Saturday, November 3, 2012

Listening to History

I squinted, one-eyed, at myself in the bathroom mirror.  First day of Nanowrimo and I had dropped my contact lens somewhere between my left eye and the sink drain.  I never found it.  Fortunately I had an old one in the drawer, and it's been working just fine.  I had also started writing right at midnight on Nov. 1 and got in over 1000 words.  Day Two left me a little short of par (3333) but now I'm headed for 5000+ for today.

Research has been interesting.  I realized that most of the research I've done in the past for my novels has been related to my own time frame, or if I was writing about earlier times (such as the 1920-1940) I had people I could talk to for the information.  Or, when I was writing fantasy, I could make up my own rules.  For this Pirate novel I can't even begin to imagine lifestyles, habits, and language patterns of the 17th and 18th centuries.  It's one thing to read about it in a book, but to imagine yourself there, walking through it and then writing it down is a very surreal and intangible experience.  Every sentence comes into question even with a simple scene of your main character waking up in the morning and hearing voices.  (What was the room like, the bed? What was her mindset?  How do you make her different without launching her speech and mannerisms into the 21st century?) Oddly enough, once I got to the crew on the pirate ship, the speech patterns came more easily, although I'm sure they're still inaccurate.  Best attempt is to take Shakespeare and rough it up a bunch.

For this Nano "hyper" draft I think the main focus will be on the relationships of the people and how they react to the issues of that time.  These are the things that are universal and timeless.

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