Helena P. Schrader

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Helena P. Schrader

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born
The United States
gender
female

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member since
May 2012

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Helena P. Schrader I'm not sure what is meant by "writer's block."

I generally suffer from insufficient time to write. I'm not someone who can write if I only have a…more
I'm not sure what is meant by "writer's block."

I generally suffer from insufficient time to write. I'm not someone who can write if I only have a half hour here or there. I need time to get back into the time period and the story. So I generally set aside my weekends for writing. Then, when the weekend finally comes, I usually re-read the previous scene/section even chapter before I start work on the next, and I use the workweek to think ahead to what exactly I want to write on the coming weekend.

I have never sat down to write without knowing what I want to write. The worst that happens is I'm not sure what perspective to take or how to approach a certain scene and I may write several versions of the same scene before I feel satisfied.

But I honestly can't remember ever just staring at a blank screen without a clue about what to write. Maybe that comes from writing only on weekends and so having lots of time to think about what I want to write before I actually sit down. I hope that answers your question.(less)
Helena P. Schrader First and foremost, a writer is someone with a story they want to tell and the craft to tell it -- not someone who fancies being "a writer." In other…moreFirst and foremost, a writer is someone with a story they want to tell and the craft to tell it -- not someone who fancies being "a writer." In other words, if you don't have a story in you clamoring to get out, don't try to write.

Second, remember that "writing about things you know" is not the same thing as writing about yourself. Unless you are a celebrity or have experienced very unusual things in your life, nobody but your family or friends is going to be interested in your life. If you need to work through your personal problems by writing about them, fine, but don't expect to sell your self-therapy to a wider public.

Third, if you aren't writing an autobiography, you are going to have to do a lot of research. It doesn't matter if you are writing about a different location, a different time period, or just a different profession from your own, there is always a great deal to learn. Do your research. Be sure you know the relevant jargon, culture, laws, climate, vegitation, foods, religious rituals, social customs, clothing, technology, transport and communications systems -- everything about the environment in which your novel is set.

Now, don't include everything you learned from your research in your novel! Use your knowledge to make your characters behave in a credible, realistic fashion for whatever society, country, time period, profession they are supposed to represent. Use your knowledge of their surroundings to create realistic plot twists and use your knowledge to judiciously describe the environment, but don't do a "data dump."

Last but not least, character not plot is what makes or breaks a novel. (less)
Average rating: 4.35 · 295 ratings · 75 reviews · 23 distinct works · Similar authors
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Leonidas of Sparta: A Peerl...
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Leonidas of Sparta: A Heroi...
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Knight of Jerusalem: A Biog...
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Where Eagles Never Flew
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Are They Singing in Sparta?
4.43 of 5 stars 4.43 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2006 — 2 editions
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More books by Helena P. Schrader…
A Destrier’s TaleBalian d’Ibelin’s Destrier “Centurion” Tells his StoryPart I: The Grey Colt


When I was little, I was just called “the grey colt.” That was because there weren’t any other grey colts at the stables. And, of course, being the only grey it was obvious who my father was. He was the tall, dark grey stallion that frightened half the grooms. They kept him in a special, reinforced stal... Read more of this blog post »
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Leonidas of Sparta: A Boy o... Leonidas of Sparta: A Peerl... Leonidas of Sparta: A Heroi...
Leonidas of Sparta Trilogy (3 books)
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4.4124293785310735 of 5 stars 4.41 avg rating — 177 ratings

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A History Of Deed...
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Crusading and the...
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Helena's Recent Updates

Helena Schrader made a comment in the group Historical FictionistasKen Follett topic
" That's exactly the problem: if you know little about the period you get sucked-in, think it's great and go away with a head full of misinformation tha ...more "
The Winged Horse by C.P. Lesley
"It takes a certain literary sang-froid for a writer to feature a female hero in a Mongol yarn.

The Mongol in modern imagination is the definition of alpha male – brutal, barbaric and bloodthirsty. "A man's greatest work is to break his enemies, to..." Read more of this review »
Helena Schrader made a comment in the group Historical Fictionistasfavorite time in history topic
" Helen,

I've written books set in a variety of periods (WWII, Ancient Sparta, Crusader Jerusalem), but it has rarely been the period itself that has ins
...more "
Helena Schrader made a comment in the group Historical FictionistasNews & Upcoming Releases topic
" Ever wondered what it was like to be a medieval warhorse? Balian d'Ibelin's destrier tells his story on my blog starting today: http://schradershistor ...more "
" Ever wonder about the lives of medieval warhorses? Well, Centurion, Balian d'Ibelin's destrier, has given me the exclusive rights to his autobiography ...more "
" Great news! Knight of Jerusalem: A Biographical Novel of Balian D'Ibelin

[image]
has been awarded a "B.R.A.G. Medallion."

You can find out more about
...more "
The English Templar by Helena P. Schrader
The English Templar
by Helena P. Schrader (Goodreads Author)
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The English Templar by Helena P. Schrader
"Philip IV was one greedy royal.

Le Roi de fer (the “Iron King”) ruled France with an iron fist, financing his costly, incessant wars by shaking down the Church, Jews, bankers, and the Knights Templar. When Pope Boniface VIII protested His Royal Hi..." Read more of this review »
The Holy Lance by Andrew Latham
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The Holy Lance by Andrew Latham
The Holy Lance (The English Templars #1)
by Andrew Latham (Goodreads Author)
read in March, 2015
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The Templars as they really were!

Finally! A book that describes Templars as they really were: devout Catholic fighting men, rather than fantasy creatures or costumed, modern myths. Andrew Latham has with this comparatively short, action-packed book d
...more
More of Helena's books…

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THE JAMES MASON C...: * PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO YOUR FELLOW JAMES MASON MEMBERS! 7334 5342 May 02, 2015 06:47PM  
Ancient & Med...: * What Are You Reading Right Now? ( Hwæt béon ðu bocrædung?) 6681 1204 May 05, 2015 07:39PM  
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Welcome to Historical Fictionistas! We want to experience all different kinds of HF with all different kinds of people. The more diverse, the better. ...more



Comments (showing 1-3)    post a comment »
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Helena Schrader Marquise wrote: "Thank you for recommending the novel on Balian d'Ibelin, Ms Schrader! I had become interested in him after reading Sharon Kay Penman's 'Lionheart' recently, and was wondering if there'd be good nov..."

"Knight of Jerusalem" was released in Kindle format today. If you're interested go to: http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Jerusale...


Helena Schrader Marquise wrote: "Thank you for recommending the novel on Balian d'Ibelin, Ms Schrader! I had become interested in him after reading Sharon Kay Penman's 'Lionheart' recently, and was wondering if there'd be good nov..."

Hope you enjoy "Knight of Jerusalem!"


Marquise Thank you for recommending the novel on Balian d'Ibelin, Ms Schrader! I had become interested in him after reading Sharon Kay Penman's 'Lionheart' recently, and was wondering if there'd be good novels about d'Ibelin.


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