came to a screeching halt. I hate it when I lose momentum.

At the present time, I'm looking at Chapter 18 and am at a pivotal point in the storyline. Sometimes you reach a point in a story where you stand at crossroad with a variety of paths to follow. Right now I'm at the intersection trying to decide which way to go.

As usual, I've picked a story that's not the cookie-cutter formula for romance. You may find Charlotte Gray a gullible, weak-willed woman who is easily duped by the men in her life. Of course, she has the disadvantage of not being able to see her suitors. She can only formulate her impressions about a man based on his voice, words, actions, and through the recommendations of others. Charlotte Gray may follow her inward instincts, but what if she is wrong? It's a challenge indeed.


The Debutante

Taking a lunch break! It feels good to have Internet access for an hour. I've been so pent-up not being able to express myself except through a few posts via telephone on my Facebook page.

In the meantime, after unpacking my boxes from moving into my condo, I've settled down into a routine of writing once again. Apparently, I didn't forget to pack the muse. He arrived safe and sound with no damage.

Dark Persuasion is coming along wonderfully. If you haven't guessed by now, my heroine is quite different than any other woman I've written about. She is blind. Writing from her point of view has been a challenge. I'm relying heavily upon her other senses to portray her surroundings.

In addition, I've also had to deeply examine what it would be like not being able to see. How would you judge a man when you met him? It's a challenge not seeing a person's facial expression and looking into their eyes -- the window of their soul. Could you fall in lov…