Monday, November 9, 2009

Modern . . . Versus Historical

Since my Biblical fiction, A Stray Drop of Blood will be releasing in four weeks, I'm going to use the month of November to build up to it as much as possible. So while I'll still try to stick more or less to my setup, much of it's going to be getting a Stray Drop spin.

One of the big differences between historicals and contemporaries are the characters, and how the settings and cultures of their times affects how they must act or respond. The ladies on my historical loop have had many a conversation on how frustrating it is to read a historical where it feels like the author took a modern woman and plopped her down in Regency England or whatever--the fact is, women had been raised very differently then, and they therefore didn't look at things the same way.

This is without-a-doubt true, and I strive to make my characters have outlooks consistent with their times. On the other hand, basic humanity hasn't ever really changed. People still have the same yearnings, the same instincts--just hewn by different tides. One of the things I most love about writing is putting myself into their heads and seeing how they will act in a situation.

I have no doubt that Abigail, my heroine in Stray Drop, will be understandable to modern readers. At her heart, her core, she is a woman like any woman through history. But I also hope it's the differences that draw you in--the way she must act because of her station, the fact that her very pride must take the form of humility. In all her life, she is only given one choice that she can make for herself--to believe that Jesus is the Christ.

Can you imagine how important that decision is when it's your first?


  1. I had never thought about it, but that's totally true. That IS the only decision Abigail makes for herself.

    I think that does wonderful things to make a character sympathetic, in historical or contemporary novels. It's what makes Skylar in The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt books sympathetic as well, because so much of the book is just life happening to her.

  2. It hadn't occurred to me until I was writing this post either, Stephanie!

    And I'm so proud of you--look at you, plugging your books! Woo hoo for The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt!!