Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bits and bobs

Well it had to happen --- Gladiaotr's Honor received a three star review from the RT. I have not read the review as I am not a subscriber. The main obection (or so my editor tells me) is that my language was too modern. My editor does not seriously think this is an objection. She would refuse to publish me if I wrote it in some sort of archaic form of English.
Quite frankly, no one knows what the Romans sounded like or exactly how they spoke. Nearly all of the writing we have access to was formal. There is a great gulf between formal and informal. Always has been, always will be. Even back in Shakespearean England, people used contractions.
My characters might sound modern because to their way of thinking, they were modern.
Anyway, I am very pleased to have been reviewed and apparently a number of nice things were said. Hopefully the publicity will result in several more sales.

I am currently hard at work on HVC. I do need to up my daily output.

My muse seems to thrive on hard work. Push her, make her work and she rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in. If I wait for inspiration, she decides to go to sleep or loll around eating chocolates. Annoying there but there you have it. BICHOK works for me. Just as well as I have two books to write between now and 20 Dec. It can be done. It will be done.

Better get back to work then...


Jacqueline Hutchinson said...

it can be challenging to get the language in historical fiction to sound the way we think it should.

Although, I myself admit that at times, I've thought of how the spoken word doesn't match what I would have expected in a novel, but then again, what I expect and what my neighbour expects are two very different things.

Are you pleased with it? If so then who cares-you are right, it would never have been published if your editor thought it was not appropriate. (I love your site BTW)

Donna Alward said...

LOL I read your post title as bits and boobs!

You are one of the most disciplined, organized writers I know, so there's no doubt you'll get it done! I have to keep trying to learn from your example!

And I already said it, but GH was gorgeous. Boo hiss on that review.

Anonymous said...

Course they used contractions in Shakespearean England. Look at Antony and Cleopatra - 'Woo't die?' (ie 'wouldst thou die'?) QED. I'm reading the current Lindsey Davis and it sounds INCREDIBLY modern - works perfectly. That's a nitpick - and a spurious one, I'd say - so do NOT let it stick in your head. Your ed is meticulous - she wouldn't have bought it if she thought it was no good. And remember all the GOOD reviews you've had so far.

Smiling at the hard work thing. Me, too. You'll meet your deadlines.

Michelle Styles said...

Thanks for loving my site, Jacqui D.

Basically as long as my wonderful editor likes my work, I see no reason to change it. And as Kate Hardy says -- Lindsey Davis uses modern language in her Roman mysteries. it is something that I think has contributed to the popularity.It helps make people understand that Rome was modern, not boringly archaic.

Donna bits and boobs is a great title!

Nell Dixon said...

Michelle, I have the review if you want me to send it to you. It's actually a very good review. You're breaking new ground and I think this may take them sometime to get used to as most of the reviews are for regencies - but she said lots of lovely things about the story.

Anne McAllister said...

Michelle, the only thing you can control is the book. So the other stuff is just there -- not to be worried about or thrilled about, either way. Always nice when they think it's FIVE STARS and the best novel ever written, but truly, it's what you -- and your editor -- think about the story that matters. And later, your readers, of course. Not reviewers. Besides, I had a RITA finalist that was a 3. So don't sweat it!

Marie Bellevaux said...

Hey, a 3 is good from RT. So, don't sweat it.

I for one am looking forward to reading your book. I had just joined the HH service, and hope that your book is in that first shipment. I haven't see it in Walmart yet.

I think the recent awards your book has gotten alreasy would outsihine any other comments! Congrats.