Hey guys! As many of you know, I am currently working on my next big novel, hurrah! It’s been great to see the success of my previous series of books, but I want to keep things fresh, and keep challenging myself.
So I’ve been working on the first novel of a series of four. It is twice as long as any other book that I have ever written, covers twice the amount of geography, and has at least four times the number of characters. I have complicated diagrams to follow how everyone interacts with each other, and I’m still getting confused with how long a particular character needs to stick around before I kill them off (sorry).
However, today disaster struck. I accidentally discovered that I had misplaced the entirety of the action of the first seventeen chapters…by almost two hundred miles.
It may not sound like a problem, but at the time of the year that I am writing it will change the weather, the holy days, the ways that people interact with people – and worse, I have now discovered that there was a whole religious dispute going on in the place where my characters ACTUALLY were during this time. So now I’ve got to weave that in.
This is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult things about writing historical fiction when you include characters that really existed. It doesn’t matter how marvellous you think it would be that your hero was in this particular location at this time; if he wasn’t you can’t put him there. You can’t also move people’s ages by a couple of years to make characters peers, and you can’t change a person’s appearance to fit with a joke you have half way through.
I have always considered this one of the exciting challenges of writing historical fiction, but right now, I am totally gutted. I’m going to have to re-write the last 56,000+ words of my draft, just because I read one year wrong in my initial research.