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 How many members are authors, or would-be authors? 
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Post How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
Aside from being an avid reader, I'm also a complusive writer. I have been writing short stories, articles, and small bits of nonsense since the age of eight. For the last six years, off-and-on, I have been working on a novel, as you can guess, set in 18th Century France. It has changed directions many times, but one day soon I hope to complete it. From its beginning, my ambition has always been to do for the Ancien Regime what Margaret Mitchell did for the Old South, in a modest way, as I do not fool myself into believing that my talent in any way approaches hers. Anyway, I'm curious to know how many other authors, either published or unpublished make use of this forum.

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"One grows accustomed to one's enemy, and by making it familiar one loses the desire to get rid of it...." Marquise de la Tour du Pin, in a letter to her friend Mme. de Duras.


Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:07 am
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
I was led into 18th century studies by my attempt to write a period novel (abandoned for now). I have self-published several books of monologues for actors, which sell steadily if modestly, as well as various historical collections. Several of my monologues have been collected in anthologies as well.

By the way, a few years back I read all of Dickens' novels as a way to remind myself of some key storytelling techniques. I highly recommend it, though I imagine Balzac for instance might be another good "teacher".

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Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:18 am
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
I have often toyed with the idea....but like Kafka I wouldn't give up the day job and would have to write at night...the ideas are there but too numerous and how to sort them out? There are so many badly written contemporary novels around, I wouldn't want to write one more. When I read 18th century mémoires in French, I feel like we have lost the elegance of the written word for good. How could I recreate that intricate charm, and in English?

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Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:19 am
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
One great example of how to approach the period (earlier than MA) is "Perfume". Not elegant in the least, in fact very gritty and wry. But it's a stream-lined book that nonetheless manages to incorporate (quite unobtrusively) a wealth of research.

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Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:38 pm
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
And interestingly written by a German, but one who seems to know 18th century France so well.

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:36 pm
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
"Perfume" is very good, very noir, very atmospheric. However, the research side is somewhat lacking, and that from the first pages. It begins with Grenouille's mother, a commoner, being executed by decapitation under the Ancien Regime, and other things that show a lack of knowledge of 18th century French society. I also happen to be from Auvergne, where Grenouille "hibernates" and the author obviously does not know the place. So I found Perfume irritating from that angle, though most compelling from a writerly standpoint.


Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:20 pm
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
I found Perfume a bit tedious and rather morbid for my tastes.


baron de batz wrote:
I have often toyed with the idea....but like Kafka I wouldn't give up the day job and would have to write at night...the ideas are there but too numerous and how to sort them out? There are so many badly written contemporary novels around, I wouldn't want to write one more. When I read 18th century mémoires in French, I feel like we have lost the elegance of the written word for good. How could I recreate that intricate charm, and in English?


This is a problem I have had to face. I've found in reading others' novels, that attempting to duplicate in some way the prose of 18th century French, the elegance and wit, invariably fails and usually comes off as forced or stilted. I've come to the conclusion that it is best simply to find your own voice and stick to it, rather than creating an affection that does not come naturally.

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Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:02 am
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
I agree. I don't write badly but there is such poverty in my prose in comparison with that which I read from that period. I am simply not on the same intellectual level. They lived and breathed "esprit", and from a very young age.

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Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:13 am
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
It was the age of letters. Writing letters was not just the principle form of communication, it was also a source of entertainment. Imagine knowing before you sat down to write a letter to a relative, that it would be read not only by the addresse, but also all of their relatives, friends and neighbors, who then might pass it on to still other people; so that in the end your letter may be read by a 100 people or more!

It would definitely make me place greater care into the quality of my writing---as well as give me pause as to the letter's contents. Even when writing a simple note to a close relation, people wrote as if performing on a stage before an audience. They were drilled from an early age to write well, penmanship and prose were of greater importance than content, so that by reaching maturity, for an educated person eloquence was second-nature.I especially love how they signed their letters back then: "I have the honor to be Christophe," or "With God's grace, I am Christophe."

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"One grows accustomed to one's enemy, and by making it familiar one loses the desire to get rid of it...." Marquise de la Tour du Pin, in a letter to her friend Mme. de Duras.


Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:34 pm
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
I've been writing since i was six, so not that long.... Maybe if you once write a novel set in the 18th century. You could post it and let us see? If there's more writers it could really become interesting....

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Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:12 pm
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
I'm not a writer, but as the caretaker of this website I quite regularly hear via email from people out in the world who are writing or researching novels. I think some of you would be surprised by the number of men and women from many different parts of the world who have in mind to write a story of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.

I often direct these writers here to the forum so I hope that some of them may now see this thread and join us.

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Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:10 pm
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
Adrienne wrote:
I'm not a writer, but as the caretaker of this website I quite regularly hear via email from people out in the world who are writing or researching novels. I think some of you would be surprised by the number of men and women from many different parts of the world who have in mind to write a story of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.

I often direct these writers here to the forum so I hope that some of them may now see this thread and join us.


Excellent!

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Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:53 pm
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
Hi all! I write as well!
Just now I'm going to publish some of my poems in an anthology of young poets, which should be printed in the next few months.
I also write prose: I've been devoting myself to a children novel for some years now, and at last it's almost completely revised. I've alaso written short storie (even if I haven't for some time), and I've also won some lieterature contests in the past.
Nothing set in 18th century though...but life is long, and who knows? :D

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Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:41 pm
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
Rosalie wrote:
Hi all! I write as well!
Just now I'm going to publish some of my poems in an anthology of young poets, which should be printed in the next few months.
I also write prose: I've been devoting myself to a children novel for some years now, and at last it's almost completely revised. I've alaso written short storie (even if I haven't for some time), and I've also won some lieterature contests in the past.
Nothing set in 18th century though...but life is long, and who knows? :D


nice <3

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Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:46 pm
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Post Re: How many members are authors, or would-be authors?
Hi everyone,
I am a writer too! Unfortunately, I have not been able to give up the day job, yet, and realistically, I probably never will. Writing fiction remains a passion though.
The novel I am in the throes of, set around 30 years prior to the Revolution, did not start out as an historical story. I merely wanted a minor historical segment, to parallel with our modern day economical crisis.
However, my historical heroine has jumped in and taken centre stage, completely outstarring her modern-day contemporary! I fought against her for sometime, as I am no historian. Finally though, she won me over, and the historical segment has now become the main part of the story, with the modern-day section as a minor, shorter reflection!
I now find myself totally immersed in this fascinating period, learning lots, but still with so much to learn.
As for Perfume, thanks Catherine, for clarifying the lack of research. I was confused about a few things, that didn't seem right. However, the lovely lyrical prose kept me turning the pages. The film was quite good too...
Cheers,
Liza


Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:07 am
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