Still chugging along editing…

Gregory Bald Peak
Gregory Bald Peak (Photo credit: Ryan Smith Photography)

Sometimes the littlest issues become big during editing. Take for instance what I spent most of this past week on: a word. Yes, a word. Lol. Some of my critiquers felt I shouldn’t use a generic term like “monsters,” and I realized they were right. So began my search. The problem became in the Native American world, though they believed in them, there was no word I could pinpoint for use. Especially since, there are so many different types of monsters in my story. My tribe is not very old, less than 200 years to be exact, and so being that they specialize in hunting the supernatural, I began to work on what word they might use for them. Finally, happily, I came up with one two days ago. Did you know Native Americans don’t believe in vampires? But they do have versions of zombies, werewolves, and ghosts to name a few. It’s amazing how a group of people are revealed to us more and more as we study them. I admire Native Americans. They’ve been through such heartbreak and still they have such a strength inside them. Other editing issues: I struggled with whether to call a place by what people in town did or describe it as Native Americans did. Often they referred to somewhere by an animal or the meeting of such and such rivers instead of by a name alone. For example, “rabbit place,” for Gregory Bald. I decided to just go by what the townspeople called it because I though it might be too confusing for me to say, “where the foxes’ burrows lie,” even though this is the way they would actually relay the information. I hope I made the right call on this, though I’ll find out when I have it beta read. Challenging, yes, and I’m sure I’ll face more of the same in the days ahead but I’m LOVING it right now as it helps to “solidify” the writing in my mind by making these choices. On I go to do more. Hope your writing/editing is going well. Good luck on your projects.

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7 thoughts on “Still chugging along editing…

  1. I love stories that explore native lore! I’m glad you were able to find some types of monsters that would fit in nicely with your story.

    We have a lake monster close to home in Lake Manitoba called Manipogo, one I think would be fun to explore in a story. It is just a legend, of course, much like the lake monster in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, called Okapogo. Both are much like Nessy, the Loch Ness monster. There was also a recent episode of the re-vamped Primeval series that dealt with a serpent-like creature, Sutsiutl, off the coast of British Columbia, although I don’t know if that is a real myth or one created by the series writers. Of course, there’s always the Sasquatch or Big Foot as it is commonly known, a creature near and dear to my heart, especially after watching Harry and the Hendersons. lol

    As for the place names, from whose perspective is the story set? That would determine which form of a place’s name you should use, or you could try this strategy: In one of my stories, the Native character talked about the place where he was from, calling it by its native name as well as stating what the Europeans called it. You could always introduce it in such a manner and then just use the simpler form after that.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with your edits. 🙂

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    1. Thanks!! I did go back and create a name for the ruins and call it by that name as well as use the description “to go left at the fox burrows,” too. It had been niggling me to change it as the tribe wouldn’t call it by the name that the townspeople did. It reads SO much better and I like the changes. As for the lake monsters, I’ve been considering exploring that for a while. Perhaps a future book?

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    1. I considered Wendigos too, but then I discovered a Native American prophecy that described the exact monster I needed in the story, although they were talking about the end times and what they saw as humans future. I took their description and created my monster. It worked out perfectly!!

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