My Journeys in Writing

When I started researching different tribes in Africa, to fit the narrative of ROGUE, I fell in love with the semi-nomadic Samburu people. They live in the upper northwest region in Kenya.

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During that moment in time, finding information pertaining to ceremonies, traditions, or everyday life of the Samburu was not easy. I scoured most resources on the internet, but became unsatisfied since they did not answer my questions. It wasn’t until I found a thin paperback (recommended by the Smithsonian Institute) written by a man, who lived with them for 15 years, I finally got the answers I needed.

Of course, not everything is factually accurate. I had to use other tribe’s customs whenever I could not find certain details. A lot of research went into writing ROGUE.

My new journey

Now, I am researching the Inuit people, who live in the upper-northern hemisphere.

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This book will be more difficult than writing ROGUE.

Even though I have never been to Africa, I do share a commonality—desert life.  In writing FRIGID, I must mentally  live  in freezing temperatures, visualize the endless cascades of white, and imagine how to survive in harsh conditions, all while living in Phoenix, Arizona during the summertime. 

Hey, it’s a cool 110° this week!

 

It will be challenging, exhausting, yet fascinating. As I study about the people and land, I develop a profound appreciation and admiration.

I hope you enjoy my footsteps.👣

I would love to learn about your journeys too. Feel free to drop me a comment below, or email me at: hsquires9597@yahoo.com

Take care, my friends.😊

 

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Research to Write

Research

 

Writing fiction has some advantages—whatever you don’t know, you have the option to make-up. However, when writing historical fiction that doesn’t always apply.

Research can be rewarding, educating, and exciting. But, it can also be tedious, time consuming, and a lot of work.

For the non-fiction authors, research is unavoidable. Even when writing an autobiography, you will need to research for minor details.

 

My first novel was about a secret military for hire. I had to study the terminology, training, and early usages of performance-enhancing drugs. My journey of research led me to several armies throughout history, and the strategies of combat. It was fascinating.

 

In my second book, the trail of research went cold. I could not find anything (at that time) pertaining to the Samburu tribe of Africa. I purposely chose this particular tribe because of their many attributes coincided with my story. Finally, I found a pamphlet through the Smithsonian Institute. A man, who lived with the Samburu tribe for over 15 years, wrote it. The pamphlet answered many questions, but when other problems arose I had to make comparisons with another well-known tribe. I spent four solid months of research alone before writing the novel.

 

The Sphere of Archimedes required some research on physics, history, and various locations.

 

My latest (soon-to-be) novel The Omphalos of Delphi has superseded any of my previous stories. Studying Roman, Greek, and Assyrian history, learning about different lands, and tracing an actual sphere throughout time has been more challenging. The story starts off in Greenland, so I had to study all about the terrain, equipment, even specific breeds of huskies. I did extensive research on sledding, survival in frigid climates, and several scientific research stations based in Greenland. It became exhausting! Then my characters travel to Ireland and Poland. I diligently investigated each location. I will admit that this project grew overwhelming in research; I had to step away for a bit.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love research and think it is important to drive the story home. Adding true facts can “WOW!” a reader, even when writing science fiction or fantasy. To me, it makes the story more tangible. However, if you over-indulge in research, it may cause you to give up. And we don’t want that, do we?

 

Take care, my friends.

Big Words

Where I’m at Wednesday June 11, 2014

I have been so busy this week! You wouldn’t believe half the stuff that I’ve researched. Poland is an amazing country–rich with culture, architecture, and history. I am in love.
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Wawel Hill Krakow, Poland

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Warsaw University Library (Warsaw, Poland)

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Bear Cave Kletno, Poland

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Bear Cave Kletno, Poland

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Dragon’s Den Krakow, Poland

 

 

I am also glad to report that the end to The Omphalos of Delphi is within my grasp. I still have a ways to go, but most of the main issues have been resolved. I’ll admit that alternating between the three separate stories got too cumbersome. Now, I’m focusing on each one individually without interference. After they are finished,  I will then interweave them together. This process has helped immensely.
Currently, I am writing chapters 24, 25, and 27, but things are moving faster even with the amount of research I did.

 

 

*C.S.-Lewis-Big-Words

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Big words may sound nice, but don’t get so carried away that you lose people’s interest. Years ago, I knew someone who felt big words would reflect on their education. To them, being known as an intellectual was more important than getting a point across. I try to lean in the opposite direction.
Educating the reader gently is more effective than to make them stop reading just to focus on a specific word. Your story should have a sound backbone, and not waste the reader’s time with arrogant fluff.

