Friday, February 15, 2008

1910 Novel: Part II

So, I’ve already decided to not continue to write my 1910 novel. Why? Because I’ve gone over the list of things I have to research and I’m completely overwhelmed. I think I’m just going to write some young adult fiction. That doesn’t require going to a library. And no research = easier job.

To prove to you how much I’d have to investigate, here are just a few things I’ve come up with:

1. Orphanage policies at the turn of the century.
2. Dialect of North Carolina in the 1900’s.
3. Speech patterns and vocabulary of the poor in 1900’s N.C.
4. Detailed map of the area including small roads, towns.
5. Stores, entertainment, overall culture of the time.
6. 1950’s culture/language/etc. (because of the prologue that I haven’t shown you).
7. Laws of N.C.
8. Laws of S. C.
9. Policies for dealing with mentally handicapped people in the 1900’s.
10. Relations between African-Americans and white people during that time. (You have to be really specific about these things. You just can’t say: bad.)

Well, that gives you a small taste of what I’m up against. Maybe in a few years I'll try to tackle it again. I think there’s an interesting story in there, somewhere.

Here’s the second excerpt from the 1st chapter.

And, I guess my story could have ended there. But, it didn’t. You see that’s where it just began. In fact, it wasn’t until I found out the truth of my origins that I began a journey towards my real beginnings.

But, before I tell you where I went, let me tell you where I left.

My whole remembered life, up until I was eighteen, was spent at the Franklin Children’s Facility, or FCF. Now, FCF was famous all over North Carolina, mostly because it was the only orphanage in the state to hold over eight hundred children on any given day. And the children came from all over, not just from Franklin County. There were kids form Raleigh, Charlotte, and even as far as Wilmington.

From the outside of FCF, you wouldn’t know that children lived on the inside. And on the inside, only seeing children let you know that it was an orphanage. Looking at FCF was like looking at a black and white photograph even though you were standing right in it. And dull was the only color found on the building or the grounds surrounding it. There was absolutely nothing to “stimulate overzealous activity” as our caretakers would say. No pictures. No radio. No magazines. No flowers. No life, really. In fact, there was a joke that if it were at all possible, FCF would place a permanent cloud overhead to stop the sun from shinning and keep all us children “obediently subdued” as the director of the orphanage, Mrs. Wilkins, would constantly remind us.

But, despite all of their best efforts, we children found ways to be. There were lots of hidden places in FCF, places that only small, skinny, forgotten kids like us could find. Most of us had our own special place, a spot where no one else could own your imagination. Mine was located in the bathroom on the third floor.

If you can think of anything else to include on the list, drop me a line in the comments. And, if you can stomach it, my next post will be the last part of the first chapter (and the final post on this story).


Laura said...

I think I'm going to need to protest you discontinuing this story! Maybe I can be your research assistant and do some of the research for you!

Heather said...

I second that.

Rachel said...

Ahem...It's been a while. Post please.