I love history, fictional and the truth (which is difficult to discern most of the time). The current attempt to write a historical piece, since I revived an interest in telling a story, has been slow-going. NaNoWriMo 2011 was a NoGo but I do see how it taught me quite a bit about myself, the craft of writing, and how time is of the essence. Second, since I have not given up, the ongoing process is churning. My current idea to read other authors, to see how they wind the road from start to finish and develop character and scenes to produce a climax, is not unique. Many writers see the importance of finding books that keep their interest, so they can begin to understand how a novel comes together, from idea to pages of written words. I hope all this energy will produce fruit from my labors.
My story ideas center around Egypt, the Reformation and church history. Historical fiction is quite a beast and is not easily cornered. My favorite book I consider to be of historical value is THE AMERICAN by Henry James. Henry James himself said that historical fiction was condemned but I disagree. To peer into time past, relate it to our present condition, and then produce a story that whisks you away from stress and everyday living, well, that is my goal. I know it is lofty. My biggest fear is that I may never finish my work.
So these are the books I am committed to reading for the historical fiction reading challenge I found at http://historicaltapestry.blogspot.com :
1. The Chosen by Chaim Potok
2. Joseph and His Brothers by Thomas Mann
3. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
4. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
5. The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
I currently have 296 books on my Goodreads page that I intend to read, so to whittle down to these five was an enormous undertaking. If I can read more, that will be great, but I still have a book to write of my own. Again, time is of the essence. (You can find a tab to connect with my Goodreads page on the left hand side of this page.)
Happy reading and writing… Jeanne