Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Inquiry about a writing project

Expand Messages
  • M. E. Heatherington
    Dear Group: This is a long note, but I hope you will want to read it anyway. I am asking for advice. My project is a novel based on B. H. Grierson’s
    Message 1 of 2 , May 13 4:21 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Group:

      This is a long note, but I hope you will want to read it anyway. I am
      asking for advice.

      My project is a novel based on B. H. Grierson�s April-May 1863 cavalry raid
      through Mississippi. Since it�s fiction, I�m not planning a Michael
      Shaara-style approach, but I want to avoid Margaret Mitchell�s shallow
      offensiveness. Think, as modern analogues, of Charles Frazier, Harry
      Turtledove, or John Jakes (without, I hope, the clunky writing).

      The protagonist, named Barton Willoughby, is a giddy young beau fresh out of
      Yale, aglow with Scott�s heroic posturing, cheerful, charming, but callow.
      He will of course acquire experience, and become disillusioned about the
      supposed glamour of cavalry warfare; but along the way, he -- and, I hope,
      his readers -- will have a cracking good time with this most dashing and
      important, as Grant called it, of Union cavalry raids.

      Here�s what I�ve done to prepare for the historical aspects of the book:

      -I�ve read D. Brown, the Leckies, Underwood, Bearss, and Starr. I�ve read
      most of the usual modern overviews (e.g., Catton, Foote, Nevins) and the
      contemporary military theorists (e.g., Hardee, Jomini, Cooke). I�ve read
      Grant�s and Sherman�s memoirs. I�ve read Harriet Beecher Stowe. I�ve even
      read as much of Walter Scott as I can stand.

      -I�ve recently driven Grierson�s routes from La Grange to Baton Rouge,
      guided by Brown, the June �93 issue of "Blue & Gray" magazine, and a 1938
      WPA guide to Mississippi. I�ve walked all of the encounter sites on the
      raid.

      -I�ve tried to do/experience as much authentic, or authentically re-created,
      stuff as I can:
      o I�ve been to local CW re-enactments.
      o I know how to ride, how to shoot an Enfield and a Navy Colt, and how to
      make a few hacks with a cavalry saber -- none of these very well.
      o I�ve listened to tapes of CW-era music, including bugle calls.
      o Not voluntarily, I�ve been shot myself, with serious results.
      o I�ve worn an officer�s hat and coat and an enlisted man�s jacket, shirt,
      pants, cap, and gear: haversack, canteen, weapons, etc.
      o I�ve been on 10-mile hikes, in the summer, with a 50-pound pack on my
      back.
      o I�ve slept in a bedroll on the ground, with a saddle for my pillow, but
      just once, thanks.
      o I�ve eaten hardtack and drunk boiled coffee (also just once).

      If you�re willing, I�d like to ask for your considered assistance.
      Specifically, what else do you think I should do to get this right and keep
      gross unintentional errors from sneaking up on Willoughby? And is there
      some additional reading I should tackle?
      Whatever your response, let me say here that I have already benefited from
      reading your discussions of Western-theater issues, and I am grateful for
      your advice.

      Sincerely yours,

      meheatherington@...

      Madelon E. Heatherington

      ________________________________________________________________________
      Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
    • M. E. Heatherington
      Dear Group: This is a long note, but I hope you will want to read it anyway. I am asking for advice. My project is a novel based on B. H. Grierson’s
      Message 2 of 2 , May 13 4:21 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Group:

        This is a long note, but I hope you will want to read it anyway. I am
        asking for advice.

        My project is a novel based on B. H. Grierson�s April-May 1863 cavalry raid
        through Mississippi. Since it�s fiction, I�m not planning a Michael
        Shaara-style approach, but I want to avoid Margaret Mitchell�s shallow
        offensiveness. Think, as modern analogues, of Charles Frazier, Harry
        Turtledove, or John Jakes (without, I hope, the clunky writing).

        The protagonist, named Barton Willoughby, is a giddy young beau fresh out of
        Yale, aglow with Scott�s heroic posturing, cheerful, charming, but callow.
        He will of course acquire experience, and become disillusioned about the
        supposed glamour of cavalry warfare; but along the way, he -- and, I hope,
        his readers -- will have a cracking good time with this most dashing and
        important, as Grant called it, of Union cavalry raids.

        Here�s what I�ve done to prepare for the historical aspects of the book:

        -I�ve read D. Brown, the Leckies, Underwood, Bearss, and Starr. I�ve read
        most of the usual modern overviews (e.g., Catton, Foote, Nevins) and the
        contemporary military theorists (e.g., Hardee, Jomini, Cooke). I�ve read
        Grant�s and Sherman�s memoirs. I�ve read Harriet Beecher Stowe. I�ve even
        read as much of Walter Scott as I can stand.

        -I�ve recently driven Grierson�s routes from La Grange to Baton Rouge,
        guided by Brown, the June �93 issue of "Blue & Gray" magazine, and a 1938
        WPA guide to Mississippi. I�ve walked all of the encounter sites on the
        raid.

        -I�ve tried to do/experience as much authentic, or authentically re-created,
        stuff as I can:
        o I�ve been to local CW re-enactments.
        o I know how to ride, how to shoot an Enfield and a Navy Colt, and how to
        make a few hacks with a cavalry saber -- none of these very well.
        o I�ve listened to tapes of CW-era music, including bugle calls.
        o Not voluntarily, I�ve been shot myself, with serious results.
        o I�ve worn an officer�s hat and coat and an enlisted man�s jacket, shirt,
        pants, cap, and gear: haversack, canteen, weapons, etc.
        o I�ve been on 10-mile hikes, in the summer, with a 50-pound pack on my
        back.
        o I�ve slept in a bedroll on the ground, with a saddle for my pillow, but
        just once, thanks.
        o I�ve eaten hardtack and drunk boiled coffee (also just once).

        If you�re willing, I�d like to ask for your considered assistance.
        Specifically, what else do you think I should do to get this right and keep
        gross unintentional errors from sneaking up on Willoughby? And is there
        some additional reading I should tackle?
        Whatever your response, let me say here that I have already benefited from
        reading your discussions of Western-theater issues, and I am grateful for
        your advice.

        Sincerely yours,

        meheatherington@...

        Madelon E. Heatherington

        ________________________________________________________________________
        Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.