I’ve placed the Milkmaid on the back-burner for a little while. Given the grand scope of it, and my lack of real writing knowledge I’m afraid that whatever I get down on paper won’t be worth the effort and time put into the outline and general story.
Also, I’ve started going through the James Patterson masterclass, and part of it is coming up with a story and all the chronological steps that entails. Given the Milkmaid is already outlined and ready to write, I opted to start a new small story just for the class. Hence, the Victorian Murder Show book. That’s not its real title but I haven’t come up with anything better at the moment, but you at the very least know what you’re getting into with a project title like that. This won’t be a brick of a book by any means but too long to be a short story. Technically it will be a novella length story but I like Micro Novel a little bit better.
If you are a subscriber to my newsletter you’ve already heard of this story and are getting links to the current chapters I put out each week of it. I will not be posting them here on the blog so subscribe to get the link, and don’t worry the link goes to one file with all the chapters in it.
What is fun about Victorian Murder Show is that 80% of the worldbuilding is already done for me, via history. I don’t have to make up England or Queen Victoria will all their history. I don’t even have to include exposition on it in the book because anyone reading it will already know world history or can easily google it. Now, it also helped that I enjoy period pieces and stories set in the 1800’s to begin with. But even knowing that women wore arsenic dyed dresses and couldn’t go out in public unchaperoned, I still needed to do a little more research to ensure that everything I had in the story was as historically accurate as possible. Below are the books I bought to help me learn a little more detail about Victorian England.
Given those are books written recently in a historical context I’ve also given a scroll through some of Mrs. Beeton’s and Routledge’s manuals that were written during the time for real Victorians. There are rules about how and when to write notes and letters to people, when to dress, how to do eat, literally anything you can think of. All things my characters would know already that I need to be able to show to the reader without explaining it. And if you think this time period was all Downton Abbey you’re wrong. Downton Abbey had flush toilets, electricity, and understood the concept of germ theory. In the mid 1800’s people still held on to the concept of miasma theory, were dumping their waste into the Thames, and allowed children to work in factories.
This story is not so much of a detective story, working it’s way through clues until you figure out the killer at the end, as it is a slow buildup to the crime and putting it in a different perspective without having to go into billions of flashbacks. Anyway, I’ll have the first draft done in a month or so and I’ll be done with the little excersise. Then I’ll get back on track with the milkmaid.