Dunlap, Will Nottingham
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This essay considers the processes at work in my creation of an historical novel, beginning with an examination of my relationship to setting: my Midwestern roots, my sense of the South as a northern transplant, and my definition of the so-called “regional” novel. Emerging from this analysis is an attempt to contextualize my efforts within the tradition of Southern Gothic Literature. Finally, the essay documents the actual writing of a novel as it relates to research, drafting, and revision, focusing in part on the myriad sources—a veritable “bounty”—with which one is confronted when writing about the antebellum South. An epilogue, “Outtakes,” provides an example of material discussed within the primary essay: a section of the novel, eventually streamlined and then discarded, set in the midst of a community of Kentucky Shakers.