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Lately, and by that I mean for the last full year, I've struggled to find words or stories I want to share here. I've been writing a lot - fiction and nonfiction - but privately. So I guess that's my insecurity with writing this month and this past year - finding content for this space.
Those of you who know me know my mid-life crisis has taken the form of me as a graduate student in creative writing, the thing I always wanted to do when I was younger - the thing I didn't do because my first husband didn't like the idea of it or the cost of it or the parenting he would need to do while I was gone.
This semester, I'm taking an independent study class. I designed it myself. It's on Appalachian novels - my current genre. I committed to reading at least the first 75 words of each of six Appalachian novels and writing about them here for my grade.
Whenever I've written about literature in the past - in my undergraduate days so very long ago - I looked at it differently - looked at themes, at bigger messages, yadayadayada. Now I'm looking at technique. I think my first piece will be about openings - and what to do with the dialect and the scenario where the POV character is not particularly well-educated.
I hate dialect done Huckleberry Finn style. It hurts me as a reader. And it seems condescending to me.
My professor for my novel writing class last semester objected to my avoidance of it in my novel. So the first thing I will examine in all of these books is writing well and respecting the characters (and the people of a time and place) while also conveying their speech or thought in a realistic way.
I think I will read only the first chapters of all six first.
This examination of technique is obviously for me. My question for you is if that's something you want to read? (I will be writing it anyway because something deep inside of me needs an A the way a heroine addict needs another fix.)
I miss you all and hope to reconnect soon.