Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Build Your Own Austenesque Novel: The Set-Up

During the month of August, I'm running a series for Austenesque fans. We're going to build our own Austenesque novels, from the ground up. Each week, we'll discuss another story aspect until we have a complete toolkit for writing an Austenesque novel.

The Set-up

The first thing you have to decide when you sit down to write a piece of Jane Austen fiction is what do you want your story to be? What novel do you want to focus on? Do you want to write a sequel, a variation, a POV story, or an alternate universe?

If you came over today from Meredith's Austenesque Extravaganza, you might be familiar with those terms. I'll define them very quickly for those who aren't.
  • Sequel: The most obvious, this type of novel starts where one of Jane's leaves off. It might follow the primary couple (for instance, Darcy and Elizabeth), or it might follow a secondary character, like Charlotte Collins.
  • Variation: This novel takes the original Austen story and deviates from it at some point. Maybe Elizabeth never heard Darcy's first insult, or maybe Captain Wentworth did come back to court Anne in 1810. It branches off from that point of departure to create its own story.
  • POV story: These tell the same story as Jane, but from the POV of a different character. My current novel, His Good Opinion, is a POV story.
  • Alternate Universe: AU stories take the characters and situations from the original novel and places it in a completely foreign setting. This might be a modernization, or Jane Austen Does Outer Space. The sky is truly the limit with AU stories.
So, what kind of Austenesque novel do you want to write? My next novel is a sequel, based on Pride and Prejudice once again. This time, I'm telling Colonel Fitzwilliam's story. Some interesting bits of back story surfaced while I wrote His Good Opinion, and I'm eager to explore his adventures.

Week 2: Conflict.
Week 3: Character


Commenting on this post will enter you in the Amazing Austenesque Giveaway. Make sure you've filled out the form on Meredith's blog, and then any post you make on her blog or on the posts she links to throughout the month will count as another entry in the giveaway. Thank you, and good luck!

Graphic designed by Drew Parsons