Finding old words

The old words I have been finding are my old words, not Old English words, although I have been finding some of them… Old English had such evocative vocabulary… here are just some examples I’ve found on a site I follow:

  • corn-gesǣlig – wealthy in corn/grain
  • ge-dof – absurdity, stupidity, nonsense
  • sunn-set – the place where the sun sets, i.e. the west
  • irre-mōd – an angry mood, angry-minded
  • prēowt-hwīl –  the time taken to close and open the eye, the twinkling of an eye

There are so many more… I really like ge-dof – pronounced (ye-dohf), I think I might actually use it! And isn’t preowt-hwil descriptive?!

The words I am thinking of, however, are what I  wrote several years ago on a writing site called ‘750 words’; the idea is just that, to write 750 words a day, every day. There are little on-line prizes of badges and tokens and lots of encouraging comments etc and ways of sharing your writing, if you should so want to, but you can also keep it private and unseen by anyone except yourself.

Before I started writing here, it was a really good discipline, and a really good way to focus on my writing; I was at work at the time, and it was so tempting to make excuses (too tired, books to mark, lessons to prepare, papers to write, housework to do etc.) In a way it was a similar but ongoing challenge and discipline to The National Novel Writing Month which is just a single month of focussed writing!

I wrote a variety of things on 750 words, just as I do here, but I mainly used it to work on whichever novel I was writing at the time… and this includes ‘Lucky Portbraddon’ which I think will be my next book I’m going to publish. The Portbraddons are a family of cousins who have had their ups and downs, but the glue which holds them together is their grandmother… when she dies as a very old lady, the bonds and ties between what has been a close-knit family are stretched, maybe beyond breaking point. It is a very different novel from my others; it is long and although there is action, it is really what you might call a family saga.

The narrative is conveyed from different points of view – which I am not usually very good at – and in fact in writing this novel I was really trying to practice that technique. However, in order for there to be surprises and unexpected events happening, I have had to withhold some points of view from the reader. On 750 words I have discovered that I wrote the other half of these story lines, the perspective of the other. Because of the type of novel this is, I’m wondering whether to include these ‘other sides’, as flashbacks or reminiscences, in order to properly explain what seems to the characters unbelievable turns of event… I’m thinking that maybe it’s unbelievable for the readers too! I have found about 30,000 extra words and although I expect a third of them will be edited out, it is still quite a narrative!

My featured image is looking west, into the sunn-set…

If you haven’t read any of my novels, here is a link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_9?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=lois+elsden&sprefix=lois+elsd%2Caps%2C150

 

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