Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

IWSG: Where do we draw the line?

Amazing October! For the last month, we've been staying in an adobe-style house just outside Santa Fe. The leaves are beginning to turn, the temperature at night is starting to drop, and it's far too soon to be heading north to home.

Santa Fe has been a delight with its emphasis on art, museums, pueblo culture, and the sheer beauty of its landscape (rolling hills, purple mountains, and incredibly blue skies), lots of ravens, and green chile-infused New Mexican cuisine. I should have had plenty of time to write, yes? Not when we're traveling with four other people who want to go in different directions at the same time.

But I can answer the Insecure Writer's Support Group question for October: Where do I draw the line -- with either topics or language. 

Aha! 

Revelation #1: Some of my character cuss. 

Revelation #2: Nearly all of my characters' bedroom scenes take place behind a closed door. 

Revelation #3: I hope that I follow my characters wherever they wish to go. That means I haven't yet met a topic for a story that intrigues me that I'm willing to put aside because of some inner censorship or social expectation. Isn't the goal of a writer, regardless of the story, to seek 'truth' as we know it, perhaps to challenge what we think we know about ourselves and our culture? 

One squishy issue remains: What is my story and what belongs to others? At first, when a male character took over the story line, I doubted. Could I understand the male psyche? Be true to who this character was? 

If my characters and/or story 'live' well outside my experience, does research give me enough insight? What line do I cross when I explore cultures far outside my experience? Even if I write in good faith, how do I respect what truly belongs to others? 

Now back to real life: We leave this paradise in 3 days for maybe 10 days of driving on our way home by way of various national parks, to explore, hike, take pictures, and dream just a little longer of once faraway places -- and our place in this world.

To celebrate the writing lives of those who follow the Insecure Writer's Support Group, you may take advantage of a freebie, starting October 6 through October 10th! The Seventh Tapestry: An Art Crime Mystery has a new cover, and the Kindle version will be available free. 

I'm offering this as a thank you to everyone who writes and reads with hopes you'll continue to find pleasure each day . . . Stay safe and well!

And try to visit our October 6 IWSG hosts to say thank you: Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard.



16 comments:

  1. You're visiting such a beautiful part of the states. I love Santa Fe--the art, the light, the history!

    Congratulation on your book! I'll take advantage of your great offer. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I understand Georgia O'Keefe's fascination with this part of the country all over again. It's truly beautiful here, and the sky, desert-like landscapes, and mountains are so unique. Still, looking forward to being back home.

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  2. Hi,
    I like your statement: Isn't the goal of a writer, regardless of the story, to seek 'truth' as we know it, perhaps to challenge what we think we know about ourselves and our culture?

    It is a great question.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thank you, Pat, for visiting. Yes, even when we don't acknowledge the hidden parts of what we write, we persevere. Be well. I'm looking forward to catching up with what you've been doing.

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  3. Sounds like you're having a marvellous time!

    Ronel visiting for IWSG day as co-host The IWSG Goodreads Book Club

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Ronel. I'll have to look into that book club! Here's hoping you're having a marvelous time as well.

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  4. Awesome you're having such a good time in Santa Fe. It 's good that you're focusing on having fun and not stressing about not writing much.

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    1. Thank you, Natalie, for noticing that missing time at writing. Truly, I feel a little bereft, but know I'll be back at the writing once we're home -- still with good memories of this time in Santa Fe. I hope you are doing well where you are.

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  5. Beth, you ALWAYS inspire me! You don't dodge the hard questions and I appreciate that. I think your research is impeccable and your writing REAL. Who could ask for more?

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    1. Dear Sandy, You always are so encouraging. Truly, we all face challenges in our writing (and real life!), but we persevere as best we can. Today, I have access to internet. Yippee! Wrote you a note. Be well, friend.

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  6. You bring up a good point. Isn't the job of the writer to use his or her imagination to become that character on the page? Anyone who claims you couldn't possibly understand a male psyche should explain how you can know a dragon's psyche.

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    1. Julia, loved your note! I guess we writers keep diving in where others might think we 'should' not go. May your own writing go well. PS I do love shifter stories as well.

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  7. The Santa Fe area is amazing! Mark and I were offered a four-month house sit in downtown Santa Fe over the summer and the fall, but declined. We could have finally met if we would have taken the opportunity, but we had other plans. We might drive through again in a month or so as we have friends who live on the outskirts.

    No surprise you barely found time to write. Have a fun drive home through some of the National Parks. Which ones have you picked for this trip?

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    1. Hi Liesbet. I am still in love with Santa Fe. We were surprised by how beautiful the skies and landscape were, a constant inspiration. Oh, that house-sit sounds so tempting. Yes, we're on the way home now, with stops at the Petrified National Forest today and maybe Zion. But snow is already predicted, so we'll check weather as we go. Sorry we didn't meet -- this time! Enjoy Santa Fe when you return. Do you know that bookstore Op.Cit.?

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  8. Yes, the weather is soon turning for the worse in this part of the country. Also here in SD. Nope. Never heard of that bookstore. Forgot to tell you I like the new cover of The Seventh Tapestry. I seem to remember some intricacy about you wanting the previous design (part of the tapestry) and that this was important to you, though… Thanks for offering your book to us. I already had it on my Kindle. :-)

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  9. I spent a few days in Santa Fe a couple of years ago. That place just calls to me. xoA <3

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