Post #3

The Writing of Lily

A Journal

July 4, 1983

In preparation to write my novel my goals include reading In the Land of the Grasshopper Song, start library and museum research and read one novel similar to what I want to write, Gone with the Wind. Try to reach these goals by July 31, 1983, including some newspaper research then start writing.

June 1984

Because this project was put aside for about a year it was necessary to reread what I’d written, organize and rethink the scenes.

 I rewrote chapter 1, a scene with William and Rebecca (Lily’s parents). He knew he had fulfilled Rebecca’s desires and dreams just as she had his . . . . He brushed his lips across her damp curls and whispered, “My beloved Rebecca.” (Lily pg. 5)     

October 4, 1984

I wrote and revised the prologue with Rebecca and William. He looked up and saw a lovely vision standing before him. He recalled his thoughts from the day before. This is the woman who will be my wife (Lily pg. xiii). I wrote this scene to familiarize myself with Lily’s parents, yet I want to keep it in the book. Hopefully, I’ve fine-tuned the prologue.

March 3, 1985         

I completed the prologue and chapters 1-3. . . . she decided she would get that horse one way or the other. And she would find out why her father was acting so strangely. (Lily pg. 16) I want to show Lily’s determination.

June 1985

 I’m working on another revision of chapter 1. Jane Peart, my mentor, advised me to start the book when Lily is 16 and use my original chapters as flash backs. I’m not sure at this stage in my writing ability I’m able to successfully do it, but I’ll try.

 I’ve made a major decision—I will follow Jane’s advice and start the book with Lily at 17. She leaves a church picnic to secretly meet James Conti. (James is forbidden to Lily; therefore she wants him all the more.) Later Lily overhears a conversation that James enlisted to fight in WWI, which infuriates her.

I still don’t know if this is the right decision.  I like the chapters when she is a child and I don’t know how to weave them into the book as flash backs.

February 11, 1986

I have three non-verbal characters in this book, James, Harold (Lily’s husband) and Anna.  How can I possibly write a book with three similar characters?  Can I leave them as is or do I need to make some changes?  James will use actions instead of dialogue; he’ll always be doing something.  When Lily asks him a question he’ll respond with a sound like “Um.”  Lily asks, “Is that a yes or a no?”

What about Harold? Actually I don’t hear James, Harold or Anna’s voices like I do Lily’s, Aunt Agatha’s, Williams and Rebecca’s.  Maybe I need to write some scenes with these characters speaking.  I did hear Anna’s voice in the birth scene.  Maybe I don’t have them in the right scenes yet.  HELP!

February 1986

I researched Victorian homes, furniture, and wedding history which will be useful in writing Lily’s story and I’m glad I enjoy this part of writing a historical novel.

March 20, 1986

I am writing the wedding scene.  I needed to know what Lily would wear as a bride, what kind of music was played in 1918 and the customs of that era.  I also had to know how Lily felt about her wedding and marriage to Harold.  All these things have to be sorted out in my mind before I can get this chapter down on paper.

I’d like to be able to write a chapter a day—but for me it just doesn’t work that way.  It comes so slowly, and life happens—interrupting my writing.

“Whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message?  Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast?  For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”—Isaiah 28:9, 10. “. . . striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me.”— Colossians 1:29. These Bible verses put the writing of Lily in perspective for me.

March 25, 1986

I wrote the scene of them planning the wedding. (Chapter 11—Lily, William, Anna and Agatha are in the scene.) I see and hear Anna in the pre-wedding scene. Anna took the piping hot cinnamon rolls from the oven, arranged them on a plate, and placed them on the table. “Harold will be a good provider.”

“Lily needs more than a provider. She can’t do anything except look pretty and connive to get her own way,” Agatha said honestly. (Lily pg. 46)

“My gown will be a Grecian style . . . and I’ll wear a wreath of orange blossoms in my hair.” (Lily pg. 48)  . . . Lily looked triumphant as she stood at the other side of the kitchen door. I’ve won. I’ll not be sent away to boarding school, Auntie dear. (Lily pg. 49)

March 27, 1986

At first I was pleased with the first few pages of the wedding preparations—now I feel I haven’t accomplished what needs to be done. It’s constant revision, revision, revision for me.

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Published in: on February 5, 2013 at 6:48 am  Leave a Comment  

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