Monday, January 4, 2010

Modern . . . Old-Fashioned Folks

First, don't forget to hop back to Friday's blog and comment for a chance to win a copy of Linore Rose Burkard's The Country House Courtship.

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One of the interesting things about my current contemporary is that I have a character who's pretty much lived in a different century most of her life. As a nomadic Bedouin, she didn't have a lot of the modern conveniences we all grew up with. Though the tribes have vehicles (usually Toyota Land Cruisers from the '80s, actually), they'd be far from luxurious. And things like cell phones, television, computers? Um, no.

It's a challenge to try to put myself in her mindset and see what would really strike her about a modern American city like D.C. Would she be unaccustomed to the noise of traffic? Would civilization smell funny to her? Would she be taken by surprise when she mentions a headache and someone shoves medicine at her? (I'm assuming that they'd have medication but would save it for the serious stuff--and for the men.)

Even harder is trying to grasp the social ideas this woman would come with. Largely it's a simple Middle Eastern way of thinking. I say simple, but the fact is that I don't actually know any Middle Eastern women. Thankfully, I have a friend who does, and she's helping me out on this. =) Plus, the Bedouins would be even more out-of-modern-thought than someone from a city in the Middle East. So toss in some thought from previous centuries.

But one thing that makes it interesting and gives me a little leeway is that, because they're nomadic, Bedouins tend to be a law unto themselves within a tribe. While some tribes are strictly Muslim, others observe it only in name. While some are more forward thinking as regards women, others keep a harsh rule over them. So to a point I can just make it up, ha ha ha.

For an author who writes both historicals and comtemporaries, this is proving a fun way to mesh them. When old-fashioned runs straight into high-tech you can't help but have some sparks. And that's what makes the pages fly by.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I hadn't thought about how complicated a character she would be to write! I bet you'll do great at it.

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