 

 

 

 

Balancing too many ideas at once

Where I’m at Wednesday May 21, 2014

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I am nimbly, frantically, drudgingly working. Day by day, I add a little more to the story. Researching for the next location, I think Jaskinia Raj, Poland might be the next venue. I haven’t settled on it though; it’s in the raw stage of research. As for now, my characters are headed to London, and then on to Ireland. I’m hoping to wrap up the conflicts and climax soon. As things are coming to me, I think it’ll be a faster pace from here on out.
On a different note, I was delighted to finally share some of my research of Roman Emperors. Tracing the Omphalos down throughout history has been challenging, but very worth it. So far, I’ve researched a sphere to King Darius I in Babylon, but other connections have brought it to the Sumerians. Like I said, this book will be the death of me in research alone.

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Balancing too many ideas at once

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Have you ever been in the middle of one project, and then get a brilliant idea for another? I have done that on several occasions.
In the middle of writing my first novel, I got an idea for the second. The same thing happened again while writing the second novel. My best advice is not to give up on your current project to write the next, but take as many detailed notes as you can. Write an outline, draw a time line, or scribble down the facts in a notebook. That way, after you’ve finished one project, you’ll have the backbone for the next. If you drop your current task to start another, then most likely you will never finish. Sometimes our creativity can be overwhelming. An over abundance of ideas can produce stumbling blocks. Remain focused on the one you’re working on, and DON’T stop.
Take care my friends. 🙂
Have questions or ideas you’d like to share? Feel free to contact me via email: hsquires9597@yahoo.com

Writing Non-Fiction

Where I’m at Wednesday May 7, 2014

Currently, I’m working on chapter 22 in The Omphalos of Delphi. I love switching between the three individual stories. After I’m done writing it, I will need to make sure the chapters are in the right sequence. My editor will also tell me which sequences flow better. All in all, I am very pleased with the direction things are moving.
I am super excited to be done with imagining SNOW!!! I hate snow. . .now. Even though I live in Phoenix, I don’t get to see it often, but my head has been overloaded with vivid images of a white barren wasteland.  As my characters move toward London, I will be refreshed with the greenery at last.

*No one can write

 

 

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Writing nonfiction

 

 

Most of my advice has been geared toward fiction writers, only because I am a fiction author. As an avid reader of history, people, and places, I rely on knowledgeable, nonfiction writers.

 

According to Wikipedia, nonfiction is a narrative, account, or other communicative work whose assertions and descriptions are believed by the author to be factual.

 

Nonfiction has a broad spectrum: biographies, textbooks, magazine or newspaper articles, historical events, self-help, user manuals (DIY), scientific essays or books, letters, memoirs. These are just some examples of nonfiction.

 

In understanding and writing nonfiction we must learn several styles. To break it down, there are 4 types of nonfiction writing, although some may apply to fiction writing as well.

 

  • NARRATION – tells a story about a person, place or event either through writing, spoken words, or a series of moving pictures.

 

 

  • EXPOSITION – an explanation of important background information to an audience about settings, or events prior to the main plot. Backstories can be conveyed through dialogue, flashbacks, character’s thoughts, or a narrator telling the back-story.

 

 

  • ARGUMENTATION – a debate or negotiation using logical reasoning, which may or may not persuade the audience or opponent. Argumentation can include the civil debates of the arts and sciences through dialogue, conversation, and persuasion.

 

 

  • DESCRIPTIVE – engages the senses to build a mental image of a story. Descriptive writing is applicable to both fiction and nonfiction.

 

 

 

Steps to follow in writing nonfiction:

 

  • Decide on a topic – it would be easier to pick a subject that you are already an expert in, take an interest in, or have knowledge about.

 

  • Choose a form – will it be a blog, an article for a magazine, or become a book?

 

  • Research – if you aren’t writing an autobiography, then you’ll need to research your topic.

 

  • Write an outline – record the areas that you’d like to cover, notate the facts, and list events. Sometimes drawing a timeline can be useful.

 

  • Write – you have all your resources, notes, and facts. Now get busy and write!

 

  • Revise – after you have written the first draft, then go back review, adjust, and edit.

 

I hope this information has helped. You may have a better understanding, but the work rests on your shoulders.

 

Good luck writing.

 

Take care, my friends.

 

Check out my blog archives on publishing:
https://hsquiresnovels.com/2013/11/19/where-im-supposedly-at-wednesday/
https://hsquiresnovels.com/2013/11/27/where-im-at-wednesday-2/