Search found 16 matches

by Matt Phillips
August 29th, 2011, 2:09 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: question about historical fiction
Replies: 10
Views: 1297

Re: question about historical fiction

One thing you might consider doing is writing an author's note to put at the end explaining specifically what is true and what you made up. That is a common technique among historical novelists. Also, since 1923 isn't THAT long ago, you might find more background about the jailbreak by digging aroun...
by Matt Phillips
June 10th, 2011, 5:39 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: Hybrid POV
Replies: 11
Views: 1637

Re: Hybrid POV

Thanks, Polymath. So how, in a practical sense, does the writer make a transition from, for example, one chapter told from the 1st person character's POV to the next told from another character's POV in 3rd person without at least initially confusing the reader? Would it suffice simply to make clear...
by Matt Phillips
June 9th, 2011, 3:16 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: Hybrid POV
Replies: 11
Views: 1637

Re: Hybrid POV

I think a multiple viewpoint narrative needs a somewhat overt narrator to mediate character viewpoint transitions. I think it's especially important to have a somewhat overt narrator when one viewpoint character is reported in first person and other viewpoint characters are reported in third person...
by Matt Phillips
June 9th, 2011, 3:02 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: Old fashioned dialogue
Replies: 15
Views: 1990

Re: Old fashioned dialogue

I'd definitely echo the suggestions to read period primary sources - also some novels set in the period if you trust the authors. I've been keeping a running list of period expressions and trends in speaking/writing as I read sources from my period. I'm writing in the 18th century English-speaking w...
by Matt Phillips
February 8th, 2011, 3:33 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: A painful but necessary book on writing
Replies: 20
Views: 3217

Re: A painful but necessary book on writing

I'm about halfway through this book, and I'm not finding it too harsh so far. Its tone is similar to many writing blogs. I like its straightforward quality: Do this, this or this, but not this.
by Matt Phillips
January 31st, 2011, 6:53 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: Ethnicity
Replies: 11
Views: 1333

Re: Ethnicity

That's helpful, Polymath, thank you. Since we obviously can't use directly translated syntax like your "I, John Smith, you tell .." example, but also want to achieve some measure of verisimilitude, maybe a good middle ground would always be to observe the hierarchy you mentioned in writing Native Am...
by Matt Phillips
January 31st, 2011, 5:39 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: Ethnicity
Replies: 11
Views: 1333

Re: Ethnicity

Polymath - That was an interesting take. Could you elaborate on what you meant by, "Native American syntax favors animacy from individual standpoints." Can you give some examples and discuss what that means for writing dialogue for Native American characters (in English, but the characters are speak...
by Matt Phillips
January 25th, 2011, 7:56 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: Story Structure Videos
Replies: 3
Views: 797

Re: Story Structure Videos

His structural approach is similar to that of Larry Brooks at storyfix.com. Larry's blog and books are worth checking out.
by Matt Phillips
January 21st, 2011, 4:10 pm
Forum: Ask Nathan
Topic: Effect of e-Books on word count standards
Replies: 1
Views: 650

Effect of e-Books on word count standards

Nathan - Do you think the rise of e-books will loosen standards for word count? Although the costs of paper, printing, shelf space for thicker books, etc. are not the only concerns agents and publishers have about offering representation or a contract for longer works, particularly by new authors, t...
by Matt Phillips
January 4th, 2011, 3:45 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: Perspectives on historical fiction
Replies: 9
Views: 1118

Re: Perspectives on historical fiction

Another point I'd make is not to underestimate the value of withholding historically important information from the reader (temporarily). There may be a great deal of background information necessary to understand the historical context, but dosing that information out in bite-sized pieces can help ...
by Matt Phillips
December 20th, 2010, 2:03 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: Books About War
Replies: 18
Views: 3276

Re: Books About War

I have to disagree with Steve. It's certainly harder if you haven't served, but I certainly think it can be done. Got any modern examples? I've had the Dunkirk chapters from McEwan's ATONEMENT suggested, but I'm not convinced. By "modern examples," do you mean examples of fiction set in recent wars...
by Matt Phillips
December 6th, 2010, 4:32 pm
Forum: Ask Nathan
Topic: Pitching a project at a conference
Replies: 2
Views: 794

Re: Pitching a project at a conference

Thanks Nathan
by Matt Phillips
December 2nd, 2010, 2:54 pm
Forum: Ask Nathan
Topic: Pitching a project at a conference
Replies: 2
Views: 794

Pitching a project at a conference

Nathan - I know you don't query an unfinished project, but is the same true for pitching a project to an agent or editor at a writing conference? There is a conference coming up next June that I'd like to attend, but I won't be ready to query for at least a few months after that. However, I expect t...
by Matt Phillips
August 19th, 2010, 5:20 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: What's your genre?
Replies: 87
Views: 10928

Re: What's your genre?

airball wrote:Anyone else working on historical fiction/mystery here?

England during the 1700s, if you're curious.
Yep (historical fiction). American Revolution, New York and Pennsylvania frontier.
by Matt Phillips
August 18th, 2010, 3:03 pm
Forum: Writing
Topic: Do your research!
Replies: 13
Views: 2037

Re: Do your research!

I'm also writing a historical, and that happy medium between accurate period speech and language accessible to modern readers is a tough one. At the very least, I think authors writing in a historical setting need to make sure they avoid anachronisms and an obviously modern-sounding tone. But they s...