Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Research - when do you stop and start writing the book?

I am about to embark on my first new book for more than a year. I'm going to write a ghost story set at Pemberley which I have already made a detailed outline for. I know that Jane Austen related books were no longer being taken by publishers but I still think there is a demand to meet, whatever the publishers might believe.
Miss Bennet & Mr Bingley, having received a wonderful new cover to mark the 200th anniversary, is now selling  more copies than ever before – especially in America.
So, back to the problem of when to stop the search and start writing. I bought this book and "Jane Austen -The World of Her Novels" by Deirdre Le Faye, to add to my already groaning shelves of Georgian and Regency research books. I also bought the DVD of "Pride & Prejudice Having a Ball", and have read through both the books and watched the DVD.the
 My head is now full of images of lavish regency suppers and gorgeous costumes. I feel I have topped up my knowledge of Jane Austen's world and should really be ready to start writing. However, I now have a book on Coaching, Ghost Stories , Seed time and Harvest, and The Jane Austen handbook down from my bookshelf and feel compelled to flick through these, just in case I've forgotten anything vital about the era since I wrote my last Regency story.
The fact that for the past year or so I've been re-writing and editing mostly Regency stories should mean everything I need to know is bubbling away inside my head, waiting to escape onto the page.
I have a horrible feeling my wish to continue reading into my subject it's more to do with procrastination than a desire to improve my historical knowledge.
Any suggestions as to how I can actually start writing my book would be gratefully received.
£0.99 on Amazon.UK

I have just published another Regency story, A Mistress for Stansted Hall,  on Amazon – this is my 11th – and yet again Jane Dixon-Smith has provided me with a beautiful cover.

Fenella J Miller.


Helena said...

Your post rang bells with me (though on a much smaller scale); I am supposed to be writing an essay right now, and I keep finding more reading to do rather than Just Getting On With It.

Which means, I'm afraid, that I don't have the answer as to how to get started but I can diagnose procrastination when I see it!

Fenella J Miller said...

Helena - blame the sun! No one wants to work hard when it's so hot - and thismight be only summer we get.
REad an Americna blog the otehr day - his messag was 'Shut up and write'.
(A bit ruder than that -but you get the drift. )

Elizabeth Hawksley said...

I've always found Evelyn Waugh's advice very helpful. He said, 'I aim to write one and a half lines a day.'

Naturally, it's quite impossible to write just one and a half lines. Before you know it, you've written a small paragraph, then several more and turned over the page - and you're away.

Fenella J Miller said...

Elizabeth, since I finally got Dragon to function again I've submitted my annual accounts/been to the dentist twice/spent half a day with my new grandson/been for hospital appointment and watched the test match. I'm really going to take EW's advice - once the first few lines are down I'll be fine.