Too Much Information?

By Susan/Miranda

Queen Bee asked: When you find so much fascinating historical information, how do you (or any of the Wenches) decide what to use, and what to leave out?

Royalharlotfront_cover_3Research is a tricky trap.  Every writer wants to set the scene in a way that will bring the story to life and create characters that seem real.  Digging up lots of nifty background facts as reinforcement is one of the best ways to do it.  As much as writers wish it were otherwise, imagination alone can’t carry the whole load.  Whether a story is set in a police precinct in modern-day New York or in Bath in 1805, a writer needs accurate details to give a story credibility. 

Yet sometimes those same facts can take over a story and overwhelm it: the dreaded “info-dump.”  Most of the time, writers don’t even realize the terrible moment until it’s too late.  You tuck in a description of the heroine’s gown (the Spitalfields silk requires at least an entire paragraph itself), then the hero’s coat (French embroidery and cut steel buttons) then the heroine’s best friend’s clothing (a sack gown in lemon-colored lutestring), and the servant’s livery (scarlet wool plush, silver lacing, polished pewter buttons galore) and suddenly it’s happened.  You haven’t written a tender love scene.  You’ve written a Wikipedia entry.

The secret, of course, is keeping to your character’s POV instead of your own.  Those cut-steel buttons might be endlessly fascinating to you, but to your hero, they’re just what keeps his coat closed, and of no more significance to him than a Velcro strip is to us.   On the other hand, if the heroine sees the buttons, and recognizes the particular pattern in the cut-steel as being sold only in Paris, while the hero has sworn he’s never been abroad –– well, then those super-cool buttons you discovered have earned their place in your story.

True, it’s hard to be judicious, especially for us self-proclaimed history nerds.  We love research, whether it’s in the hushed carrel of a university’s rare book room, or Googling away at home in pj’s.  We store away ideas and fact like squirrels with acorns, and delight in sharing what we’ve discovered with our readers.  But today publishers wants shorter, sexier historical romances, and most editors will react to abundant historical description like Borat: “Not so much.” 

Yet when research works the way it should, it’s magical, both for the writer and the reader.  I’ve mentioned here before how my recent book splurge of the complete diaries Samuel Pepys now fills an entire bookcase shelf.  With my current string of historical novels set in England during the 1660s-80s, I turn again and again to the Pepys diaries for inspiration.  Sometimes all it takes is a single sentence or two: “Great doings of music at the next house . . .  the King [Charles II] and Dukes [Charles’s two younger brothers, James and Henry] there with Madame Palmer, a pretty woman that they have a fancy to, to make her husband a cuckold.” 

Madame Palmer will in fact become Charles’s mistress, and my heroine in Royal Harlot, but this brief mention by Pepys kicked my imagination into high gear. Is this Barbara’s first time entertaining royalty in her home?  Does her husband yet realize the king’s interest in Barbara?  Do Charles’s brothers like her, and she them?  How does such a musical party mark the differences in London before and after Charles’s return to the throne, and how does it solidify Barbara’s position with the king?  One sentence, yet it inspired an entire chapter.

I’m not alone, of course.  I’m sure every one of the Wenches will have experienced much the same research “magic.”  I’m currently reading an advance copy of Loretta’s next book, Not Quite a Lady.  Because this book won’t be in stores for another couple of months, I won’t spill the beans about the characters or the plot except to say that it’s another of Loretta’s virtually perfect books.  *g*  Still, I will say this much: one of the most popular blogs on this site last year resulted from Loretta’s research-visit to Old Sturbridge Village ("The Pig & I": it’s worth revisiting),  and it’s clear that same visit influenced quite a bit in her new book (and her characters) as well.

So if you’re a reader, do you like stories suggested by historical fact?  If you’re a writer, do you, too, rely on historical facts for inspiration?  (And thank you, Queen Bee, for the question –– you’ve earned a free book.)

40 thoughts on “Too Much Information?”

  1. Great post, Susan! I’m always inspired by historical facts (clothing is my downfall). I’ve learned to trust my first reader and my editor to tell me when I’ve gone too far (and they do!). “It’s an action scene, no one cares about the material of his coat.” “It’s a love scene, don’t pause to talk about the bed. He’d better be too busy to even notice her bed!”. LOL! I think maybe because I’m a “focus on the minutia” person in real life—that I notice stuff at odd moments—I tend to write this way, too.

