Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Learning from Mistakes

(Final French exams ce soir ... and that's all for French until next year, 3B)
Photo taken with iPhoto - hence reversed writing
As quickly as I write some more of my French novel I send it to le professeur for him to read and correct whatever erreurs are there. Sometimes when I get back the submission I'm amazed at the pencil marks all over it. Sometimes less, sometimes more. They have to do with spelling, articles (male or female) and sentence construction that is particularly French (as opposed to English). Writing in French involves thinking in French - a whole new structure. It's like approaching 'life' in a whole new way, new patterns, new ways of thinking, being and communicating.

The pencil marks are more informative than daunting. I learn from the mistakes. Doesn't mean I won't make them again, as I've realised ...

In the context of this French novel, I am a small child, learning to walk and talk in a vast new world. I entered all gung ho - without thinking of whether it would be easy or difficult. As I write that, it reminds me of the opening two sentences of Chapitre Un:

La porte vaginale s’est ouverte et elle est entrée dans ce monde. Sa nouvelle vie commençait et elle était prête.

The vaginal door opened and she entered this world. Her new life was beginning and she was ready.


meadysmusings said...

Yea dont worry bout the mistakes...

Lynn Cohen said...

I think it was Kelly who told us that first sentences in a novel made it or broke it for her...yours is an eye opener for sure! Got my attention.

I do believe we learn by our else can we learn?
And at least these mistakes aren't hurting anyone right? Bravo for taking on such a grand endeavor.

Bon voyage! (my French is VERY Limited...) ;-)

Elspeth said...

Merci. Yes, the first sentence has to grab me too. Or at least the first page. The sentence I quotes doesn't open the novel. It is the first in Chapitre Un. Going before it there's an introduction which is almost like a chapter in itself which explains how this all began.