This is a continuation of my description of the positives and negatives I have thus far encountered in my current projects.
Project #2 is a Young Adult Historical Fiction. This is in many ways the most challenging project in terms of advance prep work and outlining, because while it is based on true events and real people, I am of course obliged to make up all sorts of stuff. I am good at creative detailing, so this is not difficult, but I am finding it particularly problematic to plan a work in advance, when I have no real way to guess how long the entire work will end up being.
I do have a rough outline sketched out, and the major characters are mostly developed, but that’s as far as I can get at this point. Ironically, I have the sequel already outlined (this is probably easier to do when you are mirroring real life incidences, anyway) and if the length of the rough outline has anything to do with anything, both books will probably end up being much the same dimensions.
Now that the outlines are ready, I have been spending lots of time on research. I love the time period (about 1830 to 1880), but despite the hours and hours of reading I have done, I am deeply aware that I know so very little about this era! So, the game is on. Unlike the other three projects, which are mainly covering subjects I am knowledgeable about, this is almost entirely new territory, and thus requires a LOT of extra research. But, as I say, I love this span of time, so no harm done.
I would say the negatives about this project are that I don’t even know what I don’t know, and that the balance between fact and fiction is fairly delicate when dealing with historical fiction that I do want to portray as accurately as possible. The positives, however, are that because it is fiction I do have plenty of room for off-the-cuff invention (an excellent creative writing opportunity!) and that because I set the guidelines, ultimately I get to decide when the book is finished. At least as far as the initial writing is concerned….