It has been a while since I posted, mainly because I am up to my eyeballs in reworking the first draft of my book, The Last Pilgrim. The rewrite of a historical novel has proved different and rather difficult and quite a learning experience.
First, I am looking up the etymology of many of the words I have used. Were they in common use in the 17th century? Scramble is a good example:
From: https://www.etymonline.com/ – an invaluable source
“1580s (intransitive), perhaps a nasalized variant of scrabble (v.), in its sense of “to struggle, to scrape quickly.” Transitive sense “to stir or toss together randomly” is from 1822. Broadcasting sense “to make unintelligible” is attested from 1927. Related: Scrambled; scrambling. Scrambled eggs first recorded 1843.”
So I was okay using this word but not with the meaning I intended for that time.
Second, checking and rechecking dates.
I just discovered I had Isaac Allerton, Mary’s father, marrying two years later than I thought. I had to do some rearrangement within several chapters.
I have gotten some birth/death dates wrong as well.
Third, finding where I slipped into passive voice. A biggie!
Fourth, changing scenes from indirect to direct to make the telling of the history more interesting and interjecting emotion. The Pilgrims were not unemotional automatons!
And so it goes. I’m trying to get back to book reviews I owe everyone, but it’s hard because my head is in the 16th century and there I use no contractions and the language is somewhat stiff.
Hubs and I are returning to Plymouth in August to celebrate our anniversary, but actually for me to do more research and get further impressions.
I discovered why the original grave marker for Thomas Cushman, Mary’s husband, is no longer on Burial Hill. They took the marker away – such a shame – and replaced it with the huge monument to the Cushmans, where Mary receives a small citation. Since she was buried next to her husband, her bones must lie under that monument, too.