Monday, January 7, 2013

A clean slate & research

I've spent the morning hiding away in my little craft room / study. I told hubby before I went and he said its probably a good thing I'm hiding out; I think he's a little scared at my raging hormonal, tired & cranky life form this morning! Lacking motivation to actually do anything constructive, I've sifted through folders on my computer trying to make sense of where I'm up to with my novel and pin-point a starting point for 2013 to move forward with my story.

I've realised I haven't shared any of my planning posts to date (I did share some pictures of these on my other blog) and since this is my 'writing blog' I think it goes without saying they belong here.  

My manuscript - all 50 pages have been printed out and are awaiting substantial edits. I'm only 6 pages into edits and have quickly come to the realisation that the whole thing needs a shaking up. 

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Writing he first 10,000 words when I had NO IDEA what I was doing meant that there is no formed paragraphs, myriad spelling mistakes and grammatical errors aplenty!

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I have ONE A4 sized notebook (pink; of course) that is for notes I take during research. I am constantly amazed that you can gain so much information from one historical document in some circumstances, then on the next garner nothing of any interest!  

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My story (as mentioned previously) is based on life of my Late Nan. I always told her I would write her story and while I'm unsure if it will ever make it to publication (or if I will ever work up the nerve to consider it) I am greatly enjoying the process and learning more about the life and times of her childhood.   

As it's based on family history - I have managed to gather (over the years and thanks to a small stint at Genealogy research) a tonne of paperwork. All that paperwork was once floating around in several boxes and each time I needed a name or date, I'd find myself rifling through to find the photocopy of my Nan's handwritten family tree!

Frustrated I finally collated all the information into a folder, which is rather thick and growing daily!  

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To keep it simple, I have scanned and re-printed original copies of birth certificates / marriage certificates (and the like). A handwritten timeline marks the first page and then I have included sections on each of my characters. In the character sections I've printed out whatever information I had on hand of their family history, photographs, war records, historical records, even down to photographs of grave sites (if available & known!) It is fairly comprehensive and as with anything of historical documents, you need to keep a tight rein on it because you can easily find yourself flitting off on a tangent following a false lead!    

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Earlier in the week we found ourselves at Toowong Cemetery where I know a few of the relatives are buried, alas I had no record on me of the location of their grave site nor was the office open to gain a map. I am making it a priority to go back there one day this year and I hope to take photographs of the graves, so I can add it to my history file and keep it growing each year.

Earlier today I had a breakthrough, one of my main characters is buried in small cemetery not far from where the story is based. While I have found records and photos of gravesites of her parents, I've been coming up nil on her whereabouts - save what the family have told me. Until yesterday when I stumbled over the cemetery records on the local council website and low and behold I have her grave site number as well that of her parents. Without sighting a map of the graveyard, I am to assume that she is buried either with her parents or right next to them and has no headstone to mark her resting place. I am aiming to head out that way at some stage this year to confirm my suspicions and just perhaps I will build her a little cairn!

I am VERY excited by this little snippet of information! After spending the past year writing about her - I feel as though I know her, even though she passed away 17 years before my birth. 

If only I could find her husbands final resting place. I have been coming up blank in every known area I am searching and not knowing the date of his death nor the state is making it very difficult and extremely frustrating.     

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Sounds like a huge task Car but how incredibly facinating!

Gathering all that information and putting it all together is almost like bringing them all to life again.