I’m currently doing some research for a new novel/novella I’m writing. I actually started this story from a dream I had, but as all dreams need, there are details that have to be nailed down, hammered out, and otherwise put in their place.

As this is a historical story that I’m pretty sure will be antebellum South, I’m reading about plantations and slaves. No, it’s not a slave story. But it’s part of the life of a planter and they will figure into the plot at some stage, so I’m pawing through some fairly depressing history.

Back when I was 12 I was one of a few students that represented our school in a Texas history competition. This wasn’t because I’m so damn smart as much as my a fairly gossipy Texas history teacher who told great stories got me hooked and the rest of it just stuck. It’s the stories that are interesting, not the dates. At least, to me. And sort of the story of how we are here. Why there are so many damn German towns in Texas, things like that.

What I also discovered were a number of historical houses and tours right here in Austin. There’s even a historical reenactment place not far from my home. History is so much more interesting when you can touch it. Anyway, that’s what I’m currently up to.

Also, I’m going to fire a gun. I know, right? I live in Texas and don’t own a gun or a horse. Actually I did shoot a gun before and rode a few horses, both of which I chalk up to a misspent youth. Now I have to do it alllll over again. Once more, with feeling.

6 thoughts on “Softcore History

  1. Ah, what we writers go through to make our stories authentic. I’ve been thinking about learning to fire a gun. There’s a shooting range not far away that I may try out. Right now I don’t have a character who carries, so I may wait until I do, so I would know what kind of gun to try out.

    Straight From Hel

    1. Yeah, I’m hoping to pick the brains of the people there, too. I don’t think I’ll want to shoot a lot of different guns. Though, who knows? Maybe I’ll love it and it’ll be an addiction.

      I sort of doubt that…but you never know.

      I’m sure I’ll blog about life with a gun in your hand. My characters normally don’t pack, but with a historical…yeah. And I like having things in my brain to pull from.

      My characters tell me a lot and sometimes it’s creepy. Like I’ll be writing, in the flow, in the moment and just finish up a scene and think, “okay, I should see if that’s accurate.” And it’ll be right on, even though I have no idea where it came from.

  2. Sometimes the journey is more fun than the destination, Clancy. Enjoy the research. Hope it isn’t too depressing. And have fun with the gun? Or is that the wrong expression. I’ve subscribed to your blog so will be interested in how it all progresses.

    1. Thank you!

      Usually these places really sort of…skim the unpleasant fact that the plantations are there for what they were there for. But I’ll get some notion of floor plan and scale and scope, which is what I need. I hope there will be a cotton gin. They’re so legendary but I’ve never seen one in person and I want to get a better idea of it.

      The gun part is a little scary for me. I’ve handled guns and shot a gun, but I was pretty young and only have vague memories of it. I’m pretty sure I just shot once too. The can survived my assault.

      I’m going to sign up for a ride along in a police car. Again, something I did when I was younger but I don’t remember all that well. And things have changed a lot since then.

  3. No gun, no horse, do you at least have a hat? Seriously, sounds like it will be a fascinating book, and for you an exciting adventure, not simply in the writing. Go with gusto, write with greatness, and have a hell of a time.

    1. I do have a hat. Sort of. It’s leopard print and furry. I’m not sure it counts. Or maybe it only counts in Dallas.

      Thank you! I hope it’s a good book. It’ll be erotic paranormal horror. Plantations, I think, lend themselves to that. And I have a haunted house idea that I think will be served by these explorations into old houses.

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