Checking in with my followers

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: – 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.

Please forgive my absence in reading your posts – I try to get to some each day. Whatever will I do when I am finished with this? I hope I have not lost all my blogging buddies along the way…



31 thoughts on “Checking in with my followers”

  1. We’ll still be here when you get back 😉
    I was thinking of you when I visited the church at Penn recently…I did promise you that visit 🙂

  2. I found this post really interesting, Noelle. My book While the Bombs Fell was a YA book and not anywhere near as far back in history as your novel (second WW) but I also experienced some of these same challenges. I had to draw a timeline of the actual historical events and overlay my mother’s life story over it to get the whole story correct. I also had to swing all the chapters around to get the historical timeline to work. It is a big exercise.

    1. This is so reassuring, Roberta! I did make a long and detailed timeline, beginning with 1621, which I used and added to as I wrote, but some things got muddled or overlooked. I do hope readers will like the voice and the story!

  3. You are a busy bee!
    All that research sounds deliciously intriguing, particularly the century you’ve chosen.
    Wishing you happy writing, and we’ll be here when you resurface!

  4. You never lose your blogging buddies although they might just get lost in something else. I’m also editing at present. My IWSG post next week is about being too immersed in your own world to bother about what’s going on around you!
    I’ve just been through and modified all the instances of ‘look’. It’s my goto word. 543 down to 53!
    Time for a tea break 🙂 (actually, it’s late coffee time).
    Boys send their love. They enjoy my company when I’m editing 🙂

    1. no, I’m fibbing. 543 was the original count for ‘that’, which is now 231. I think the original count for ‘look’ was around 250. There might be too many gazes going on now, but I’m not going to check. Or am I – yes, 11!

      1. Love and cuddles back to the boys! And tea is essential (for me it is coffee!) Good luck and I’ll bet you are making better progress than I.

  5. It is very interesting to read your process and thoughts. You should try this meditation app I’m using its fab only ten minutes per day, it was recommended to me by a Director I worked with and at first I thought how can it possibly help but it just gives you ten minutes breathing space.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Charlotte. I am now taking care of my hubs again because he just had rotator cuff surgery and can’t do anything with one arm (dress, put on his shoes, cut his food etc) I am back in the pool again though, and that helps a lot. Clears my head beautifully.

  6. Pingback: #IWSG | Immersion in my novel's world ~ Jemima Pett

  7. I wondered what was happening? I was afraid you might be sick. That seems to be the most common reason with others.
    Writing a book is a huge task! I could never dream of doing that myself Noelle. Your a inspiration!

    1. Nope, I’m just overwhelmed right now -my husband had a rotator cuff repair and needs constant help with everything, plus I’ve had to take over all his tasks while trying to get this book done. Send me some inspiration!

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