|Десять советов, как написать историю, которую хотелось бы прочесть
||[май. 19, 2011|08:20 pm]
По мотивам занятной книги “How to Write History that People Want to Read ” (by Ann Curthoys and Ann McGrath)
1) Carve out a manageable and do-able topic
Think hard about these questions: What is your topic? What do you want to find out? Why does it matter?
2) Check out histories that have been published in the relevant historical field
You could save yourself years of research that someone else has already done.
3) Do your own original research
Use whatever information you can find – private letters and diaries, newspapers, government records, and non-written sources like photographs, oral history interviews, historical objects, and places. Be thorough but also be aware that there is a time when you must stop, take the plunge, and start writing.
4) Create and protect your precious writing time
Avoid trying to write in your house during the school holidays with kids or teenagers. There is a low probability that they will provide feedback on your historical prose. Be obsessed and focussed for as long as you can.
5) Make clear to your readers the order in which events happened
This doesn’t mean you have to present your information in strict chronological order. Make use of the flashback and the flash-forward. Mix things up a little.
6) Introduce the people in your story properly
Explain who they are when first mentioned, and then reveal more information as needed. Action is more interesting and exciting when we know something about the people involved.
7) Write in the language of the present day
No matter how immersed you may be in what happened in the past, you are writing for readers in the present. Find and use your own lively present-day voice.
8) Don’t write in isolation
Discuss your work in progress with others who share your historical passions. It also helps to have a firm, hard deadline - like having to speak in public or having to submit something to a publisher.
9) Learn to exercise ‘tough love’ when editing your work
Okay, so you love those words it took so long to put together. You’re a born hoarder and that’s one of the reasons you love history. But now is the time to pare down to what’s really essential, and to ensure your meaning is clear. We suggest you start up a desktop folder called ‘Treasures’ and put all your beautiful but unnecessary prose in there to admire at a later date.
10) A book or article can live or die by its title
Pick an intriguing, punchy title that clearly indicates your subject matter. Explanatory subtitles often help. ‘The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-century Miller’ worked well.