    Reply
  2. Great post, Susan! I’m always inspired by historical facts (clothing is my downfall). I’ve learned to trust my first reader and my editor to tell me when I’ve gone too far (and they do!). “It’s an action scene, no one cares about the material of his coat.” “It’s a love scene, don’t pause to talk about the bed. He’d better be too busy to even notice her bed!”. LOL! I think maybe because I’m a “focus on the minutia” person in real life—that I notice stuff at odd moments—I tend to write this way, too.

    Reply
  3. Great post, Susan! I’m always inspired by historical facts (clothing is my downfall). I’ve learned to trust my first reader and my editor to tell me when I’ve gone too far (and they do!). “It’s an action scene, no one cares about the material of his coat.” “It’s a love scene, don’t pause to talk about the bed. He’d better be too busy to even notice her bed!”. LOL! I think maybe because I’m a “focus on the minutia” person in real life—that I notice stuff at odd moments—I tend to write this way, too.

    Reply
  4. Great post, Susan! I’m always inspired by historical facts (clothing is my downfall). I’ve learned to trust my first reader and my editor to tell me when I’ve gone too far (and they do!). “It’s an action scene, no one cares about the material of his coat.” “It’s a love scene, don’t pause to talk about the bed. He’d better be too busy to even notice her bed!”. LOL! I think maybe because I’m a “focus on the minutia” person in real life—that I notice stuff at odd moments—I tend to write this way, too.

    Reply
  5. My WIP is, in part, spurred by reading I did about Charles Babbage, a brilliant mathematician/engineer who hit his 20s in the Regency period. He was extremely odd, extremely bright, and in his later years there was scarcely a person more bitter and reviled in all of London. There are incredible stories about him. Apparently, after he got an anti-noise ordinance passed, the common folk hated him so much that they would sit outside his house and play instruments for days on end just to annoy him, and toss the occasional dead cat onto his property. And there is one account which I can’t possibly believe–at one point, over a hundred people skulked after him in a giant crowd, and he had to call the police to disperse them.
    Stories like that make me sad. The man is so smart, and yet so curmudgeonly. I started wondering what it would be like if he met a girl when he was in his mid-twenties, before he was fixed as a curmudgeon, who made him open up to life instead of close himself off….

    Reply
  6. My WIP is, in part, spurred by reading I did about Charles Babbage, a brilliant mathematician/engineer who hit his 20s in the Regency period. He was extremely odd, extremely bright, and in his later years there was scarcely a person more bitter and reviled in all of London. There are incredible stories about him. Apparently, after he got an anti-noise ordinance passed, the common folk hated him so much that they would sit outside his house and play instruments for days on end just to annoy him, and toss the occasional dead cat onto his property. And there is one account which I can’t possibly believe–at one point, over a hundred people skulked after him in a giant crowd, and he had to call the police to disperse them.
    Stories like that make me sad. The man is so smart, and yet so curmudgeonly. I started wondering what it would be like if he met a girl when he was in his mid-twenties, before he was fixed as a curmudgeon, who made him open up to life instead of close himself off….

    Reply
  7. My WIP is, in part, spurred by reading I did about Charles Babbage, a brilliant mathematician/engineer who hit his 20s in the Regency period. He was extremely odd, extremely bright, and in his later years there was scarcely a person more bitter and reviled in all of London. There are incredible stories about him. Apparently, after he got an anti-noise ordinance passed, the common folk hated him so much that they would sit outside his house and play instruments for days on end just to annoy him, and toss the occasional dead cat onto his property. And there is one account which I can’t possibly believe–at one point, over a hundred people skulked after him in a giant crowd, and he had to call the police to disperse them.
    Stories like that make me sad. The man is so smart, and yet so curmudgeonly. I started wondering what it would be like if he met a girl when he was in his mid-twenties, before he was fixed as a curmudgeon, who made him open up to life instead of close himself off….

    Reply
  8. My WIP is, in part, spurred by reading I did about Charles Babbage, a brilliant mathematician/engineer who hit his 20s in the Regency period. He was extremely odd, extremely bright, and in his later years there was scarcely a person more bitter and reviled in all of London. There are incredible stories about him. Apparently, after he got an anti-noise ordinance passed, the common folk hated him so much that they would sit outside his house and play instruments for days on end just to annoy him, and toss the occasional dead cat onto his property. And there is one account which I can’t possibly believe–at one point, over a hundred people skulked after him in a giant crowd, and he had to call the police to disperse them.
    Stories like that make me sad. The man is so smart, and yet so curmudgeonly. I started wondering what it would be like if he met a girl when he was in his mid-twenties, before he was fixed as a curmudgeon, who made him open up to life instead of close himself off….

