Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Making It Look Easy



I joined Novel Racers just as they moved to their new home. I joined because I had just read The Self Preservation Society by Kate Harrison. The bunny tail of cotton wool beckoned to me in Waterstones but it was the first page that had me hooked.

Now I've been writing my novel since the dawn of time, well nearly four years. I did take a year off when my oldest son got type 1 diabetes and six months to write my non fiction book but even so. I chose to write in first person present using three POVs. It is incredibly hard, for me at any rate, to make each voice sound different but if you read The Secret Shoppers Revenge, Kate makes it looks easy.

Apparently some published writers have never read a book written this way:)

P.S Does anyone know any commonly used Welsh words? I am half Welsh and half Scottish but can't remember nearly enough.

12 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

What sort of common Welsh words? Commom in Wales? (plenty) of common in England?

Fiona said...

One of my three protagonists is Welsh. I don't want to write 'in dialect' because I think it might make the reading hard going but I'd like to include a few colloquialisms. I've tried asking my mother and she's going to have a think but her 'thinks' are not what they were I'm afraid.

Leatherdykeuk said...

It's a while since I lived in Wales, but everyone pretty much says' Bore da' and 'nos da'. I'll try to think of others.

Fiona said...

Thank you Rachel.

Lane said...

Ach y fi (check spelling) for something that is disgusting.

Cwtch (pronounced cootch) meaning a cuddle.

I'll have a think but may take as long as your mother:-)

By the way Fiona, congratulations again on your non fiction book! You did brilliantly!

Captain Black said...

Do welsh people often say "St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave"? If so, I've got just the phrase ;o)

Seriously though, there are probably several welsh words that are commonly used (in english) to describe the countryside. For example: "Cwm" means "valley", "crib goch" means "red ridge". My grandmother used to live in "dan-y-bryn" which means "under the hill".

Also: "Arrafat Nawr" means "reduce speed now". Hmm, I wonder what welsh for "hurry up and write that bloody book" is...

ChrisH said...

Don't forget 'cariad', cariad. Round here they say 'Duw!Duw!' a lot, roughly, 'Good God' but used as an expression of disbelief. ''Na ni' (Dyna ni), 'There we are' which is tacked on to the end of lots of sentences. Also 'Chwarae teg!' (fair play).

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Dim parcio. That means 'no parking'. It's the only Welsh I can remember, so it must be reasonably common.

Rowan Coleman said...

Hi Fiona - I know no welsh but I commend your dedication to writing from POVs in the 1st person! It is really hard to pull it off and Kate does make it look easy. I've written first person but not from more than one POV yet - I imagine the key is in the stucture and also the clarity of voice - Kate must be the expert on this. A brilliant writer who carries this off is Diana Gabaldon, her books are sort of bonkers (they are time travelling historical romances) but she is a genius story teller, a meticulous researcher and it takes her years and years to finish a book. I am totally in awe her talent, she draws you in, sells you the premise and then you are totally hers from word one to the end. Her books are about a million pages long but if you have the time and the inclination her work is a tour de force in multiple POVs

Fiona said...

Thank you for all the welshness. I've taken notes of your suggestions - not on the back of envelopes either but in my new writers journel.

Rowan, thank you. I will look out Diana Gabaldon. I am probably going to only have one first person POV now and the other two in third person. Or the other way round. Or bury it in the garden.

Mummy said...

I live in Wales so if there are any more that you need feel free to ask! Cariad you've already got. Bach is used a lot, means small but people will say it after a child's name as way of affection ie Sion Bach...little Sion. Diolch is thank you. Let me know if you need anymore! :) Good luck with the novel- sounds great!

Clare Sudders said...

I've made a new resilution to stop making pronouncements on how people should write. It's too varied an art to get all prescriptive about it.

Don't bury it in the garden! They don't grow you know... although wouldn't it be cool if they did? ;o)

Don't know any Welsh I'm afraid, although it's just occurred to me... is that hymn, Kum By Ah (I've never seen it written down so am making it up) mabe actually Cwm By Ah, and in fact Welsh?