Mrs. D. was not the granny you always dreamed of!

I was fairly sympathetic about my grandmother when I undertook this major writing project: there were circumstances in her life that almost gave her a pass on some of the things she did. What now has me feeling significantly less sympathetic is that, ultimately, she had a choice to make. She made the wrong choice most of the time, and many people suffered–at least until an unlikely “knight in shining armor” managed to rescue her from herself. She has definitely become the antagonist.

It’s good to be obsessive about learning. I’m still working to put together all the character profiles from my parents’ notes–almost a full-time job. But every time I reread the notes, I pick up some new insights and connect a few more dots of the kind that have led me to change my approach to this book

The ongoing research has been valuable too: the more I learn about what was expected from “decent” women in the late nineteenth-early twentieth centuries, the more I understand all the ways in which Grandma differed from that “ideal.” It is unlikely that she was ever accused–in real life–of being decent.

The research gave me the knowledge to compare her to the expectations of her time. That, in turn, led me to rewrite the first chapter; I’m much happier with the new version. The completion of the second chapter will have to wait until I’ve answered a few more questions about the family history (or get really creative about filling in the blanks–it is a fictionalized biography, after all).

Chapter three is in the works and is much easier to write with a solid outline and character studies in place. And perhaps most importantly, the characters in the story are finally beginning to take on a life of their own… just as I wanted them to do.

Stay tuned!

Published in: on June 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Sunny,

    Sounds like you are having a good time with this one. And your Grandma sounds like a very interesting woman. The best kind.

    Hugs to you,

  2. Hi Sheree,

    It is fun, no question about it. I doubt the book will be boring and if it is, it will be my fault–not Granny’s. I must say, though, that she did get a bit boring when she got too old to be ‘interesting.’


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