Looking back into the past of writing and forward into the present
2020 is here! For all of you readers new to the Soul Mate Publishing blog, allow me to introduce myself. I write historical romance with a twist of suspense under the pen name Wareeze Woodson. I have six published works up on Amazon.
In this post, I intend to look back at how authors wrote and compare such writing to today. Errors or typos were present in the past and are still prevalent in today’s books. Here is a mistake in a top selling author’s book: “We don’t agree,” he contradicted, a cooked smile tugging at the edges of his mouth.
I wonder if the trolls searching the web commented on the cooked instead of the appropriate crooked. One of my books contained wont instead of want. You would think the writing world couldn’t survive such carelessness. GEES.
Many elements of writing, even ten years ago, are now taboo. Jumping from one point of view to another without a single warning is never allowed today, especially in my genre of historical romance. In several books by a famous author (one of my favorites) when some point needed explaining, the author leaped into a servants point of view, very convenient, but not acceptable today. The number of view points are also limited. More than three or four view points will be frowned upon by the editor, at least, my editor. The hero is allowed along with the heroine, and certainly the villain. A few others may be tolerated.
Here is a small example of such a happening in days gone by:
“Parents do that to you every time,” Gray said. “How is the hand, by the way?”
“It’s as good as new.” The injury was three months old, and long healed, but Philip refrained from pointing this out to his employer.
The information was important to the story line, but it could not be presented in the same matter today. That book was published in 1995. I love the book, the story and all of the characters. I have read it over and over again. Still, it isn’t today. My critique partners would have had a fit if I had written something like that in my latest release: Captured by a Viscount. It was released November 27, 2019. I combed through every word—word for word, more than three times. I’m certain someone will see an error and report it to the world at large. Thick skin is necessary in the writing business.
In Captured by the Viscount, if the heroine doesn’t know something at the time, the reader doesn’t know the information either unless another’s point of view is involved. Example below:
He pawed through the stolen documents and glared at her, his voice lowered, menacing, gruff. “As I suspected, little thief, you stole my investment certificates.” He watched her for a moment, his stillness, and his chilling scrutiny deeply disturbing. “And my cash. Some jewelry as well. Naughty girl.”
We did not jump into his point of view. Isabel witnessed his reaction as he watched her. She viewed his stillness, and his chilling scrutiny. She concluded the deeply disturbing part on her own.
Since Captured by the Viscount is in the present, I am including an excerpt as an example of today’s writing. Naturally it is a historical romance:
In the act of restoring the viscount’s stolen certificates to the top desk drawer, a barely audible sound drew Isabel’s attention. A quiet sigh of the door swinging open alerted her to the threatening man’s presence, a dark shadow filling the threshold. From the corridor, a candle flame in the wall sconce flickered and glinted off the in-laid silver on the stock of the menacing gun, deadly, unwavering. Mesmerized by the pistol pointed directly at her heart, she caught her breath unable to move or even swallow.
Why oh, why had she scooped up the jewelry first? Frantic to recover her jewels, she’d made a thorough search of the office. After locating her mother’s wedding ring and the other pieces, she bundled the precious items into her satchel. Now, disaster—caught with the documents still in her possession.
The drapes billowed on a sharp breeze before settling back to the floor with a barely discernible swoosh. She shivered as her drenched cloak swung against her skirts shifting the layers of her under-petticoats with a chilling heaviness. The damp cloth clung to her ankles while moisture trickled down her forehead into her eyes.
Deeply aware of her peril, she scarce blinked, her gaze captured by the gun, her heart beating at an alarming rate. The longcase clock in the hall chimed once echoing down the empty passageway. Despite the lateness of the hour, the sound of a carriage rumbling over the roadbed in front of the mansion reached inside the room. Even at the outskirts of London, she could still smell the heavily rain-washed streets. The distinct odor of the town drifted into the open window, cleansed yet dominated by the stench of horses, foot traffic, and smoldering coal.
The man holding the pistol, tall, broad-shouldered, his very stillness a threat, stood inside the threshold with the candlelight silhouetting his form. The moon peeked around the clouds casting a pale light into the room merging with the candle’s meager flame.
Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope this brief look at the past compared to the present was interesting. For information on my current work in progress, visit my website: www.wareezewoodson.com