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Sep 22

Know Your Story Locale and Setting

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 in Writing links

In order for your viewpoint characters and narrators to sound like natives of the fictional world (land, country, or era) of their stories—and in order for you to sound like a native yourself—you need to be more than familiar with the way the locals speak.

Read more here.

Mar 23

Local history

Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 in Humanities

On Monday I went to hear a man talk about his research about a match industry. That’s right, a place where they made matches. It was quite interesting, but in a way, sad too. So many people, mainly women and children, had to work for minimum wages and get sick from the phosphorus the matches were dipped in. My grandmother told my mother that in her class in school there were girls whose fathers’ work was dipping matches in phosphorus and the kids were clearly retarded, had speech impairments etc. Their parents often died from exposure to the chemicals. Their faces and hands turned pink and then they died, apparently. The local historian that I had the great fortune to meet on a few occasions, was mentioned too, and that made me sad. He was such a fantastic man and will be sorely missed. It’s like this town will never be the same without him.

Don’t get me wrong. This man – who actually is my former principal – had done his research well – and despite his own misgivings, his voice carried fine too. He told us he was disappointed his voice was so weak these days, since it used to be his instrument of work, as it were. It was scary to see the way he’d aged since I last saw him. He probably wasn’t exactly young at the time, it was kind of hard to tell for me as a teenager. All grownups looked the same, and besides I only ever saw him close up a few times, but still, I don’t think I’d have known if he hadn’t talked about his former job. Oh, well, that’s how it goes. I must try to get used to it, but I hate living in the same town I went to school in. There’s really no one from my old school I’d like to meet. Well, there was one guy, but sadly he’s dead so that’s not going to happen… 🙁

Another thing that bothered me was that all the other people in the audience were old. Retired people. It makes me sad to see old age and especially a whole room full.


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