Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers discussion

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QUESTIONS > Why some authors can break the "rules"

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message 1: by Susana (new)

Susana Ellis (susanaellisauthor) | 5 comments I just concluded a series of 12 blog posts on "deal breakers" in historical romances. My latest post discusses why some authors can get away with breaking the rules.

I'd love to hear your views on the matter!

http://susanaellisauthor.wordpress.co...


message 2: by Jean (last edited Jan 07, 2013 12:20PM) (new)

Jean (otakumom) I love reading your "deal breakers" posts and couldn't help saying, I so agree! I particularly have a problem with huge class disparities or marrying mistresses because the obstacles are overwhelming and quite truthfully, their HEA won't be too happy unless they leave England and start a new life in the Colonies.

The writer has to draw us in and weave a spell that seduces us to succumb to a willing suspension of disbelief. The tropes you listed are exceptionally difficult and requires well developed characters and plot in order to weave that spell effectively.

It was fun reading your analyses and I look forward to seeing what else you write about.


message 3: by Susana (new)

Susana Ellis (susanaellisauthor) | 5 comments Oh yes, I recall the one where the duke (or marquess or someone) married the orange girl. Just not believable on any level, although the American in me likes to think it could happen.

I'm glad you enjoyed them! It certainly helped to get all of that out of my system!


message 4: by Gerrie (new)

Gerrie | 20 comments I, too, really enjoyed all your posts on deal breakers. You so articulately expressed many of my pet peeves. I especially liked number 3, "Anachronistic Behavior and Historical Inaccuracies." They drive the historian in me crazy, and you really nailed it.

I would add a another point to number 3, something that is a small anomaly, but makes me nuts. It's when an author gives the hero or heroine a name that simply wasn't in use during the time period of the novel, and is a modern name. It's so easy to find names that are not only accurate for the time, but for the social class of the character as well. I hate to say it, but that can actually ruin an historical romance for me.


message 5: by Anne (new)

Anne (spartandax) Gerrie wrote: "I, too, really enjoyed all your posts on deal breakers. You so articulately expressed many of my pet peeves. I especially liked number 3, "Anachronistic Behavior and Historical Inaccuracies." The..."

I agree about the names, Gerrie, both men and women in historicals sometimes have the strangest names.


message 6: by Susana (new)

Susana Ellis (susanaellisauthor) | 5 comments That is so funny! My editor made me change the name of my heroine--Patricia (Tricia) because Patricia was not a common name in 1810. So instead of "Treasuring Tricia," it's "Treasuring Theresa."

If I'd named her Tiffany or Heather, I could understand the problem. But suppose my heroine had a Roman scholar for a father and he gave her a Latin name like Patricia? (BTW, we discovered there was at least one Patricia living in London during the 1851 census.)

I'd like to go through Debrett's Peerage and see how many "uncommon" names are listed in the period. It just seems like some parents—even aristocratic ones—would not choose only the most common names for their children.


message 7: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Monajem | 8 comments Hooray for uncommon names! I sometimes use Roman names because I like them, and because they're not the same old same old ones. I figure as long as the name existed, it's fair to use it. (I even named one of my heroines Pompeia, LOL.)


message 8: by Gerrie (last edited Jan 08, 2013 01:54PM) (new)

Gerrie | 20 comments I agree that even if it's uncommon, if a name existed prior to or during the historical period of a novel, then that name is fair game. And if one is writing about the upper classes, so many of them were well educated and well read, so that could explain unusual names from antiquity, among other sources.

Also, then as now, some parents might have wanted unusual names for their children. I would guess that there are plenty of ways for an author to give a character an unusual name for that character's time period that still feels historically authentic.

My problem is the use of names like Tiffany, Devon, Heather, Rylee, etc., which seem to me to be very contemporary. It makes me feel as though the author hasn't done her or his research, even if they have.

Anyway, it's great to hear from you published authors about the issues of choosing character names in your historical romance novels.


message 9: by Susana (new)

Susana Ellis (susanaellisauthor) | 5 comments My editor would have let me keep Patricia, since there was that one person in 1851, but she insisted that the nickname Tricia would not have been used, especially in the aristocracy. So we changed the name to Theresa so that it would sound good with "Treasuring". (Treasuring Patricia just doesn't have the same appeal somehow.)

I wasn't happy at the time, but the name has grown on me.


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