Welcome to our first ‘Three Things I Learned’ blog for 2021. Meet Clyve Rose, who believes in writing about love in all its various, glorious forms, Clyve has come to share her three things she learned from writing her recent novel ‘Always a Princess’! Welcome, Clyve!
1. Pre-writing is still writing
When I was a less confident, less effective wordsmith, it took me an age to write my way to the meat of a story. Working on Always a Princess allowed me to streamline my process. My writing process used to involve throwing every word I might need at the page. All the adjectives and lines of dialogue, every muscle twitch and taught nipple, the shape of clouds and the colour of the sky – in short, the whole shebang.
I imagine this as the writerly equivalent of a Pro Hart artwork. In edit, I pulled out the tautologies, selected the single best descriptions out of the ten I’d laid down, and culled over-exposition and any dialogue that gave away too much too soon.
During this novel’s creation, I learned that sitting and listening to the story inside my mind is part of my process. I call this ‘pre-writing’. It wasn’t easy to be still for several hours and ignore the inner chatter about deadlines, and the demands that I place my fingers on those keys. However, if I resist this urge and ‘watch’ my story play out for me, what eventually flows through my keyboard onto the screen is a more polished version of the work. My first draft is now closer to what used to be my third go-round, which is a huge time-saver.
2. Research is for me
I work in the Regency romance genre, so pulling a book together involves a lot of research. One of the pieces of feedback given me by my mentor, is that much of my backstory and research is unnecessary for the reader to know. She said ‘you need to know it, and the reader must feel that you do – but they don’t need all of that.’
Part of this is a confidence issue for me. Trusting that the reader understands the world I’ve built is a leap of faith in myself and my writing. Part of it is also respecting the intelligence of the readers who knowthis world. If I use an obscure article of marriage law as a plot point, I do not need to invent a character who reads out the act (heaven forbid!). I do, however, need to illustrate that the characters who ought to possess this information in Regency England, demonstrate this as authentically as possible – without sounding like they’re speaking in essays. That’s what I mean about confidence. I found that once I trusted myself to simply ‘know’ I knew this, I was able to fit it into the story without shoehorning.
3. There is no such thing as an ‘accurate history’
The world of historical romance fiction is always discussing how to handle historical accuracy, and the take-downs on social media of those writers who too many readers feel ‘get it wrong’. The debates rage fiercely across social media and in writer groups every day.
We’re all writing for modern readers, but setting our work in other time periods. I love to research side saddles and the origin pockets, and I like to incorporate these when I can, but accuracy matters less than story. One of the most important lessons I learned from my betas, is that my fictional world is merely a version of a time and place. It is fiction, and it is only a representation of a historical period. It is not supposed to be accurate. This perspective aided my outlook enormously as my launch date drew near.
About Always a Princess
Princess Syeira of the royal Romany House of Brishen is bound by a promise that feels more like a shackle. As the eldest daughter of the Romany King, she carries the title of Princess as proudly as she does her finely-honed distrust of Englishmen. When the Romany Prince faces the surest shot in the country and loses, Syeira is determined to see to it that her brother heals fully. Reluctantly accepting Captain Clifton’s help, Syeira finds that, while the English may not conduct family matters the same way as her Romany, some at least are capable of affection, passion – even love. As a Romany, she trusts her heart – but what if her heart loves an Englishman?
Captain Warwick ‘Wil’ Clifton has never considered marriage – why stop the fun of bed-hopping among the English aristocracy? – until he sees Syeira working her herbal remedies on her fallen brother. When Clifton offers to assist the Romany family, he’s unprepared for the warmth of Romany camaraderie. Neither is he remotely ready for the force of nature that is their Princess. Keeping a lid on his desire for the Romany Princess takes all his self-control. This rake is well out of practise at showing restraint but soon, the Captain has a new decision to make: What is he willing to risk for love?
A fresh take on the Regency period, Always a Princess shows how the English and the Romany share the wild countryside. The two cultures, with very different value systems, find myriad ways to coexist – and to clash.
You can purchase Always a Princess here.
About Clyve Rose
Clyve Rose has been writing historical romance fiction for the best part of two decades. She works in the historical romance, fantasy, and speculative fiction genres. She also creates literary novels under an alternative pen name. In between her devotion to fiction writing, Clyve researches various mythologies and historical periods, often basing her characters on actual historical personalities.
About Clyve Rose
When Clyve isn’t writing fiction, she can be found pounding the sand at just about any of the beautiful beaches near her Australian home. She is also addicted to short-haul ocean swims and has a ‘thing’ for Poseidon, ancient Greek god of the Seas. Much of the inspiration in her stories is drawn from the ocean landscapes near her home.
One of her novels was longlisted for a 2010 Hachette Award for Fiction while her paranormal short story The One Below is a Sexy Scribbles award-winning piece.
The first piece she ever had published was a fictional biography of an erotica writer who made a living crafting extremely explicit dating profiles for online chat sites. She lives fairly simply these days, sharing her home with a small white demon-dog and a budding Amazon warrior. Clyve Rose believes that love is the highest and strongest force in the world, and that it only manifests when we are our best and truest selves. Anything less, and we diminish our divinity. She believes she will continue writing about love in all its various, glorious forms, and that one day her epitaph will read ‘just one more read-through’.
Find Clyve here:
Always a Princess: https://linktr.ee/clyverose