Quite a while ago I started helping a friend who wanted to improve her writing. We started co-writing a story that had some interesting concepts, and suddenly real life interfered after which she had to bow out of the project. I picked up the idea (with her consent) and started working on the story myself.
The original story we started was in Dutch, for me quite an experience because the 20+ books I have out there in cyberspace are all in English. As I worked on the book I thought it a challenge to also write it in Dutch, so I basically wrote the book twice. The difference of writing in English and Dutch was revealing, and I am very happy I could fall back on a nitpicking Dutch friend who scrutinised the Dutch story. Well, the stories are both written and I am working on putting the Dutch version in a presentable format.
I mentioned this on a few social media, and then to my surprise I got a note from someone who might be interested in talking with me about this book on his local radio show. That, dear reader, is something I had never expected (even if it doesn’t actually happen).
Life can throw some very unexpected options at you, as long as you dare to step out and show you’re there for them.
The Dutch version is completely done and I’ve sent it to a Dutch publisher for evaluation. I don’t know if it will be published by them but you’ll find out about it when that happens. And of course, the English version will be done as well (although I doubt that will be mentioned on a radio show!).
I am venturing into an experiment. Through a series of events I had an idea for a new story. (Reminder to events: kindly stop eventing for a while, my box with story-ideas is still overflowing. Thank you.) One of the events is co-writing a story with a friend. As she is Dutch and much better at Dutch than English, we decided to give this story a try in Dutch. A first for me, as I had never written in Dutch before
The new story I am working on is also in Dutch. But – it’s in English as well. I decided to write it in two languages at the same time, every few paragraphs I add to one version are then rewritten into the language of the other one. I have no rule or pattern, I just add to either of them and then add that same bit to the other one.
After about 700 words I sent the Dutch text to a friend for evaluation. Dutch and English are different languages with different rules, grammar, style etcetera. I wanted to know if this Dutch version was anything worth continuing. My friend said it was really great to read and immediately asked questions about a few things I had written, like “What is that book you mentioned in that story?” So I’m on the right track with this. It’s intriguing to write the same story twice, to see how certain word-twists go left or right, depending on the language.
As I write this post, the stories have progressed to chapter 3, both are up to almost 5,000 words. The main character, Sebastian (Sebastiaan in Dutch) has had many a problem and unnerving encounter already, and the show is now about to begin.
Word of warning from Sebastian:
“If you want to stay sane, don’t get a room at 17 Market Street.”