Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Reason

As I started writing (and researching) the story I'm writing, I've always told myself to try and enjoy, and study, the process of discovering what this kind of endeavor is like. Obviously, I'm what's called a "rookie" in the writing gig. So I'm allowing myself a little slack in my expectations for myself.

Part of what I've learned (so far) is The Reason why it takes so long. Research. One of the the things I've done a lot of research on is how much research to do, how much is too much, why is it necessary, how does one go about it, etc. I've even had the privilege of being able to have conversations with bona fide successful authors to answer some of my questions. (Notably, David Anthony Durham - who wrote Acacia, which I loved! and Jerry Jenkins - author of the Left Behind series, and poker buddy whom I see nearly every week.)

The feedback I've received from them (and the general consensus that I've found online) is that yes, research is essential, and it's absolutely OK to do lots of it early on when writing a novel.

[Incidentally, I think I'm going to begin transitioning from talking about the "story" I"m writing and actually referring to it as a "novel". For some reason, I've been very reticent to do so, and I can only assume it's because I'm cautious about setting up unrealistic expectations for myself. But the more I work on this project, and the more the vision unfolds for me, the more it "feels" like a novel.] to the point of this post: what I've discovered in my research today: God. I'm working on a deity and religion for the world I'm creating, and part of that research led me to a scholarly paper on the origin of the English word "God".

This gets into linguistics, and as I started to describe it to Wendy, I realized that it's possibly not that interesting to someone....not interested in linguistics. (So I'll assume that at least "McSwain" will continue.)

I'll give a nutshell, and then link to the rest. Essentially, in the Old Testament, we learn of the twelve tribes of Israel, one of them being that of Gad. I've only ever heard it pronounced with a flat "a" as in "sad". But apparently the correct Hebrew pronunciation is "Gawd" as in...."God". I found that very interesting. Especially in that the descendants of the tribe of Gad became the Brittons and Celts....where English was born. Here the rest of the essay.