The Jersey War Tunnels

I’m ashamed to say that I knew nothing of the suffering of the Jersey people during WWII. I guess the Channel Islands are too far away for it to bear any impact on the average spotty 14 year old sitting in a History class of a mainland British school.

My trip to the tunnels was educating and alarming. It’s a very thought provoking place. How can you say you enjoyed your visit in the knowledge of all the suffering that went on there? The atmosphere is heavy, cold and eerie. But, at the same time I found it inspiring. I carried Louisa May Gould’s ID card with me, at that stage, unaware of her fate.

The strength of us Brits in times of trouble is somewhat famous, and many would argue quite unique throughout history. So I emerged into the warm daylight from the dark caverns filled with a sense of hope and admiration.

Louisa was a widow when the war started, with 2 sons.

This photo was taken in 1939.

One of her sons was killed in action, so when she discovered that one of the Russian prisoners had escaped the Nazi’s who were using their prisoners as slave workers, she said “I have to do something for another woman’s son.” She ended up hiding Feodor “Bill” Buryiv for nearly a year in 1943/44.

Betrayed by a neighbour, she was arrested in May 1944 and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. Sent to France and by August of that year she was in a concentration camp near Berlin, Ravensbruck.

Unfortunately, when the Germans received word that the allies were closing in, they fled the camp, but not before killing everyone in it by constructing make shift gas chambers. Louisa died on the 13th February 1945.

I guess what drew me to this story is that I am a mother of 2 sons myself. Would I have done the same thing? I really don’t know. Louisa knew the consequences, what would happen to her if she got caught. But I guess, that desire to help a young man, when she couldn’t help her own son, was overpowering.

So that’s the basic story, and I’ve been toying with ideas, and the question, how to tell Louisa’s story. I could do it from the POV of “Bill”? Or what about her other son, the one that didn’t get killed in action, how did he feel about it all? Or how about the neighbour, the one that betrayed her. Why did that person do that? Who were they? Or just stick with Louisa’s? And then there’s the choice of 1st person or 3rd person lol.

I think that one of the overriding things that makes me beleive I’m a writer is the fact that I question everything and often describe myself *goes into London mode* as wanting to know “the ins and outs of a ducks arse” lol. Horrible saying I know, but one I grew up with as a child….haven’t got a clue who came up with that one! Anyway, I need to think, I need to make a decision…hey, I need to research lol

Which POV would interest you the most?

Story Boards

Yesterday I tried my hand at using a story board to plan a story. I have a 300 word piece of flash fiction that I need to turn into a 2000 word short story.

The story board template I’m using (which I found on a Google image search) splits the story into 6 scenes. The 300 words I already have is basically 1 scene (but i can split it into 2) so I have to come up with another 4 lol. The problem is, what I have written so far puts my character into a particular situation, so now I have to come up with a reason as to why she’s there in the first place…..

…..and I’m struggling…… Perhaps this isn’t the right story to extend?

I’m trying to kill multiple birds again (not literally, obviously!) as my next part of the course is to use a method for plotting that I don’t usually use (the story board) and The Write Place homework is a short story to enter in a competition.

So, is it really the story, or the method that’s letting me down? Lol.

Yesterday’s prompt about bad blood ended up being a 1st person POV about a serial killer *snigger* and today’s prompt is eating out and as I do a lot of that I should find it pretty easy shouldn’t I 😉

Editing, Editing, and Rediting

I spent most of yesterday editing a 2700 word section of my Nano Novella to use as my 3rd OCA Assignment which is due in on the 20th of December.

I chose a section that contains narrative and dialogue but the other requirement is for the piece to contain internal monologue, which currently, it doesn’t 😦

Internal Monologue is a narrative technique that shows the thoughts passing through the protagonists mind. Sounds simple yeah? Lol…..well not really. You can’t say he/she thought, that wouldn’t be Internal Monologue. It has to be more direct. It’s like a stream of consciousness in which the author shows the thoughts of a single individual in the same order these thoughts occur inside the characters head. The author shouldnt attempt to provide (or only minimally) any commentary or description to help the reader untangle the thoughts, nor should the author sort them into grammatically correct sentences. It’s like the reader overhearing the characters thoughts and the narrator disappears and the POV overlaps…… Now, does that make sense? Lol

Virginia Woolf uses the technique in Mrs Dalloway:

“It seemed to her as she drank the sweet stuff that she was opening long windows,
stepping out into some garden. But where? The clock was striking – one, two, three:
how sensible the sound was; compared with all this thumping; like Septimus himself.
She was falling asleep.”

I’ve been trying to get my head round this whole concept, and I think I’ve finally cracked it. It helps the reader connect more with the character and yes, when you add some to your 3rd person narrative it kinda makes the whole thing feel less detached…..the famous show don’t tell rule.

So today will be spent adding Internal Monologue……and sorting out my “tense” lol. I am officially a nightmare when it comes to chopping and changing tense. The weird thing is, when my husband had a look he said most of the tense errors were to do with one character in particular. Haven’t got a clue how I managed that! 😉