The other day I found myself bored and sitting in a waiting room for an undetermined time. Feedly was down, so I decided to try Wattpad – since I’ve been hearing about it lately. It seems like an interesting idea. From what I understand, it allows anyone to publish anything basically, on their site. I’m all for free books!
However, this of course means that you get all levels of writing. And research. Oh my, the research.
I started reading a regency novel that was talking about the man being a slave trader. Which I guess was still ongoing at that time, in the West Indies and such. And he did travel a lot. Sometimes it makes it sound like he’s keeping slaves in the UK, but I’m sure I’m just misunderstanding it. Since I’m pretty sure there was no local slavery in the UK around that time. He has a plantation where he grows tobacco that he exports. Can you grow tobacco in the UK? Or is that again a misunderstanding perhaps, and he actually grows the tobacco in the West Indies (I’d assume so). Even if the tobacco-growing is in the West Indies, they still call his home in the UK a plantation. What do I know… Maybe the UK had/has plantations. I’m just damaged into always thinking about them as the typical American ones in the south. The description even makes the house itself sound like the typical one you’d see in a US movie…
There are some things I know for a fact are wrong. Like them calling the hero a “Laird”. This would be fine if they were in Scotland, but they’re supposedly close to London. And they’re not Scottish. In fact, they speak a bit of French it seems. Which brings us to the second mistake; the French. I’m no expert, but I remember enough to know that you don’t say “mon cheri” to a female.
Yes, yes… I know I’m nitpicking. But really, if you’re going to add a second language to your books – make sure you do it right!
I’m sure there are factual errors in my books. I remember removing a scene where my hero and heroine were waltzing, because I discovered that the waltz was still pretty much banned as “too inappropriate” still at the year the story takes place. And I’m sure there are lots of other things still in there that aren’t entirely correct. And I can live with some of it, both in my own books and others. As long as it’s not too glaringly obvious.
Now, I must return to this story to see how it turns out. If nothing else, I want to figure out if he has these slaves in the UK or West Indies!