On Being a Know-It-All

Child Reading Book of Phaitoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Child Reading Book” courtesy of Phaitoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Needless to say, I have established my platform as the go-to person for Edwardian history, with a bit of WWI history thrown in.

Needless to say, I can spout off facts and reel off dates and people and biographies like nobody’s business.

Needless to say, I forget just about everything I know when I write.

This becomes aggravating when I am trying to Fast Draft because despite the no-editing-no revision-just-write rule, I like to make my first drafts as close to my outline/synopsis/vision as possible. The thought of littering my MS with “XXXX” or generic descriptions makes me cry, and when I am forced to do so, I weep in agony.

The 1000 words I pounded out last night for a writing challenge took an hour and a half to write because I kept checking online for such simple things as the name of those metal helmets soldiers wore on the Western Front, what the weather was like in the Summer of 1916, and the freaking name of the slabs of wood placed on the bottom of the trenches.

So for all of you out there who worry that you’ll never be able to remember your research to write great historical detail, I’m the same boat!

Author: Evangeline Holland

Evangeline is a public historian who brings her academic skills to fiction, in order to fill in the gaps in the historical record. Her love for history permeates just about everything she does, going so far as to "suffer" for this love--as the bruises and stuck fingers from fencing and sewing costumes to understand life in the past firsthand can attest.

4 thoughts on “On Being a Know-It-All”

  1. Oh boy, do i feel ya! Constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY, I am looking things up online, mainly definitions or phrases or trying to find a film I’m wanting to compare with the one I’m reviewing. Nowadays, my “first draft” is what I dictate into my recorder, which I then transcribe and edit from there. I’ve given up even trying to do a fast draft of anything, my memory simply won’t allow it.

      1. I very sensibly lost the cord and the transcription software for my recorder as soon as I got it, but I think transcribing it myself works out better because I can skip all the “argh no wrong wrong go back” parts completely!

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