Yes, folks, in case you were wondering, that writer is me. And I’m not procrastinating in the traditional sense, but the writing is progressing slowly. This is my second attempt at a creative piece based on a historical figure (both women, in case anyone’s wondering) and both have proven difficult for similar reasons.
Perhaps because of my upbringing as a historian’s daughter, I want the names of minor characters, background, clothing, conveyances, political and artistic themes to be accurate. This means I have to do research. I did considerable research on this topic several years ago when I was contemplating a novel set in the same time period but now I need specifics on such things as men’s evening attire in France in 1672 (the time of Louis XIV) or a portrait painter who worked at that time. These topics wouldn’t have been part of my first novel which was set in the time frame but not based on a real person.
The ‘real person’ may be my main issue. How do I get inside the head of a woman who lived a life of privilege and wealth hundreds of years ago and turned into a serial killer. Never heard of the killer who hung out in the court of the Sun King? Neither had I until I did my research on 17th century witch trials. I think I may have an explanation for Mimi’s behavior that makes sense to my modern sensibilities, but since she left no letters or diary, we will never truly know her motivation. I do know that Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite d’Aubray, the Marquise de Brinvilliers, was a cold-blooded murderer. Her story is an interesting one and while getting it down on the page is a slow process, I’m learning a lot.
That said, it’s time to get back to Mimi and her evil doings. She hasn’t yet started her killing spree and we have a lot to accomplish before November draws to a close.
I wish you all well in your novel-writing endeavors as well!