I recently read Cold Comfort Farm for the first time, and was brought up short by the publisher’s note on typography and orthography, particularly the use of -ize as opposed to -ise as a word ending.
Just finished a 3k+ word short story which ventures into new territory. The protagonist is a youngish woman, and the situation is one I have never personally experienced.
It’s all from a very intimate third-person POV, and though there are flashbacks, the majority of the action occurs in one small room and one person’s mind – it’s quite claustrophobic.
There’s a lot of swearing and four-letter words at one point. Still not sure whether to leave them there, but they do fit the character and her mood at this point.
The style is closest to my Tales of Old Japanese – a very sparse style – not too many adverbs, and very little in the way of physical description.
There’s an element of the supernatural here, but there’s also ambiguity here – I hope, and I also hope that it’s quite scary from a psychological point of view (as opposed to people being eaten by zombies or chopped up with chainsaws, etc.).
Oh, and the title, and the image I’ve chosen to decorate this page with? All part of the story.
…she kept coming back to Bee-bee, as she had done for over thirty years.
Bee-bee was six months younger than Anne, and she had been given to Anne by her grandmother, who had died less than a year later. From the start, Anne had instantly fallen in love with the rag doll, who seemed to always have been called Bee-bee. No-one could remember who she was called that, or why.
Now on her fourth set of button eyes, and after many major surgical operations to repair almost ripped off limbs, severe abdominal lesions, and general old age, Bee-bee went everywhere with Anne, whether Anne was on her own or not. Bee-bee was always there to listen, sitting at the head of her bed, whenever Anne had doubts, or when her heart was broken as yet another man walked out of her life.
Now, what to do with what I’ve written… Any agents or publishers interested?
At our writing group, the Lichfield Writers, one of our members mentioned how much she enjoyed M.C.Beaton’s books. As we were going out of the library where we meet, I noticed the latest Beaton, Dead Ringer, on the Rapid Reads shelf (books which have just come in and you must get through them in a week because other people want to get hold of them). So I picked it up, and…
I’ve been increasingly irritated recently by the use of italics to indicate thoughtlines, I thought to myself this morning.
I’ve been reading quite a few things, where it seems that the authors have never heard of “indirect speech” when it comes to internal thoughts. Quite apart from the typographic convention of using italics for unspoken words, which I dislike, I think there are some serious problems here. Continue reading “So much for that, she thought”