Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ahh, research...

Hey, all three of my followers! (How are you, Mom?) My eyes are bloodshot. Visine is my friend. I have been researching like a mad woman, finding helpful Jane Austen fan sites, blogs, a Regency encyclopedia--anything that will assist me with my book. A couple of the sites I found will let anyone upload their own JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) writings. It's actually a lot of fun. Some of the people posting are writing in English as their 2nd language, God bless 'em.

I found a forum where fans were giving their top 5 "musts" for a Jane Austen "What if?" novel. Almost across the board, they insisted that Elizabeth and Darcy end up together. No brainer for me. Others were concerned about "angst" either having too much or too little. I was a little confused, thinking maybe they had a different Jane encoded meaning for angst, because there is no compelling story worth being read without angst. It's a major force that drives a story forward and keeps us turning the page. We worry that Darcy might never be able to get a 2nd chance after his first disastrous proposal. We wring our hands wondering if Lydia's elopement will be just too much for Darcy to handle. The more I read in the forums, the more I understood that some of the novels--not all--which lean toward "romance" which equals lots of sex (they call it "fluff") do not have a lot of major conflicts. My thinking is that would keep the lovers apart, and thus major lack of pillow talk. Correct me if I'm wrong about this, but that is what I was getting.

The JAFF base is wide and varied. From Darcy and Elizabeth possibly touching with ungloved hands to Harlequin style bedroom romps on every third page. So, I'm told... well, so I found out quite by accident. :0) What I found most amusing was a list of acronyms and made up terms used. Some were sight specific and some were across the board, like JAFF. One site had pictures of Colin Firth (CF) in period dress from the mini series (P&P2), and had a pink arrow pointing to his crotch with the term "bunchage" under it. LOL! Poor man.

So, I brushed up on ballroom manners, found out that a lady NEVER calls on a gentleman, and uncovered the fact that women in the early 19th century went al fresco--no underpants until early mid century, around 1820-1830. Must have been breezy. I have also managed to write 42 pages, which kind of despressed me, until I realized that books are not printed in 8.5 by 11. So, I can almost double that, and claim that I have over 80 pages under my belt!

I'll give you a little peek and pick out something fun for below. It's Darcy reliving the dance he had with Elizabeth at Netherfield. If you didn't just catch it--I'm getting into Darcy's head! I'm determined to have it be "man" thoughts and not overly sentimental feminine interpretation of what a man would think. It won't be vulgar, but just normal struggles a man has around a pretty woman. My husband has told me on more than one occasion that all men are pigs, it's just that some are better at hiding their curly tails than others. Darcy is not thinking about how pretty her dress is...


It was a crisp morning, and Darcy had to admit that Hertfordshire was a beautiful place. No great rocks and mountains, but the rolling green hills and the woods pleased. He toured the park around Netherfield, mildly feeling the sting of the loss he tried not to think about. He tried not to think about how her small hand felt in his, how her plump lips tightened into a thin line when she was cross, and he tried not to think about how her eyes changed color with what she wore. Last night they were light green. They matched her gown perfectly. And when he took her hand to dance, those green eyes pierced right through him like she knew every thought he has ever had. He was in awe, he was ashamed, and he was relieved. For if she could read his thoughts, a great slap would have come hard upon his cheek. Oh, but what a pleasure it was to see the fire in those amazing eyes of hers. Darcy smiled slightly, and he couldn’t help but think of how very worth a slap from Miss Elizabeth Bennet might be, if he was a lesser man.


Thanks for keeping up with me. Goodbye for now, and please forgive me Jane.


  1. I agree that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy should end up together. It would not be true to Jane Austen's work at all if they ended up with anyone else. I agree also that angst is needed. Why read if they are together at page 20? But I have to say that I read a jaff novel online where the author had them hating each other for most of the book--that wasn't right either.

    THanks for getting into Darcy's head! Readers want that. Believe me. Thanks also for giving us a snippet of your work. Looks good so far. I'm reading your next post after this--hopefully you will have more.

  2. Hello again, Tracykins!

    I really have enjoyed getting into Mr. Darcy's head, it really is propelling my story forward. The readers are aware how much he struggles with his feelings for Elizabeth, but she does not.

    As far as too much angst, I agree that you can overdo it, especially if it is a lot of little misunderstandings. The online book you read where Darcy and Lizzy hated each other sounds unpleasant. Were they at least attracted to each other? :0)