    Reply
  9. Great job, Susan/Miranda, of explaining a tricky process. The quote from Pepys’s diary is a perfect example of an intriguing line that conjures visions in the writer’s mind. Right now, I’m having a similar experience with Byron’s letters & journals, which helped me settle where to start my new book, and has triggered visions of various characters, some historical personages and some creatures of my imagination. I think, too, that very often the voice of the diarist or letter writer can help one find the mood of the book. I’ve now read many accounts of visits to Venice in the early 19th C but Byron’s voice is the one whispering in my ear. And thank you for the praise for Not Quite a Lady: the pigs, yes, turned out to be more important than even I had supposed. *g*

    Reply
  10. Great job, Susan/Miranda, of explaining a tricky process. The quote from Pepys’s diary is a perfect example of an intriguing line that conjures visions in the writer’s mind. Right now, I’m having a similar experience with Byron’s letters & journals, which helped me settle where to start my new book, and has triggered visions of various characters, some historical personages and some creatures of my imagination. I think, too, that very often the voice of the diarist or letter writer can help one find the mood of the book. I’ve now read many accounts of visits to Venice in the early 19th C but Byron’s voice is the one whispering in my ear. And thank you for the praise for Not Quite a Lady: the pigs, yes, turned out to be more important than even I had supposed. *g*

    Reply
  11. Great job, Susan/Miranda, of explaining a tricky process. The quote from Pepys’s diary is a perfect example of an intriguing line that conjures visions in the writer’s mind. Right now, I’m having a similar experience with Byron’s letters & journals, which helped me settle where to start my new book, and has triggered visions of various characters, some historical personages and some creatures of my imagination. I think, too, that very often the voice of the diarist or letter writer can help one find the mood of the book. I’ve now read many accounts of visits to Venice in the early 19th C but Byron’s voice is the one whispering in my ear. And thank you for the praise for Not Quite a Lady: the pigs, yes, turned out to be more important than even I had supposed. *g*

    Reply
  12. Great job, Susan/Miranda, of explaining a tricky process. The quote from Pepys’s diary is a perfect example of an intriguing line that conjures visions in the writer’s mind. Right now, I’m having a similar experience with Byron’s letters & journals, which helped me settle where to start my new book, and has triggered visions of various characters, some historical personages and some creatures of my imagination. I think, too, that very often the voice of the diarist or letter writer can help one find the mood of the book. I’ve now read many accounts of visits to Venice in the early 19th C but Byron’s voice is the one whispering in my ear. And thank you for the praise for Not Quite a Lady: the pigs, yes, turned out to be more important than even I had supposed. *g*

    Reply
  13. Oh cute, great minds and all that. I apparently attempted to post my comment at the same time as Loretta posted hers. Loretta won. Typepad blanked me out.
    Since I have to go work up a blog now, I guess my words of wit and wisdom will have to be lost to eternity. “G”

    Reply
  14. Oh cute, great minds and all that. I apparently attempted to post my comment at the same time as Loretta posted hers. Loretta won. Typepad blanked me out.
    Since I have to go work up a blog now, I guess my words of wit and wisdom will have to be lost to eternity. “G”

    Reply
  15. Oh cute, great minds and all that. I apparently attempted to post my comment at the same time as Loretta posted hers. Loretta won. Typepad blanked me out.
    Since I have to go work up a blog now, I guess my words of wit and wisdom will have to be lost to eternity. “G”

    Reply
  16. Oh cute, great minds and all that. I apparently attempted to post my comment at the same time as Loretta posted hers. Loretta won. Typepad blanked me out.
    Since I have to go work up a blog now, I guess my words of wit and wisdom will have to be lost to eternity. “G”

    Reply
  17. Kalen, I’m afraid I’m a minutae writer, too. I can spend (read: waste) an entire morning trying to figure out if the historically accurate windows were using up-and-down sashes, or outward-opening casements.
    And don’t get me started on clothes. No hero of mine ever wears just a shirt: he gets holland linen with the landress’s pleats along the sleeves and his initials cross-stitched on the hem, a bit of feathered fraying on the edge of the collar from wear and too-hot irons, and on, and on and on…..!
    Yet in a weird way, it IS important . Even if you end up cutting some of those details, you have to KNOW them for the sake of your characters. It has to be in your head, or what you do put on the page won’t quite ring true.
    At least that’s how it works in my too-busy brain. *g*

