MemberAugust 30, 2020 at 6:47 pm
So, although I was thoroughly enjoying writing the Devi novel, unfortunately, I have to put an end to it for now. Since it is based on a true story, I finally showed the novel to the people to whom it actually happened to (although I did change a lot of details) and although they loved the writing and how I presented the story, they were skeptical about me publishing it. Since my goal is to write a publishable, novel, I’ve put a stop to the Devi novel for now (if anyone has any ideas how to resolve this dilemma let me know!)
The good news is that I was sifting through my other novel ideas, and I keep coming back to the one I presented way back when about the holocaust fiction story. I had loved that idea, but I came across two problems with it: I wasn’t sure which age to make it for and many people expressed skepticism about writing Holocaust fiction.
After thinking through the pros and cons, I decided that I want to continue undertaking writing that novel. Whoo hoo! I decided to make it a young adult novel, and have the main character be 14. I also decided that if written with sensitivity, and without gory details, I could present a holocaust fiction story in the right light. The idea of this story is just too good to drop!
For those who have joined recently, here is a one line summary of what my novel is about (IYH. Names and details subject to change!):
On the verge of emotional despair, Shayna, a girl who has shied away from meaningful relationships ever since her mother died, preferring to live in her dreams, suddenly finds herself bereft of her family and thrust into a concentration camp where here childhood imaginary friend sweeps her away each night into an adventurous imaginary world; but when Shayna finally gets to choose which world she would rather stay in- the real world or the imaginary one, will she learn to cherish what life is really all about before it’s too late?
Anyways- I decided to do historical research before beginning to write this novel, which is not such an issue because that time period interests me. But, I cannot seem to find information about whether girls went to school pre-WWII time, the girls who lived in frum shtetels. I’m continuing to look, but if any one can recommend any history books that might contain this info, or know the answer to that question, let me know!
Thank you all!!
MemberAugust 30, 2020 at 10:00 pm
hmm.. dunno of history books, but my grandmother in Czeckslovakia sure did.
You’re writing about Poland?
MemberAugust 31, 2020 at 1:26 am
I do want the story to be situated in Poland, yes
MemberAugust 31, 2020 at 2:14 am
I love it, Elisheva!! You got me captivated already!!
MemberAugust 31, 2020 at 2:20 am
Put an end to Devi?!
I’m feeling heartbroken for you now. It must be super disappointing to lay a story idea to rest…I wish I can offer ideas on how to solve the ‘too personal to post’ dilemma but I have none ?.
I must say your resilience to move forward is admirable. The storyline for the holocaust story piqued my interest when you first posted it several months ago. Wishing you all the luck in the world to bring this story to fruition!
About historical research: I’ve found that by doing a lot of online research, you tend to stumble upon promising lead at one point. Don’t be shy to reach out to historians if need be! You can also contact authors who have written books that occur in the era you want to write about. Ask them what their research process was like.
MemberAugust 31, 2020 at 3:02 am
Fiction fan girl- thank you for your empathy. In fact, I have been mourning the past few months, since I realized, which is why I have not been posting more chapters…I guess I should have checked out that one teeny tiny crucial detail before I began to write the novel…but Baruch Hashem I was not too far into it…so yes, I did have my share of tears and despair…until recently when Hashem put the idea into my head to make the holocaust novel a young adult novel…and that really spoke to me! So now, Baruch Hashem, I am back to business and excited to start this new project!
Passion- thank you! I hope it wont disappoint! But I have a lot of research to do before I can churn out chapters…
MemberAugust 31, 2020 at 8:40 pm
Try reading the opening chapters of These Children Are Mine. The author , Rabbi Dov Lederman, was a young child living in Warsaw when the war broke out.
Another vein to explore: a biography of Frau Sarah Schneirer, o”h. As I recall, she reason she established the Beis Yaakov schools was because Yiddishe girls were being educated in the government, non-Jewish schools and lacked a Jewish schooling beyond. It would seem that the girls did attend schools, but only gentile ones.
There may be more on the topic in To Vanquish the Dragon. I also recall, offhand, that in Alone in the Forest, the author mentions that she attended school together with non-Jews, and describes an episode in which one of her former classmates tried, unsuccessfully, to betray her to the Gestapo. I don’t recall the names of the authors, but I think these books are well enough known that you should be able to find them easily.
Hatzlachah rabah with your project!
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