Well, I think I found out what was wrong with Mere Mortals:
I’ve had THREE false starts with this story and it was driving me mad. First I started in the wrong place from the wrong POV, then I had the wrong location completely, and in the past few days I’d been really struggling. The words were coming, and I was onto chapter three, but every sentence was a real pain–it felt like I was waist deep in mud and the words weren’t coming. It seemed dull, boring–and crivens, if I thought it was, it was a sure bet that the reader certainly would. I can only really use my own gut instinct in this respect, if my erotic scenes turn me on, I hope that it will do for others, and if my prose seems pedestrian to me, well… you get the picture. It had been nagging me that perhaps the book needed to be in first person, and I had been shying away from this idea for two reasons:
1. Two out of the last 3 things that I’d written had been First Person–Junction X and Hard and Fast. I don’t want (even though I’ve written more 3rd person than I have 1st) to get stuck and unable to get back into writing 3rd. and;
2. I know that a good few people say: "I never read first person, I hate it." But I had to come to the decision that I don’t write for other people. If they want to lose a huge chunk of what’s available to read, that’s their loss.
So I switched and BINGO!! Everything seemed to slot into place. The words simply poured out and no longer was a it a case of feeling like I was pushing a boulder up a very steep mountain while eagles pecked at my liver.
Well, perhaps still the liver thing, but you know what I mean. Or if you don’t – you are lucky. It makes much more sense to put it into first for many reasons that I can’t talk about or it will spoil the plot. so, anyway. Am happy.
And Talking about Happy – Things I’m loving about Patrick O’Brian:
He’s very wicked. A sense of humour that makes me die laughing, and he makes Jack Aubrey anything but a Mary Sue. Jack commits the most awful faux-pas, getting drunk at important land-side parties and saying things like "the men are waiting to come ashore, money in their pockets and all their pricks a yard long" and another time he confuses the word patois with putain. Nothing is said about it, no-one comments, and if the reader didn’t know the meanings of the words the rudeness of it would just glide by. I am loving it. Every character described is wonderful, from the yard-master, Brown, who (in the way of any man who runs a storeroom/yard of any type – we had a stationery monitor who was JUST the same) doesn’t like to give any of his stock away, to conflicted Catholic lieutenants.
The mate Marshall is in love with Aubrey. Every single man aboard knows it too, apart from Jack, who just thinks that the man’s attention to detail and his driving the crew to do their best work is simply from a sense of duty and seamanship–and NOT that he wants to get a kind word or a smile from his captain. It makes it more amusing and more realistic is that Marshall is a 50 year old "bluff" man, not a slender, handsome effete type and that Jack is rather fat, ruddy and old-fashioned (wears his hat the less fashionable way around, like Nelson, who he emulates, and his hair long)
So much to love! I don’t understand much of the terminology, I have to admit–and that spoils it a little for me–I would have appreciated an extensive glossary, but it would have been impossible, as the glossary would be the same size of the book itself. I suppose people buy companion books to the series to help them, but I’m just working around it. I admit that I do tend to try and use words in context to make things easier for my readers, but I applaud O’Brian’s decision to just say "bugger it – if they don’t get the words, let them look it up." I’ll probably be squeeing more about it all.
Bleurgh Blurb of the day.
"Famous for the witch trials of 1692, Salem has been trying to smudge out the horrible images of murder and injustice for centuries."
Really? I rather got the impression that, rather than attempting to sweep the incident under the carpet, Salem based their entire economy on it.© Copyright 2009 Erastes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Erastes