Saturday, June 14, 2014

May I See Your ID, Please?

By Keith N Fisher

After one of my twenty-four hour, Fridays, I came home from work.

I told myself, "Self. It’s Saturday Morning, did you post a blog?"

I answered, No, Self, I’ve been so busy that—"

I interrupted my self and said, "You can’t lie to yourself, self. You had time to write."

It’s true. While eating lunch at my desk, I’ve been writing. I could’ve written a blog post then, but my story is going so well, and with research . . .

Okay, I’m sorry. Those who follow my meager blog posts will know, I’m working two eight-hour jobs. On Friday’s I go to work in the morning. Get off in the afternoon. Hopefully, sleep for three hours and work all night. It’s been killer, but I’ve been writing my historical novel when I can.

I started this book a few years ago, but it just wasn’t working after sixty thousand-words. So, I put it aside. Recently, I picked it up and knew what needed to be done. Now I’m excited; writing, plotting, and researching.

The book is set in 1850 and problems I never thought about before have surfaced. I keep tossing words in that didn’t exist in 1850. Or they hadn’t made it into our vocabulary yet. It’s hard enough to try and describe Fort Bridger from journal accounts but I tossed in the word "patsy" the other day, and realized it hadn’t been invented yet.

I knew about "okay". That word had been coined, but hadn’t found it’s way into popular speech yet. Other words are even more modern, and we, writers tend to insert them into our character’s mouths. I found myself asking my words for their ID, because if they aren’t old enough, my characters wouldn’t say them.

I’m also afraid of contractions. The truth is, people used them, but mostly not. I throw them in anyway. The new version of the movie, True Grit, is true to the book in that way, but the speech patterns were both refreshing, and drove me crazy, too. Still, I know lot of that is subjective, but I want people to enjoy this great story. Even those educated people, who know the difference.

I’m getting through it, but I get tired of asking my customers for ID to purchase beer. I never thought I’d have to ask my words.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

1 comment:

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