I'm revising the mess out of my historical YA, trying to make it pretty for querying...but I'm in that level (pun intended--my manuscript is called In Limbo, tee hee!) that kinda sucks. The fact checking level.
I have to make sure I'm not using present day slang and phrases. For example, I wanted to talk about music and I automatically wrote CD player, then record player...then I looked it up and realized that in 1918 they called them phonographs. Which then leads to what did they call the records they played on them? Records, Vinyls, Albums? It all gets really, really shaky. So I tried to look up slang/English language in 1918. I didn't find anything that different but there were a few key phrases that I made sure to throw in...
Rotary dialing = Dialing on a (Home) telephone (so archaic, right!)
Fooling = joking around
Neat/Cool/Swell = well...neat, or cool, awesome etc. :)
Sweetheart = Girlfriend/Boyfriend ie going steady
Colored = African American
Soda pop = obviously, soda
Denims = jeans
And it goes on and on...
The words weren't all that different--some of them we even use today. I guess the point is to make sure that I don't have one of my characters say/do anything that is too 21st century and also watch out for making the material too dated. I am hoping to have a book that is obviously historical but that can be relatable for every generation. Is that too much to ask???
What about you, lovely readers? If you write historical how do you get past the fact checking slump? If you read it, what are some great books that you can think of that are timeless?