    Reply
  18. Kalen, I’m afraid I’m a minutae writer, too. I can spend (read: waste) an entire morning trying to figure out if the historically accurate windows were using up-and-down sashes, or outward-opening casements.
    And don’t get me started on clothes. No hero of mine ever wears just a shirt: he gets holland linen with the landress’s pleats along the sleeves and his initials cross-stitched on the hem, a bit of feathered fraying on the edge of the collar from wear and too-hot irons, and on, and on and on…..!
    Yet in a weird way, it IS important . Even if you end up cutting some of those details, you have to KNOW them for the sake of your characters. It has to be in your head, or what you do put on the page won’t quite ring true.
    At least that’s how it works in my too-busy brain. *g*

    Reply
  19. Kalen, I’m afraid I’m a minutae writer, too. I can spend (read: waste) an entire morning trying to figure out if the historically accurate windows were using up-and-down sashes, or outward-opening casements.
    And don’t get me started on clothes. No hero of mine ever wears just a shirt: he gets holland linen with the landress’s pleats along the sleeves and his initials cross-stitched on the hem, a bit of feathered fraying on the edge of the collar from wear and too-hot irons, and on, and on and on…..!
    Yet in a weird way, it IS important . Even if you end up cutting some of those details, you have to KNOW them for the sake of your characters. It has to be in your head, or what you do put on the page won’t quite ring true.
    At least that’s how it works in my too-busy brain. *g*

    Reply
  20. Kalen, I’m afraid I’m a minutae writer, too. I can spend (read: waste) an entire morning trying to figure out if the historically accurate windows were using up-and-down sashes, or outward-opening casements.
    And don’t get me started on clothes. No hero of mine ever wears just a shirt: he gets holland linen with the landress’s pleats along the sleeves and his initials cross-stitched on the hem, a bit of feathered fraying on the edge of the collar from wear and too-hot irons, and on, and on and on…..!
    Yet in a weird way, it IS important . Even if you end up cutting some of those details, you have to KNOW them for the sake of your characters. It has to be in your head, or what you do put on the page won’t quite ring true.
    At least that’s how it works in my too-busy brain. *g*

    Reply
  21. CM, what a fascinating — but sad — story. History is full of people like Mr. Babbage whose “stories” are just waiting for a writer to claim and make her/his own. I’m glad you’re giving him a HEA — or at least a more cheerful life than it sounds as if he actually had.

    Reply
  22. CM, what a fascinating — but sad — story. History is full of people like Mr. Babbage whose “stories” are just waiting for a writer to claim and make her/his own. I’m glad you’re giving him a HEA — or at least a more cheerful life than it sounds as if he actually had.

    Reply
  23. CM, what a fascinating — but sad — story. History is full of people like Mr. Babbage whose “stories” are just waiting for a writer to claim and make her/his own. I’m glad you’re giving him a HEA — or at least a more cheerful life than it sounds as if he actually had.

    Reply
  24. CM, what a fascinating — but sad — story. History is full of people like Mr. Babbage whose “stories” are just waiting for a writer to claim and make her/his own. I’m glad you’re giving him a HEA — or at least a more cheerful life than it sounds as if he actually had.

    Reply
  25. Susan/Miranda asked…” So if you’re a reader, do you like stories suggested by historical fact?”
    Yes and double yes! I love it when I get to the Author’s Notes and discover that she found a little “rip” in history and decided to “mend” it with her quill. It makes the story seem so much more real. (even though it’s not)
    As a writer, I rely heavily on historical facts to provide inspiration. I’m always looking for that little loose thread. And when I find it, I can’t help but to give it a little tug and see what my imagination can unravel. Sometimes it’s nothing. Sometimes it’s something. But it’s always fun to play “what if?”
    Here is a question (for any of the Seven Wenches) When/if you find inspiration in a historical character for your romance novel, where do you draw the line between fact and fiction when creating your fictitious hero or heroine? Would you go so far as to give your hero a derivative of the historical character’s name? Change his age? Make him a war hero if he never was? And, if you do use a historical character to build your fictitious hero, would you ever reveal in your Author’s Notes when the person died? Or is that just TMI?
    Thank your for your insight on “the buttons” and POV. I never looked at using research in quite that way.
    Nina, who is not happy about having to wait until July for Royal Harlot.

