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  • Writer's pictureNancy West

Moon-Charting Manuscripts

Writing atmospheric gothic historical novels often requires observations of the weather--especially the quality of moonlight and the moon-phase. A full moon in one scene had best not still be full in a subsequent scene two weeks later. I was in a total tizzy, trying to write scenes where moonlight was a factor until I discovered that "moon charts" go back hundreds of years. I used www.timeanddate.com to track the exact phases of the moon in 1847 when my story takes place. Knowing the timing of the moon cycles also helped me to keep my time line organized. And if you want to know the common names for the various moon phases used by different cultures, www.timeanddate.com lists these too. I found it helpful to know what the monthly full moons were called by Celtic, Algonguin, and American colonial settlers.

So, happy moon-gazing while you write!

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