I feel almost as if I cheated today, since I took so much material directly from George's and Selah's journals and letters. I rewrote a lot of it, but some of it I just kept in their words because they wrote so beautifully.
Which has led me to wonder, how much should I keep historically correct? I've ended up changing some things for the sake of clarity, and others I've guessed at or added because we Just Don't Know. And then I go and do something so blatant as to use their own words! So is this still my original novel, or blatant plagiarism? Family history, or historical fiction? Do I want to try to whip it into shape eventually to make into something publishable, or just keep it for the family? If truly the former, then should I put quotation marks around all their words (which will read poorly)? Would it be sufficient just to acknowledge in the foreword how much of it came directly from them?
(Because some of the letters in the mss. I wrote myself! So I can't just say that all of the letters were theirs.)
Then again, if I want it just as a family history, am I skewing the facts too much and tainting family history forever by playing fast & loose with the story?
See, right now I have to not let myself think too much about stuff like this, or I will paralyze myself and not be able to keep on writing. And I NEED to Keep On Writing. So, I am spewing forth about it here in order to get it out of my system.
But helpful comments are always welcome!
By the way, speaking of writing, I came across Dr. Wicked's "Write or Die: Putting the Prod Back in Produce" and boy am I itching to try it out! So I think that tomorrow, when I am on campus waiting for my class to start, I will test it and see what I come up with. Check it out - it's quite a clever little gadget!
~Cheering lustily onwards