    Reply
  26. Susan/Miranda asked…” So if you’re a reader, do you like stories suggested by historical fact?”
    Yes and double yes! I love it when I get to the Author’s Notes and discover that she found a little “rip” in history and decided to “mend” it with her quill. It makes the story seem so much more real. (even though it’s not)
    As a writer, I rely heavily on historical facts to provide inspiration. I’m always looking for that little loose thread. And when I find it, I can’t help but to give it a little tug and see what my imagination can unravel. Sometimes it’s nothing. Sometimes it’s something. But it’s always fun to play “what if?”
    Here is a question (for any of the Seven Wenches) When/if you find inspiration in a historical character for your romance novel, where do you draw the line between fact and fiction when creating your fictitious hero or heroine? Would you go so far as to give your hero a derivative of the historical character’s name? Change his age? Make him a war hero if he never was? And, if you do use a historical character to build your fictitious hero, would you ever reveal in your Author’s Notes when the person died? Or is that just TMI?
    Thank your for your insight on “the buttons” and POV. I never looked at using research in quite that way.
    Nina, who is not happy about having to wait until July for Royal Harlot.

    Reply
  27. Susan/Miranda asked…” So if you’re a reader, do you like stories suggested by historical fact?”
    Yes and double yes! I love it when I get to the Author’s Notes and discover that she found a little “rip” in history and decided to “mend” it with her quill. It makes the story seem so much more real. (even though it’s not)
    As a writer, I rely heavily on historical facts to provide inspiration. I’m always looking for that little loose thread. And when I find it, I can’t help but to give it a little tug and see what my imagination can unravel. Sometimes it’s nothing. Sometimes it’s something. But it’s always fun to play “what if?”
    Here is a question (for any of the Seven Wenches) When/if you find inspiration in a historical character for your romance novel, where do you draw the line between fact and fiction when creating your fictitious hero or heroine? Would you go so far as to give your hero a derivative of the historical character’s name? Change his age? Make him a war hero if he never was? And, if you do use a historical character to build your fictitious hero, would you ever reveal in your Author’s Notes when the person died? Or is that just TMI?
    Thank your for your insight on “the buttons” and POV. I never looked at using research in quite that way.
    Nina, who is not happy about having to wait until July for Royal Harlot.

    Reply
  28. Susan/Miranda asked…” So if you’re a reader, do you like stories suggested by historical fact?”
    Yes and double yes! I love it when I get to the Author’s Notes and discover that she found a little “rip” in history and decided to “mend” it with her quill. It makes the story seem so much more real. (even though it’s not)
    As a writer, I rely heavily on historical facts to provide inspiration. I’m always looking for that little loose thread. And when I find it, I can’t help but to give it a little tug and see what my imagination can unravel. Sometimes it’s nothing. Sometimes it’s something. But it’s always fun to play “what if?”
    Here is a question (for any of the Seven Wenches) When/if you find inspiration in a historical character for your romance novel, where do you draw the line between fact and fiction when creating your fictitious hero or heroine? Would you go so far as to give your hero a derivative of the historical character’s name? Change his age? Make him a war hero if he never was? And, if you do use a historical character to build your fictitious hero, would you ever reveal in your Author’s Notes when the person died? Or is that just TMI?
    Thank your for your insight on “the buttons” and POV. I never looked at using research in quite that way.
    Nina, who is not happy about having to wait until July for Royal Harlot.

    Reply
  29. Loretta — So you have Lord B. whispering in your ear, eh? I bet what he’s saying is much more …seductive than poor old Samuel Pepys, career civil servant, says to me! *g* But it is fascinating how often all it takes is one sentence, one description in a diary or journal, and I’m off to the writing races.
    And I can’t WAIT to see what you do with Venice.
    Pat, great minds do think alike. Always. And every one of us here on the Wenches is a GREAT mind. 🙂
    (Except, of course, the Typepad robots who either lose posts, or double-post them.)

