Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ruminations

I have 12,000 words of my 5th century story, LOTR and have just read it over again. The first 5000 words won me the Novel first prize for the local writing group. The first three pages garnered a report from the Winchester conference which effectively trashed my writing completely, and once again made the suggestion of writing for children. So now I'm trying to reconcile the opposing views.

Firstly, I'm not about to start writing for children. Stuff goes on in my novels which would have to be cut if I did that. Yes, I write rather plainly, but at the root of it, is a belief in trying to be realistic. So that's a no-no, at this time. As to the 'not settled with your writing style, you are a beginner' that has more credence for me. I need to get out from under and I'm looking for novels I admire so I can at least try some emulation in style. If it's good enough for Bernard Cornwell, it's good enough for me. He did the same with C S Forester's Horatio Hornblower, so Bernie, I'm looking seriously into trying it your way.

Who though? Sutcliff is out - mostly due to similarity of subject matter, but also some people whine that she's old fashioned. Yes, I know, it's silly, but it's best I look for something written in the last 10 years, I think. Gillian Bradshaw? A possibility, if I was still writing SoD. The Bradshaw books I have are written in first person, as is SoD. But LOTR is in third. Hmmm. Mary Gentle; she writes in tight third. Good, yes, but her style is so distinctive and bold, I'm not sure I can copy it. Will contemplate problem further ...

3 Comments:

At 11:37 pm BST, Blogger Stephen said...

Dorothy Dunnett? Sharon Penman? Elizabeth Chadwick? They all do a good job of conveying a strong sense of the past. Or maybe somebody a little more lyrical, like Robert Holdstock.

Or you could try an older style...

The family of the Aurelii had been long settled in Lagentium. Their estate was large, amounting to some MMDC solidi anually, which was comfortably sufficient to engage the good opinion of Brigantian society. So when it became known that Gaius Aurelius Artorius was considering marriage to a young woman of Icenic ancestry, the whole Colonia of Eboracum was transfixed by speculation...

It's easier for me, as I am writing in a genre almost entirely invented (or perhaps reinvented) by one writer (and not the one badly pastiched just up there.)

 
At 3:05 am BST, Blogger Olga said...

Alex, I'd love to help, but I don't know much about historical fiction. As for opposing views, it means the writing is good. It's much worse when writing is somewhere there in the middle and doesn't touch anybody!

 
At 9:30 am BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Thanks for the suggestions Beau Bowden! Both Dunnett & Penman are out, as I didn't get on with their style (and possibly because of the subject matter). I found Holdstock completely not my sort of thing. Chadwick is much more possible; I'll be interested to see what she makes of William Marshall as LOTR centres on a particular character too. I actually quite like Cornwell; occasionally he's made me laugh out loud when reading his books, which is always a good sign. And as for the pastiche ... love it ;-) Will cut and paste it somewhere (possibly at the top of the LOTR file) for a regular laff.

Olga, you always find a positive side somehow. How do you do it?!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home