I must admit that I’m addicted to books on writing! I buy them from Amazon and at conferences. I recently received an order I made with books on how to write the perfect Romance. I spent the weekend studying, making notes, and playing with an outline and character studies.
One of the first things I was told when I joined my critique group was to throw out all the books on how to write! I’ve learned so much from the group and my writing has improved greatly, but I love my books! I doubt any of them will make me a bestseller, but something is bound to stick. I glean a little something from all of them. Is there such a thing as too much knowledge? I don’t think so.
I have books about outlining, how to write Horror, how to market my work, and now, how to write Romance. I’m sure I’ve already mastered the Horrible Romance, but … I keep trying.
Historical Fiction is my forte, so I’ll stay in that genre for the time being. This story I’m toying with is a Western Romance set in 1876 central Texas. I’ve watched many Westerns. My mother was a devotee of John Wayne. In my early teens I went through my Western novel period. I devoured Louis L’Amour and other Western authors. I’m hoping some of it stuck.
I enjoy the research that brings real-life to the pages. I loved doing the research for my Soiled Dove Sagas. I study Historical Fashion and think it adds a lot as well. I know most men don’t care about silk ribbons on lacey petticoats, but the women do and I think they are ultimately my audience.
The books tell me to write what I know. I know about fabrics and period fashions. I can’t do it anymore, but I know about hand-stitching a full garment. I hope that comes through in my writing. I grew up on a farm in a 100-year-old farmhouse with no central air. I know what it feels like to pull weeds in the hot sun and how fresh corn smells when you pull it off the stalk. I’ve never cooked on a woodstove, but I have washed clothes outside and hung them on a line to dry. I’m dating myself now, but it all works to enhance my writing about the 19th Century. I can write what I know.
I’ll continue attending my critique group, but I’ll also continue to read books about writing. I may never write a bestseller, but I’ll continue to write. It fills a void in my life and I have a few fans who read my work. I write for me, but I’d like to think I’m doing it well.