Delightful Details

Post copyright Doris McCraw

hhj spc 3

As I work to complete my short story for a Medieval Anthology, along with a Western one and a proposal for next years History Symposium, I am having fun with those delightful details. In the midst of preparing this post, the link for a music video came through. Talk about details. So folks take a listen, then read on for some delightful details from history. https://youtu.be/Wgm9gZs1hYw

I’ll start with the Symposium. If I my proposal is accepted I shall be expected to present a detailed story defending my position on the myth of women doctors. I spent time wondering how I would cover such a large subject, then a friend gave me an idea for the hook. How the story of one created the myth we now believe to be true of the women doctors in Colorado. It is the true details of her story and that of others that will bring the story of those early women doctors life. Yes, some women doctors lived and worked in large cities, but even those larger cities were not without their dangers. Just because Leadville was one of the largest towns in Colorado in the 1870’s, there were still shootouts, killings and mining accidents. Even Doc Holliday made his home there awhile. Some women were reported to carry a gun when out on a call in the country.

Image result for leadville colorado

http://www.leadville.org During its peak, Leadville bragged over 30,000 residents and at one time was slated to be the capital of Colorado.

A Western Romance at Christmas, ah the possibilities. Of course there has to be conflict between the man and women. Most of the time, these stories involve young people. But what about the older widow, the man who has been footloose and fancy free. There is a story, whether true or not, of a woman who bought property in Denver, then found out it was a brothel. Since she had invested all her money, she did what any respectable women would do, she became the Madam, and with the money earned sent her daughter to boarding and finishing school. Delightful details like that add a hint of mystery to what could be challenging romance. We will see what my characters decide will work for them.

Eibingen Abbey

Now to a new arena for me, Medieval romance. Yes, I read a few when I was younger, but how was I going to make this one work. Okay, I set it in 1151, during the time Hildegard of Bingen created the first stand alone convent ever. Now I have done a lot of research on this amazing person. Women were seen and not heard during that time, I think not. Hildegard wrote music, books, and traveled and preached, when women were not allowed to do so. She corresponded with popes and kings. If you want to learn more about her, you can start here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen you can also read more at:http://www.hildegard.org/

To add more detail I studied books on the life of people during the 1100’s.  A cookbook was a great read. Everyone eats, so adding food to the story helps to make it real. It is in those details that our narratives come alive, whether fiction or non-fiction. So the next time you’re telling a story, include those details that bring the reader or listener into the world you’re describing. Until next time, happy researching and writing.

Doris McCraw specializes in Colorado and Womens History. She writes fiction under the pen name Angela Raines. Join her on facebook and her Amazon author page.

Product Details
“NEVER HAD A CHANCE” , second in the Agate Gulch stories, in the Prairie Rose Publications “A COWBOY CELEBRATION” anthology http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

Product Details
HOME FOR HIS HEART the first in the Agate Gulch stories. http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu

Author Page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

Photo and Poem:http://bit.ly/1dVnNwO
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16 Responses to Delightful Details

  1. Joe Stephens says:

    I agree it’s the little details that bring a character to life. My character is a foodie and coffee snob who loves preparing meals, no matter how simple or complex, so many of the scenes where he’s going over the case with his wife and partner are set around the kitchen and table.

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    • Doris says:

      Joe, I agree. Those details help the character become real,not only for ourselves as we write, but for the readers also. Your character sounds like a person after my own heart. I remember Parker’s wonderful character Spenser seemed to always have food in his books. I loved that. Doris

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure what “Elvira” has to do with women’s history but loved this rendition and remember the time when the song was popular.

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    • Doris says:

      Abbie, it has nothing to do with history but everyting to do with details. To make something like that rendidtion work, it was in the details. I also remember when that song was popular. Details add the flourish to anything project. Glad you enjoyed the song. Doris

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Doris. I love researching as you never know what tidbit you’ll uncover that gives your story and your characters that extra edge. I always am intrigued by what characters eat too. It says a lot about them as well as shapes the world of the story.

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    • Doris says:

      Sarah, research is so much fun. To me, what people eat and how they respond to their enviroment just gives me a connection to who and what they really are. Thank you for the kind words, and here’s to researching. Doris

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  4. Fun, fun post, Doris! A friend of mine told me about Born Free several months ago — they are amazing! And, I’ve loved the Oaks for DECADES! My husband sings barbershop so I know how difficult such vocals without instruments can be. Details, yes — and you have that down SO WELL! I’ve no doubt of your continued success in all your endeavors. Thanks for bringing such delight to my Monday! 🙂

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    • Doris says:

      You are welcome Gayle. They say the devil is in the details, but I say it is the delight in the details that makes life and stories so much fun. And of course music. Oak Ridge Boys and Home Free, fun. If all goes well I’ll be at the Home Free concert here in November. Should be fun. Doris

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  5. Neva Bodin says:

    Great post Doris. I love the Oak Ridge Boys and thoroughly enjoyed this video, as well as reminders about details. Little details that really have no bearing sometimes on a story that are not accurate when included will throw me right out of the story if I know they aren’t accurate. And research is distracting for me sometimes, I find so much “by the way” sort of info as I try to hone in on what I want, I go on rabbit trails sometimes.

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    • Doris says:

      Neva, Rabbit holes get me a lot also, but like you incorrect information will take me out fo the story.

      Glad you enjoyed the video. To me, the harmony arrangements are all about details.

      Here’s to the next rabbit hole we go down. Doris

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  6. Nancy Jardine says:

    Research throws up too many details but the trick, as you point out Doris, is to include what makes the story more real. A minimalist writer might disagree, but I miss those extra touches when the prose is pared down too much.

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    • Doris says:

      Nancy, even the small touches bring the story to life. Too much takes aways, but like the three bears, sometimes it is just right. Doris

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  7. Wranglers says:

    Doris, you are getting busier, and busier. I remember when it was basically your wonderful photos, haiku poems, and your acting. You have grown so much. And I hope you realize, I won’t get much else done today except watch Home Free Videos. Love them. Cher’ley

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    • Doris says:

      Sorry about the Home Free fix, but like you, I love them.

      Yes, life has gotten busier and I couldn’t be happier. Enjoy those videos. Doris

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  8. katewyland says:

    You’re so right about details. Reading or seeing something that isn’t right throws me out of the story and makes me doubt the writer. As a historian I love research, but haven’t done much for my novels since they’re contemporaries. Did due diligence on amnesia and burn treatment for Forewarning and on Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy for Forearmed (coming soon I hope).
    Have fun with all your projects.

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    • Doris says:

      Kate,

      Thank you. I also love that you took the time to understand amnesia and burn treatments for your contemporaries. I believe that kind of research adds the ‘reality’ factor into any story. Best on Forearmed…looking forward to it. Doris

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