Thursday, February 9, 2012

Escape and evasion

Yes folks, this is the working title for my next project. It's a story about my grandfather Lynn, who was a WW2 fighter pilot. When he was a member of the 8th Army Air Force he was shot down over occupied France. This is the story of how he made it home safely, more or less, with all of the close calls, danger, and brave souls he met along the way.

I THINK I'm done with the outline. I have been trying to make it as detailed as possible so I wont forget anything. Most of the story was captured in Lynn's own words before he passed away. However, there were some gaps, and fuzzier parts, and he didn't usually go into detail about what happened. So I am trying to fill in the blanks with the use of research, old war letters, and the parts of the story my dad knows by heart (but for some reason they were never written down).

I only have scans of the original letters, and I have done what I could with them. My family and I did our best to translate them from Lynn's god awful left handed cursive (and the occasional poor scanning job), minus a few errors (Ex: perty to pretty). There a spots where we absolutely couldn't figure out what he had written and had to throw in an ellipses. I don't know why, but he was apparently allergic to using apostrophes, commas, question marks, etc. At least his sentence structure improved in the later years. I tried to leave all of that intact, despite the little twitch it gave me. My high school English teacher would be appalled (yes, I have taken more English classes since then, but she was finicky.)

I'm considering putting the letters up on my blog. That way anyone who feels the desire to learn more can read them. I'm a little deterred by the fact that doing so would be a lot of work, and I would be doing it for funsies. Although I am feeling burnt out right now, so I'm not as excited as I should be when it comes to starting the writing portion of the book.Plus, I find that the beginning is always the hardest part. Maybe I'll put off writing until next week and get a bit of marketing done. Then I'll think about the letters again...

Anyway, I would like to be done with Escape and Evasion in the summer. I'm really nervous about this project though. A lot more than my own pride is riding on my ability to do well. There is family honor at stake. Not to mention I have to portray tons of people that I will never meet as accurately as possible. (some of the caharacters will have to be made up, or at least fudged a little. Neither Archie [a pilot Lynn traveled with] nor Lynn talked about EVERYONE they met.]
I guess this is why these books always say "based on a true story".
Plus, I'm one of those people that finds war stories  much more depressing than exciting.
I'll be doing my best!!

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding job on a labor of love we Drollingers really appreciate it.
    Dave H and Gordon L Drollinger