Monday, January 25, 2010

Modern . . . Crossover

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So, I'd been happily plugging away on Seized, my contemporary pirate/black market story. I was really getting into my characters--my noble hero, who is close to the Lord but is having some trouble with all his earthly relationships, and my shattered-inside heroine, born a nomadic Bedouin but who has since been through a life of maritime nightmares.

During a Book-in-a-Week challenge, I got down my goal of 10,000 words on this story, and my critique partners all gave me the thumbs up on the result (aside from some rough patches, obviously, lol).

But then that niggling voice started poking at my brain. It said something like, "Um, Roseanna? Why are you still working on this, when you have an editor interested in your unfinished historical?"

I believe I replied with something like, "Uh . . . well . . . I, uh . . . had some problems with the research on my Egypt historical. Didn't I? Yeah, that was it. I, uh, hadn't reconciled some facts in my mind . . ."

The voice said, "You mean these facts, here? The ones very easily handled like this?"

"Oh. Well, yeah. How about that--that's actually pretty clever."

"Yes, Roseanna. Now how about getting back to it so you can get it to the editor sometime this year?"

So Roseanna got down to business. I'm glad I took some time away from it so all those facts had time to simmer and settle, but last week I really enjoyed diving back in. Even though I've been trying not to switch back and forth on stories these past few years, I have a feeling this is the right thing to do. The aforementioned editor said she wasn't accepting submissions for a couple months, so I have some time to work on it, but she also said to send it when it was done. So it would be nice if that could happen at some point, LOL.

What's interesting is how these two stories share some facts and history. The historical is set in Egypt of 1928, on an archaeological dig. At the time, most of the grunt-work was done by Bedouin tribes in the area--you see where this is going, right? I had already done some basic research on Bedouins for the historical. It was enough that I could get started on my contemporary without needing to take a ton of time at the get-go figuring out my heroine's background.

I did some more research as I wrote the contemporary . . . and now I'm finding it's invaluable as I go back to the historical. This is pretty funny, in that the stories have absolutely nothing in common other than that Bedouin thread--but it's really fun to have that little hint of crossover. It doesn't always work that way, when jumping 80 years, but in a culture that is still rooted in the past . . . not only does it work, it's actually incredibly interesting to see what has remained the same and what has changed. (The Bedouins have cars now, for instance, but I'm guessing they don't get real great cell reception out there in the desert.)

So though I'll be spending this week excavating a building in Egypt of '28, I'll be doing it the richer for what I've written thus far of my modern tale of a woman displaced so often that she's left reeling. Fun, huh?

2 comments:

  1. It can be really hard to figure out the best project to work on. Glad the research is going to help with both!

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  2. Go, Roseanna!!
    That's awesome when research can work double duty!!
    Happy writing!!

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