Last month I told you about my favorite book that helps me with my narrative and descriptions. It’s called the Descriptionary: A Thematic Dictionary, by Marc McCutcheon. There are some sections that I don’t use, like “French Cooking Terms” and “Surgical Procedures.” But if I want to know what a “hand-and-a-half sword” is, then there’s a definition for it. (It’s an intermediate or small sword, smaller than a two-handed sword, by the way). There’s also a section on clothing, separated by major historical eras or shifts.
Hey, have you heard of a “ha-ha”? No, it’s not laughter. It’s a sunken fence or moat around a garden to keep animals out of the area.
I like books that help me with research or language. I don’t like redundancy or interrupting my writing flow while I search for the correct word. Sometimes I put XXX to hold the place of a word I need and then go back to fill it in. Otherwise, that fleeting thread of dialogue or plot will evaporate. It usually doesn’t come back, whether it was good or bad.
It’s different when you write the text for a chapter book that doesn’t include pictures and writing for an illustrated book. The illustrations help the reader visualize what you’re writing about.
I didn’t have to describe the clothing in ‘The Voyage’ because the artist did such a phenomenal job with her research to show the clothing and the colors that were true to the period.
For ‘The Fairies of Carlow’ series, I took literary license to use clothing that was suggested by the Victorian period and was able to modify it as necessary for the stories.
The ‘Guinness the Therapy Dogs’ stories will be modern-day and the dress of the people he interacts with will be easily drawn. I probably won’t mention the clothing unless it directly affects the plot of the book.
And dogs don’t wear pants! Hey, that’s a good idea for a story!
The illustrations in ‘The Voyage’ also show the world occupied by John Wing as he traveled through Europe as a preacher. It helps the reader see where he stood in The Hague, Oxfordshire, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts (for his family).
Take a look at the beautiful illustrations of ‘The Voyage’. The illustrations for the first two books of the ‘Guinness the Therapy Dog’ series are being drawn by the artist right now!
I can’t wait to show you. Keep a lookout for the logo that will appear on the front cover of every ‘Guinness the Therapy Dog’ book. It’s spectacular and I will unveil it here on this website soon!