Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Matter of Words

I've always loved trivia, but have recently developed a bit of an obsession for the etymology of words. It all started simple enough... I was writing my steampunk romance and was not sure if the word I was using would have been accurate for my time period. In my search I stumbled across a fantastic website, Online Etymology Dictionary. Now, I don't know how I ever lived without it.

By avoiding modern day words, and also using words common during your time period, it is an easy way to set the mood and feel for your manuscript. Most often than not, reading other works that are either set or were written during that time is the easiest way to pick up on a feel for the language and develop your vocabulary. Of course, there are several websites that have compiled lists, so here are a few I've come across that you might find helpful.

The Victorian Slang Dictionary
The Victorian Dictionary
Canting Dictionary (Thieving Slang) 1736
Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
How to Speak Proper

Please feel free to share any sites you have found helpful.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Catching Up on Summer

Terribly sorry I've disappeared as of late. It seems the end of the summer is always a chaotic time as the children prepare to go back to school and we try to force all our summer plans into the weeks remaining. Even the publishing industry seems to take a bit of a break in August. I guess we all need to recharge before fall gives way to the dark cold winter.

The next months also promise to be fairly busy as I wrap up my edits on Viridis, finish the sequel Sanctis, and, with luck, pitch to publishers. Exciting times lie ahead.

I have also recently discovered Twitter. Now I know it's been around for ages, but I never gave it much thought, thinking it would be nothing more than a long list of people's moment-to-moment activities. I now find I was completely wrong and happily surprised. It would appear that it is an excellent way to find other writers and to pass on great articles and information about the publishing industry. Who knew? Here's a great little article by Debbie Ridpath Ohi on hashtags to get you started.

I promise to post more often and will have a new contest dreamed up for you sometime next week. Until then, happy writing!