Ultimate set of tools for creating your linguistic writing style for historical romance
18th February 2013
Dear Romance Writers,
I thought I might share my must have links for writing an historical romance novel set in the 1800’s.
Language usage is very important for writing a historical romance. You certainly do not want your characters to speak as if they are living in modern day times, which is a grievance for many historical romance book reviewers. The references below will help you with your unique 19th century linguistic writing style.
- Google Books Ngram Viewer: http://books.google.com/ngrams
How this works: You can key in a word or phrase to see how often it was referenced in other books written during the time period that you search on. For example, if I key in the word “ok” I will see in what time period it was used.
- Etymological Dictionary Online: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php
How this works: This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English. Etymologies are not definitions; they’re explanations of what our words mean and how they sounded many years ago.
- Grammar-monster: http://www.grammar-monster.com/
How this works: Amazing website helping you resolve those pestering grammatical questions you have. Usage examples are also given.
- The Free Dictionary: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/
How this works: While there are many free online dictionaries, my favorite being dictionary.com for their extensive thesaurus, the free dictionary has an idioms checker, which really comes in handy when you are trying to figure out if you have written an idiom correctly and if it was used during your story’s time period.
I wish you much success in creating your writing voice!
I wish you happiness in your life, plenty of romance, and above all else, love.