GUEST POST: 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER WRITE A HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Here’s an excerpt from my guest post over at romance thriller author Aarti V Raman’s blog:

I feel I should make it clear that the key word here is not romance but historical.

Don’t take it the wrong way. I love everything to do with dates. I find delving into the dark mysteries of bygone times, intriguing. The prospect of tracing long lost footprints through the lens of my imagination is nothing short of magic to me. But having written and published two historicals, after one very rudimentary effort earlier on, I feel I can talk about writing historical romance with some assurance and I’m pretty sure all historical authors will agree with what I’m saying here.

Why shouldn’t you write a historical?

1. This is something you don’t realize until you actually begin to describe a scene properly in your story. This is especially true if you’re writing fiction set in the ancient world or –like me – in the early middle ages. It starts with an innocent looking gesture you want your character to make. Your hero is holding a drink in his hand… wait, you ask yourself, did they drink back then? Off you go to research wines and after poring through the material available – which consists of researching wine making to its roots and the exact method of preparation of mead – you can finally nod in satisfaction, ah yes, they did.

Wait, you say again, after typing not more than half a word. Would a king have a different sort of alcohol from a commoner? What sort of vessel did they use anyway? Glass, clay or gold? What was the shape of these vessels?

So you see, you can forget about the story. It will take you the whole day just to get that one gesture right.

2. Consider this. At a point in the story, I had to find if my hero could get on a trading ship in order to pilfer it (he sort of needed to) so just in case I had to mention the area etc., I decided to look up the maritime history of the Middle Ages. You wouldn’t believe the stuff I found! Did you know that the ancient ships in India were built without using nails because it was believed the iron immersed in water could be dangerous for the construction?

Trade was rife because of silk and spices produced in the region. Cargo weighing several  was transported – as much as 75 or maybe even more. Even elephants could be transported by sea route. In fact, there are records of transporting rhinoceros and elephants to China by those ships. The more I read, the more fascinating it got. In the ancient times, the trade with the Romans was so flourishing that Roman gold to the tune of 1000,000 pounds found its way into India annually…!

At this time I glance absently at the time – oh my God three hours have gone by! My writing time has evaporated into a thin mist and my WIP reproachfully at me, demanding what has all that got to do with me?

Take it from me, it’s way too hard to stick to just writing when you are working on fiction of the times of yore.

3. Another reason why you should spare yourself the persistent pain of penning a historical is the confusion surrounding ancient history. The more you dig the facts, the more you find them contradicting your earlier findings.

In one instance I had to refer to the humble beginnings of ancient emperor Chandragupta Maurya. There are multiple theories of his origins. Some medieval theorists say he was the son of a Nanda emperor, the lineage which he later defeated. Some ancient texts maintain that he was of a small Kshatriya, warrior, clan. A popular belief holds he was raised by peacock-tamers while it is even postulated that he was the grandson of a peacock-tamer. Which version would the reader find most believable? The process leaves you stymied.

4. Let me not even mention the parlance you unconsciously pick up…

Read the rest at:
https://aartivraman.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/guest-post-5-reasons-why-you-should-never-write-a-historical-romance/

#Excerpt #HiddenPassion #historical #romance

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from Historical Romance Hidden Passion. Hidden Passion is the story of Kamboj princess Rukmani and samrat Deveshwarya, set in early middle ages of India.

Enjoy reading!

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His eyes flashed with emotion at her outburst but he didn’t respond to her impetuous words immediately. The pause lengthened and then he said quietly but firmly, ‘I have no interest in ruling over you or your people. The sole aim of the battle was to keep the regents and their atrocities in check. The erstwhile Samrat of Campavati had set a precedent that all the other rulers had started following. The royals had become used to treating farmers as dirt, all because a farmer works with the dirt. The war will serve as a lesson to them. They will remember for a long time that when dirt gets into the eyes, it can make tears flow. Even a farmer can wrest power from those who abuse it.’

Then she had realized why people called him krsaka jayant that literally meant farmer-king. It was rumoured that once he had been a farmer. He had not come to the throne by birth. From his words it seemed it was true.

She had gazed at him, despite herself drawn to a certain magnetism that he exuded. He didn’t look like other royals but he didn’t look like a labourer either. There was a refinement in the way he spoke that made you listen even when you didn’t want to…

He added with a trace of mockery, ‘As for the flowers, I wasn’t tearing them, rajkumari. I don’t pluck flowers. You can see for yourself the roots would have got exposed in rain.’ He pointed and she saw he had been putting soil to anchor the stem of the plant more securely.

Stunned, she stared at him. She was so rarely at a loss for words. But right at that moment she was. A king who was bothered about saving a plant when he should be enjoying his wins? When he was expected to be plundering the spoils of war as he went about proclaiming his victory?

He continued, ‘The details of the treaty will be charted out soon. I can tell you this though. Your life will continue as it was. I will hold the royals accountable for their behavior. That and a certain form of financial reimbursement is all I will require from them.’

That he was discussing state matters with her surprised her even more. But she couldn’t talk to him about it. He was the enemy. The consciousness made her confused as to how she should react. She turned away, not wanting to give in, yet defeated by his arguments. Her swift movement made the wind catch her uttariya and threw it over the branches of the rose bushes nearby.

In her mind, she could still see how tenderly he had untangled it. The thin cloth came off with not a single hole or tear from the thorns.

He’d stepped close to drape it on her. She felt the warmth, the strength of him, felt the light touch as he settled it on her shoulder. For some reason her heart was beating fast, not with anger but an unfamiliar excitement.

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Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RBUM0EG