Stephanie Burgis
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Why did the Masons visit Hell?
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...Honestly, I haven't a clue. But that was a chapter title in a book I read for my thesis last year (Brigid Brophy, Mozart the Dramatist), and although I skipped that chapter at the time (it sounded way too silly!) it keeps on popping into my head now that I'm settling down to actually research Freemasonry, alchemy and the Illuminati in eighteenth-century Vienna. For my novel, that is. Not my thesis. In other words, I'm doing nothing but research! Aaaaughhhhhh!

Ahem. Sorry about that. Bad morning in the library. Books not helpful. Couldn't find what I needed. Need a drink. Bad.

Oh well. I did get lots more writing done on my novel this weekend and this morning--fourteen pages, in total--which really made me happy. I'm in the middle of Chapter Five right now and I'm honestly enjoying the process. It's interesting to write a fantasy novel set in a time period I know quite a lot about. It turns out that "knowing quite a lot" about the period is just enough to let me scribble away industriously while thinking--at every other paragraph--"Must look this up!" Now, if only I remember to look everything up, by the end...and of course, the deal with writing historical fantasy is that, hey, this could never have happened. (As in the author's note I wanted Patrick to use in his Victorian-set novel--"For those who notice historical discrepancies, a word of advice: the fairies in it never existed either!") So it's a funny sort of balancing act. Studying the period academically is, I hope, enough to keep me honest. I'm writing a make-believe story of "What if....?", while trying not to blatantly clash against the facts. But I do understand, now, why so much historical fantasy is set in times we don't have much information about....

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