I am kaitco

a writer's log

Books, books, books Monday, June 1, 2009

I got incredible little written yesterday and only a small bit completed in Damen on Saturday. The rest of the weekend was spent coding and playing The Sims, but I suppose I’ve wasted time in worse ways.

I had intended (once again) to finish the whole Damen/Jessie meet-up scene on Saturday, but as I imagined the scene, I realized I needed to fully “see” what his library looked like, which then prompted, not only a new scene where Brit “discovers” is utter love of the written word, but also the number of titles he had acquired.

At first I started with just some titles off the top of my head, but seeing as how Damen’s still quite young, I tried to find some books that a middle-schooler would have read a liked. Only someone who has a true fondness for all books can imagine the fun I had re-discovering some of these old titles…

My first fun came from the research into the Harry Potter book translations. It just seems fitting that he would want to perhaps explore other languages through those books, not unlike what I had once aspired to do. In that way, like with many others, Damen is a lot like me. I still struggle to find a boundary to make him close to my own personality, yet allow him to shine on his own. I think I’ll be struggling with this until the very last word.

Anyhoo, after Harry Potter, I’d found a website that listed popular books taught in schools at different grades, but it wasn’t until I saw the cover for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry that an old excitement leapt within me and sent me into a book re-discovering binge. I’m not sure why it was that book in particular that makes me feel so nostalgic for the novels I’d read as a pre-teen; I don’t really even remember the plot. I think since I just enjoyed reading it in the sixth or seventh grade and hadn’t seen it in at least ten years, it just brought a wealth of memories of how much I used to read and write when I was younger and how much time I “wasted” trying to diminish this will I had to pursue writing.

Of course, all this research got me sidetracked into this search for a novel that my seventh grade English teacher had read to us. I still can’t remember the title or anything about the plot. I thought the book The Lottery Rose was it, but I remember this book had a character named “Tawny” and the only reason I remember that is because I remember thinking that it was such a strange name for girl when our teacher was reading it to us.

I suppose the benefit of all this “research” is that I get to let Brit take a page from myself when I eventually write the scene. The awe she experiences when she discovers Damen’s library will be akin to the awe I had just finding all the titles. I actually had to stifle a scream of excitement when I saw The Sign of the Beaver because I hadn’t seen that book since the fifth grade and, oddly enough, it’s plot had sporadically sprung to mind throughout the years.

All in all, I think my sidetrack on Saturday can only aid my understanding of Damen. The same love of books that ignited when I saw all of these old titles, is what is/was lit in Damen all the time and it’s important that I keep that going so that I can write him properly and convey his character appropriately to the rest of the world.

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