From Sea to Shining Sea: Writing the American Historical with Beth Daniels

Genre From Sea to Shining Sea: Writing the American Historical with Beth Daniels

Level
Mixed
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Register by February 27th and save $5, use code HISTORICALDANIELS2023 at checkout!
Category
  1. Characters
  2. Description/Setting
  3. Structure
  4. Genre
  5. Plotting
  6. Worldbuilding
$5 off Early Registration Coupon-expires 1 week before class starts
HISTORICALDANIELS2023
Class Length
4 Weeks
When you cruise the shelves at the bookstore, or the online listings, it’s easy to find stories of daring-do and hot clinches set in the Scottish Highlands, Regency or Victorian London or a country house within these periods, and occasionally take a trip back to the Medieval or Age of the Viking. But what about the history that is nearer to home for many of us – you know, American history!

Once upon a time, historical American romantic adventures were on equal footing with their European cousins. Then they seemed to vanish, fall by the wayside as the bodice rippers gave way to a different style of storyline.

And yet, editors and readers are looking for something different. They get burned out on their favorite periods occasionally. A solid diet of one setting can begin to lose its spark.

Spark is what grabs a reader’s interest. Spark is what American history can supply for your storytelling, too.

Oddly enough, what you can bring to American (or Australian) settings are the same people used in the tales set in Scotland, in Ireland, in Britain, or elsewhere in Europe. You know, immigrants. They aren’t all poor and downtrodden, though many are. What all immigrants are is daring, bold, hopeful. Adventurous. Passionate. All wonderful traits for characters. Setting them down on a fresh new stage brings all that to the forefront. Plus, a bit of fear. At least for the first ones to arrive. But being daring, bold, hopeful, adventurous and passionate are traits they hand down to their descendants, who may be your characters, too.

So, bring that Highland laddie, that Irish rogue, the Regency dandy, the Plantagent or Tudor lord, the roving Viking warrior to the New World. Match him with a heroine he might never have met in the Old World. The scenery these characters stride is a bit different, sometimes the language is, but these Europeans from earlier centuries are related to the immigrants that settled large new lands. You can convert them.

How do you decide where best to set this remade couple down? What neck of the woods or coast or plain, what period? That’s what we’ll do in a quickly moving 4-weeks. Consider the landscapes available from the earliest settlements to the Roarin’ Twenties and see how well American History works as a setting…a fairly untouched setting these days…to revitalize your storytelling or create a niche of your own. There’s plenty to harvest with these spacious skies, purple mountains majesty, and waving fields of grain…not to mention a cast that can be of Spanish, French, English, or Dutch blood.
Class Format
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