30 October 2013

The Excitement is Back!

My husband gave me some feedback on my outline that correlated to what I'd thought was missing: the fear and reality of the witch hunts. Sure, the protagonist runs and hides from witch hunters and gets caught by one and escapes, but the outline didn't include the other aspects of having witch hunts: the trials and executions. How to fix that hole?

I researched via the trusty internet and found useful tidbits in Wikipedia and different Scottish history sites to help me better understand witch hunts. The best source was The Great Scottish Witchhunt of 1661-1662. This PDF, while expensive for this non-income earning writer, was exactly what I needed. The paper dovetailed so perfectly with my story (or is it the other way around?) ...

  • The majority of my story is set exactly in those years.
  • The witch hunts were centered in Midlothian, Scotland, just south of where my characters spend most of their time.
  • George MacKenzie, who helped free many of the "witches," is the same age as one of the major characters. Perfect for some fictional artistic license: he'll be an old school buddy of a main character and help the protagonist's cause.
The author of the paper listed several references, so should I need more info, I could search for those documents. However, I suspect they aren't as available to someone out in Arizona without a substantial fee. (Had I been in England, I could've popped into Cambridge and made a copy of the document. Would that I had a revenue stream large enough to do research on site.)

With this new information in hand, I've been amending and adding scenes that bring the trial and execution nose-to-nose with the protagonist. An added bonus: It made the story and process exciting again. It's been a while since I've felt this way with this story. Definitely full of Make-Me-Smile moments.

Now, to finish the outline so that I'm ready for NaNoWriMo in two days.

(Don't worry, I'm not going to rush through NaNoWriMo like always. I'll be thoughtful as I work this revision while trying to get as much done as possible. There is something about that looming deadline that motivates.)

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