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Photo of author Kurt Vonnegut

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things–reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them–in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Source: Medium

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Careful reading of the historical fiction for adults and children of Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92) reveals that the same Dolphin Ring with a dolphin design on a flawed emerald was the Flavius family signet ring which threads through eight of her novels: The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, Frontier Wolf, The Lantern Bearers, Sword at Sunset, Dawn Wind, Sword Song, & The Shield Ring.

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Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-1992) had several editors during her long writing career which produced over 60 books. One editor wrote (in a website post that I can no longer trace):

(Rosemary Sutcliff) had, as did Henry Treece, a mystical communion with the past, which enabled her both to recreate tiny details, and to confound military historians with her understanding of the art of battle in any situation she cared to devise. Her sense of place was uncanny, in that she could get no nearer to a site than the seat of a car on an adjacent road. Friends often served as her eyes, and also as her researchers, but it was the conclusions she drew from the evidence, and her re-creations of them, that made her contribution to the literature about the ancient world so distinctive. Where she was simply embellishing recorded history, she was no better than anyone else. She also had one of the rudest senses of humour in anyone I have met.”

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Place matters hugely in the work of  Rosemary Sutcliff. The main settings of her stories include:

The West Country in England
Blood Feud | Brother Dusty-Feet | Outcast | Simon | Sword at Sunset | The Armourer’s House | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Queen Elizabeth Story | Tristan and Iseult
The South Downs in England
Dawn Wind | Flame-Coloured Taffeta | Knight’s Fee | Sun Horse, Moon Horse, | Sword at Sunset | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Lantern Bearers | The Silver Branch | The Witch’s Brat | Warrior Scarlet
London
Brother Dusty Feet | Song for a Dark Queen | The Witch’s Brat
The North Of England
A Circlet of Oak Leaves | Frontier Wolf | Sword at Sunset | Sword Song | The Capricorn Bracelet | The Chronicles of Robin Hood | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Mark of the Horse Lord | The Rider of the White Horse | The Shield Ring | The Shining Company | The Silver Branch
Scotland
A Circlet of Oak Leaves | Bonnie Dundee | Eagle’s Egg | Frontier Wolf| Shifting Sands | Sword at Sunset | Sword Song | The Capricorn Bracelet | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Mark of the Horse Lord | The Shining Company | We Lived in Drumfyvie

Wales
A Circlet of Oak Leaves | Sword at Sunset | Sword Song | The Bridge-Builders | The Chief’s Daughter | The Lantern Bearers | The Shining Company
Ireland
Blood Feud | Sword Song | The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool | The Hound of Ulster | Tristan and Iseult

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Born with physical disability: Adam Hilyarde, The Queen Elizabeth Story; Robert Cecil, Lady in Waiting; Drem, Warrior Scarlet; Vadir Cedricson, Dawn Wind; Gwalchmai, Sword at Sunset; Lovel, The Witch’s Brat; the Emperor Claudius, Song for a Dark Queen.

Acquired physical disabilities: Robin, The Chronicles of Robin Hood; John Carey, Simon; Marcus, The Eagle of the Ninth; Talore, Warrior Scarlet; Midir, The Mark of the Horse Lord; Timotheus, The Flowers of Adonis; Lucianus Calpurnius, The Capricorn Bracelet; Jestyn Englishman, Hakon One-Eye, Bardas Schlerus, Blood Feud; Moon-Eye, Shifting Sands; Hugh Herriot, Bonnie Dundee; Anoud bin Aziz ibn Rashid, Blood and Sand; Conn, The Shining Company; Onund Treefoot, Sword Song.

(Source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/RosemarySutcliff%5D)

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These are books of  historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliff in shorter form, most of them originally published as storybooks.
Stone Age: Shifting Sands (1977)
Bronze Age: The Chief’s Daughter (1967)
Bronze Age: “Flowering Dagger” (1977, in The Real Thing)
Iron Age: The Changeling (1974)
412 BCE: “A Crown of Wild Olive” (1971, originally The Truce of the Games)
60 CE: The Capricorn Bracelet (1973, collection)
80 CE: Eagle’s Egg (1981)
130 CE: “Swallows in the Spring” (1970, in Galaxy)
150 CE: A Circlet of Oak Leaves (1965)
Roman: The Bridge-Builders (1959)
Roman: “The Fugitives” (1964, in Another Six)

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A Chronology of Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical fiction, which is not a tightly-linked series, although there is some continuity.

900 BCE: Warrior Scarlet (1958)
415 BCE: The Flowers of Adonis (1969)
100 BCE: Sun Horse, Moon Horse (1977)
33 CE: Song for a Dark Queen (1978)
126 CE: The Eagle of the Ninth (1954)
130 CE: Outcast (1955)
180 CE: The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965)
292 CE: The Silver Branch (1957)
341 CE: Frontier Wolf (1980)
450 CE: The Lantern Bearers (1959)
480 CE: Sword at Sunset (1963)
585 CE: Dawn Wind (1961)
595 CE: The Shining Company (1990)
890 CE: Sword Song (1997)
986 CE: Blood Feud (1976)
1090 CE: The Shield Ring (1956)
1094 CE: Knight’s Fee (1960)
1115 CE: The Witch’s Brat (1970)
1184 CE: The Chronicles of Robin Hood (1950)
1534 CE: The Armourer’s House (1951)
1564 CE: Lady in Waiting (1957)
1569 CE: The Queen Elizabeth Story (1950)
1581 CE: Brother Dusty-Feet (1952)
1640 CE: Simon (1953)
1642 CE: The Rider of the White Horse (1959)
1683 CE: Bonnie Dundee (1983)
1750 CE: Flame-Coloured Taffeta (1986)
1807 CE: Blood and Sand (1987)
[Source http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/RosemarySutcliff%5D

Collection of Rosemary Sutcliff covers via Google Images March 2016

Collection of Rosemary Sutcliff covers via Google Images March 2016

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