It’s been just about a week since NaNoWriMo started! I’m doing about as well as you’d expect in the midst of the rest of life. But – oh! – is it fun to write again!
Sometimes I wonder if I should pursue writing as a career, and I think I will always question that until- if by some amazing chance- I manage to publish something. But there’s no question about it: I at least love to write! There’s nothing quite so fun about writing characters and plots and making up your own story.
Of course, it’s not all that easy. Quite often during the last week I’ve stared at the page in front of me and asked myself: ‘What in the world am I doing?’ And I am still having the challenge of trying to figure out how to make the plot make sense, how to write a character with PTSD, how to make the ‘sidekick’ not suddenly- and for no apparent reason- act like my main character, and of course the ever present problem- how to be able to write enough!
Well, I know I should be writing on here on Felicity Prose- it’s still a different enough task for me so it’s not automatic- but NaNoWriMo writing is quite distracting. So, if I manage to write here- and hopefully I will- the posts will probably be pretty short, at least until December.
However, I think I recently mentioned that I would put up excerpts of the style I want to write in- or just perfect. My characters travel in time to the Civil War-era, so of course I want to make the people of that time speak as though they are from that time! Mark Twain is, of course, good to read for just the general writing style, which I still haven’t perfected- much to my annoyance. But then there’s the way people talk that I need to work on getting right and not being embarrassed about it. (incidentally, if anyone that reads this finds it just weird or distracting, then I’d love to know so I won’t attempt it)
So, here’s a very helpful excerpt from the Red Badge of Courage, of the main character’s mother talking to him before he left. Hope you enjoy:
“I’ve knet yeh eight pair of socks, Henry, and I’ve put in all yer best shirts, because I want my boy to be jest as warm and comf’able as anybody in the army. Whenever they get holes in ’em, I want yeh to send ’em rightaway back to me, so’s I kin dern ’em.
“An’ allus be careful an’ choose yer comp’ny. There’s lots of bad men in the army, Henry. The army makes ’em wild, and they like nothing better than the job of leading off a young feller like you, as ain’t never been away from home much and has allus had mother, an’ a-learning ’em to drink and swear. Keep clear of them folks, Henry. I don’t want yeh to ever do anything, Henry, that yeh would be ‘shamed to let me know about. Just think as if I was awatchin’ yeh. If yeh keep that in yer mind allus, I guess yeh’ll come out about right.”
This is a good excerpt also for the general atmosphere of the time and how people thought. Now, I think I will build up enough courage to put an excerpt from my story of my attempt at writing this way. This is very hard, because it’s the one spot that I am most worried of getting wrong.
Here it is:
“I would ha’ fought till I was dead, an’ then I would ha’ fought till there was nothin’ left! That’s what Bill said, anyway. An’ even if yeh can’t go on fightin’ after ye’re dead, I’d like to think I could!”
(Many apologies to anyone that might think this is really strange or, by chance, insulting)