I am writing my first novel. It is a historical fiction, and starts in Wales in the 1830’s (or thereabouts) and tells the story of a young Welsh woman who is accused of murdering a neighbour’s child, and gets transported to Van Diemen’s Land for life. Even though it sounds as if it is an intense story involving cruelty and injustice, I aim to make it an uplifting journey for my main character. She will encounter hardened and cruel people, but she will also come across humility and kindness in what is to be a degrading environment.
My 500 word challenge for today is dealing with an ‘ending’ in your chosen novel. It asks, ‘what happen to your main protagonist? Will they have a happy / unhappy ending to their story?’ Well, my protagonist will find happiness in adversity and hardship. She will lose track of her daughter; her new born baby will sadly not make the journey on the transportation ship; and she will meet cruelty with the arrival of the true murderer of the child (this will be a twist in the story). Ultimately though, she will find happiness from an unexpected source (in the shape of the naval officer who helped her on the ship over), and she will reunite with her daughter (now grown up and settled) and will end her days in contentment (maybe live with her daughter, am still deciding!).
These are the ‘bones’ to my story, and so far it is tootling along nicely. Because it is historical, I am having to research the period of time (ie Britain in the 1830’s; and the day to day lives of the women who are convicts). I have a history degree, and one of my units was this very period, and was the one that fascinated me the most. So, I am thoroughly enjoying doing the research and immersing myself in the plot and the development of my character. I spend days just scrolling through the internet, and looking for snippets of information on this period of Australian history. It was this period of time that has built the foundations of Australia, so it is interesting to research. Many of the convicts made really good lives, many went back home after receiving their pardons, and many turned to further crimes and were sent to even more hardened prisons such as on Norfolk Island. It is such enjoyable to write about….!
On another note, my little dog Billy is getting more attacks of anxiety. He feels anxious when there is any conversation in our house, and grabs his paws and yells as if in pain. He also still chews anything he can get a hold of, including shoes, clothes (such as strappy t shirts) and now the bedding on my bed, and the couch ( he started by scratching our leather suite, and now chews chunks out of it). We are concerned about his behaviour and am taking him to the vet for his anxiety…will discuss this further in future blogs.