Sunday, July 10, 2011

Writing In German And/Or English

For the past five years or more, whenever I wrote, I did so in English. Mostly, I think, because I read more books and watch more movies in English than in German, so the language somehow flows easier for me. The English language has more distinct words (over 250.000, Oxford English Dictionary) than German (approx. 130.000, Duden Handbook) and is therefore more expressive in small details and nuances, IMO.

Yet over the past six months, while driving to and from work, I've been listening to mainly German Audio-Books (and two of my favorite authors are, in fact, German). I had this one reader's voice in my head, which fit the story so perfectly that it made it even more funny and entertaining. And there's been a story-idea slogging around my mind that apparently was just waiting for that voice to make it seem real. 

That idea has now taken shape and whenever I write more on it, I have this woman's voice in my head - in German. It's working so well at the moment that my protagonist is basically taking me through the story all by herself, based on this voice and the story's premise, which opens up a lot of fun possibilities and situations to play with.

So my English urban fantasy stuff is on hold for now. This German story is more chick-litty - no fantastic or magical elements, a surprise in itself. Maybe my "German voice" is more "everyday" because I live here, while my "English voice" is fantasy and magic because I need to fill in more blanks and tend to do that with magic.

If I finish this story, I'll definitely look into finding a publisher. As I understand, the process of getting your book published in Germany is a little different than doing so in the US, but I haven't fully immersed myself in the research yet. I'm hoping it turns out to be a little easier, though I'm not getting excited over the possibility just yet.

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