Friday, August 4, 2017

Planning Your Novel Part 4 - Characterization Special: Dancing Horse Heroine

By Elva Cobb Martin  ---Check out the above YouTube Clip!

If you're planning a novel, I assume you've studied a lot about characterization and how best to plan and detail your characters. But today with the above YouTube clip I am sharing with you something I've run across with planning my Spanish heroine in my current wip (work in progress).

In my research I ran across the Spanish horse or the Andalusian breed which has had a large influence on the bloodlines of the beautiful Lipizzaner breed of horses of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. That's why it's called the Spanish Riding School, but it's in Vienna, Austria.

I've had horses myself and love them. I am thinking about making my heroine more special than ever by setting her on a Spanish horse stud farm where she has learned the beautiful dancing with the horses like you see in the clip. Don't you think this will make her a much more special character that readers will love?

Remember, one of my first points in planning your novel in Part 1 was Research and More Research! I've spent some time studying out the Spanish or Andalusian horse and had a great time doing it. My novel will be much richer as a result. These horses are still being bred in several nations and very popular all over the world, not just in Spain or Austria.

In the clip you can see where the Lipizzaner got it's beautiful dressage genes! And don't you love the Spanish guitar accompaniment?

Of course, I've got MUCH research on this subject I may never get to use in my novel, but that's fine. I'd rather be on the rich end rather than the skimpy one.

Here's a few quick notes from my research for you horse lovers like me!

Spanish horses, including the Andalusian, originated from Arabian and Berber horses from North Africa. They were brought to Spain in the 8th Century. (Think Muslim invasion and takeover of Spain which continued several centuries and hence the mosques still standing there).

During the 15th and 16th Centuries (think of the Catholic deliverance of Spain, Queen Isabella's Empire, and Columbus) these majestic high-stepping Spanish horses became the status symbol of the royal courts throughout Europe. 
Note: my photo may be of Isabella...and it might not be. But you get the picture. ( :

1580: When the importation of horses from the Spanish Peninsula became more difficult, the Vienna court under Archduke Karl II decided to develop their own breeding farm in . . . Lipica. He sent buyers to Spain and they brought back stallions and mares. They became the foundation of the Lipizzan breed. And, yes, I have the rest of the exciting story about even these Lipizzan horses and all they went through during the various European wars, even their rescue during WWII by our own General Patton. But that's another story. . . for another day.

Have you planned a special talent or work for your main character that people will love to learn about? This is the kind of thing that makes an historical or a contemporary novel much richer. In my contemporary Summer of Deception novel, I shared the growing and making of tea by my hero. You can find the novel here:
I also have a beautiful Arabian horse in this novel named Haidez.

Do join the fun and tell us about your character's special talent or work. Please click on the social buttons below to share if you found this blog helpful.

Elva Cobb Martin

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