    Reply
  30. Loretta — So you have Lord B. whispering in your ear, eh? I bet what he’s saying is much more …seductive than poor old Samuel Pepys, career civil servant, says to me! *g* But it is fascinating how often all it takes is one sentence, one description in a diary or journal, and I’m off to the writing races.
    And I can’t WAIT to see what you do with Venice.
    Pat, great minds do think alike. Always. And every one of us here on the Wenches is a GREAT mind. 🙂
    (Except, of course, the Typepad robots who either lose posts, or double-post them.)

    Reply
  31. Loretta — So you have Lord B. whispering in your ear, eh? I bet what he’s saying is much more …seductive than poor old Samuel Pepys, career civil servant, says to me! *g* But it is fascinating how often all it takes is one sentence, one description in a diary or journal, and I’m off to the writing races.
    And I can’t WAIT to see what you do with Venice.
    Pat, great minds do think alike. Always. And every one of us here on the Wenches is a GREAT mind. 🙂
    (Except, of course, the Typepad robots who either lose posts, or double-post them.)

    Reply
  32. Loretta — So you have Lord B. whispering in your ear, eh? I bet what he’s saying is much more …seductive than poor old Samuel Pepys, career civil servant, says to me! *g* But it is fascinating how often all it takes is one sentence, one description in a diary or journal, and I’m off to the writing races.
    And I can’t WAIT to see what you do with Venice.
    Pat, great minds do think alike. Always. And every one of us here on the Wenches is a GREAT mind. 🙂
    (Except, of course, the Typepad robots who either lose posts, or double-post them.)

    Reply
  33. Nina wrote: “Thank your for your insight on “the buttons” and POV. I never looked at using research in quite that way.”
    You’re welcome, Nina!
    Keeping the POV to your research is the one sure way to avoid the Wikipedia experience. Put yourself in your character’s head, and see whatever it is through their eyes instead of your own. They’ll generally tell you if they’re bored, too, and it’s a lot more pleasant to hear it from them than from your editor. *g*

    Reply
  34. Nina wrote: “Thank your for your insight on “the buttons” and POV. I never looked at using research in quite that way.”
    You’re welcome, Nina!
    Keeping the POV to your research is the one sure way to avoid the Wikipedia experience. Put yourself in your character’s head, and see whatever it is through their eyes instead of your own. They’ll generally tell you if they’re bored, too, and it’s a lot more pleasant to hear it from them than from your editor. *g*

    Reply
  35. Nina wrote: “Thank your for your insight on “the buttons” and POV. I never looked at using research in quite that way.”
    You’re welcome, Nina!
    Keeping the POV to your research is the one sure way to avoid the Wikipedia experience. Put yourself in your character’s head, and see whatever it is through their eyes instead of your own. They’ll generally tell you if they’re bored, too, and it’s a lot more pleasant to hear it from them than from your editor. *g*

    Reply
  36. Nina wrote: “Thank your for your insight on “the buttons” and POV. I never looked at using research in quite that way.”
    You’re welcome, Nina!
    Keeping the POV to your research is the one sure way to avoid the Wikipedia experience. Put yourself in your character’s head, and see whatever it is through their eyes instead of your own. They’ll generally tell you if they’re bored, too, and it’s a lot more pleasant to hear it from them than from your editor. *g*

    Reply
  37. This detail business is a real moving target. How much is too much? I’m not much of a detail person, so I have to work at this stuff, but at least I don’t usually use too much.
    I LOVE that a sentence of Pepys’ inspired a whole scene in Royal Harlot! So perfect, and on some level, surely true.
    Mary Jo, hoping Typepad will let her post…

    Reply
  38. This detail business is a real moving target. How much is too much? I’m not much of a detail person, so I have to work at this stuff, but at least I don’t usually use too much.
    I LOVE that a sentence of Pepys’ inspired a whole scene in Royal Harlot! So perfect, and on some level, surely true.
    Mary Jo, hoping Typepad will let her post…

    Reply
  39. This detail business is a real moving target. How much is too much? I’m not much of a detail person, so I have to work at this stuff, but at least I don’t usually use too much.
    I LOVE that a sentence of Pepys’ inspired a whole scene in Royal Harlot! So perfect, and on some level, surely true.
    Mary Jo, hoping Typepad will let her post…

    Reply
  40. This detail business is a real moving target. How much is too much? I’m not much of a detail person, so I have to work at this stuff, but at least I don’t usually use too much.
    I LOVE that a sentence of Pepys’ inspired a whole scene in Royal Harlot! So perfect, and on some level, surely true.
    Mary Jo, hoping Typepad will let her post…

    Reply

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