I’ve had my head in days of my days of yore later – not my specific, personal yore, but the yore I create that’s a pastiche; a mash-up; how Hollywood got it wrong. After years of your career being a historian, and ripping books, tv and movies apart for historical inaccuracies, you think I’d be researching, reading other books in the genre, and all that. I watch stuff on the military channel about siege engines and castle construction and programs of the plague. Swear I’ll read all 3 Ken Follett books on building the cathedral, close my eyes to remember the illuminated manuscripts I’ve seen. Remember watching Brother Cadfael on CBC; reading hundreds of times the Once and Future King; devouring Disney’s The Sword and the Stone; and memorizing every episode of Jane and the Dragon.
And now, in my head mind you, I’ve just completed book 3, which means I’ve already forgotten the name of a main character’s dead wife, have plot twists because I’ve forgotten where the story has been.
“Your days of yore are nuts. You’re nuts” my semi-conscious brain says. “Write the damn thing down!” But for so long, stories like that – sagas with twists, turns, and such were in my head only. Stories to fall asleep to. Stories to keep me company. Stories that didn’t need to be real, factual, or even make sense.
When your yore stories are in your head, you can plagiarize, ahem, borrow elements without worrying about law suits or hoots of derision (remember I was an academic). Writing them down, you’re committing yourself to rationality, plots that make sense, characters who have depth (inside you know them so well) and dialogue that isn’t stilted.
Once, I had a wonderous story I studiously worked on. A bit here, a bit there. Pre-everyone had a computer and a laptop. So, on computer, long hand, typewriter. Wasn’t finished, but it might have been. But during a sudden, unexpected move, I lost the manuscript. And the entire idea. Gone. I remember spending hours writing, yet I can’t even see a word of it. I see myself writing, but not what I wrote.
Perhaps that’s why, when writing this and a plot for Book 4 jumped into my head, I didn’t write it down.
My conscious brain just kicked my semi-conscious brain saying “You’re nuts about your yore!”
Ye Olde Streame of Consciousness Saturdaye on your/you’re/yore
© adh a darkened house