I am stuck, really stuck. I’ve started a historical (is it an historical? I’ve always wondered about that) novel based on the life of Mary Allerton Cushman, who came to the New World on the Mayflower and lived to the ripe old age of 82. She saw so much history! Trying a different genre is a challenge I set myself, and what a challenge it has become.
My problem is: Mary is four years old during the voyage and writing in the voice of a four-year-old is not working for me, nor anyone else as it turns out. I am also writing in third person, which I find difficult. That may be because my three murder mysteries were written in first person, as is the WIP fourth, and it’s a voice in which I’m comfortable.
I’ve consulted both my critique groups, and also my sterling editor Alison Williams, and am still struggling after numerous rewrites. So I’m going to try something different and switch to first person but have two POVs – Mary and her father Isaac. Isaac can provide an in depth POV early on, as he was one of the original Separatists, while Mary can have the longer view as soon as she is old enough – probably ten or twelve.
There are no pictures of Mary and she is just an addendum to her husband’s monument!
The research is overwhelming. I thought I knew a lot about the Separatists (they weren’t called Pilgrims until much later), having grown up in Plymouth and been a tour guide at Plimoth Plantation. Wrong! There is a massive amount of knowledge out there yet to learn.
One thing I have developed, though – a profound respect for this doughty group of settlers and the frequently horrible and terrifying conditions they faced. I could never match them in fortitude and faith, and I hope to convey that with Mary’s story.
In the meantime, I take breaks by writing my fourth mystery, which is like having a picnic.
As an aside, I just finished watching the video Hugh of Hug’s News and Views took during the Second Annual Blogger’s Bash in London.
Such fun to see bloggers I actually know. Ten packages of Oreos to Hugh. Maybe next year…?