August 28th, 2009

Early Modern English

This is very broad, and I've cross-posted it a bit.

Basically, what I'm looking for is an excellent, in-depth, comprehensive resource for Early Modern English. The book I'm currently writing is set during the 1650s, and I really want it to feel like that's when the story is taking place. True, I could very possibly get away with throwing in a few ye olde verbs a la A Knight's Tale and get away with it, but what I really want is for the dialogue to feel more organic.

About the only thing I can find is the Wikipedia article, but ideally, I'd love something a bit more hands on, if it exists (basically, I don't want to parrot a few pronouns. I want to write the dialogue in Early Modern English).

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
  • Current Music: Ballboy - Let's Fall In Love & Run Away From Here

Breaking down a Shelby Cobra

I have a character who, for reasons of plot, needs to have a mechanical problem with his 1967 Shelby Cobra, ideally something that would a) happen fairly suddenly, causing him to get stuck on the side of the road; and b) require replacing an engine part. The more expensive and hard-to-find the engine part, the better.

I've found a ton of Cobra-related websites, but they're all geared toward people who already understand cars, not toward someone like me who's sitting there going "D'oooooooh... what's a valve cover for?" So any help given in small words would be much appreciated. :-)

ETA: Thanks, guys! I got some excellent ideas to work with.
Tags: ,

Cheerleading in New York

Hi everybody ;)
I have a question, and I really don't know how to look for the answer otherwise.
The question is about cheerleading. I'm Italian, so I'm not so expert.
In the movies and tv shows where we see cheerleaders in High Schools, it's always countries like Texas, California, and it's always small towns, maybe near the country or by the sea. What I need to know is if in a big city like New York, are there any high schools where there is the cheerleading team? Maybe it's a stupid question, but I have a cousin living there, and in her school there aren't cheerleaders.

Thank you on advance!

A Son's Reaction to Mom's Questions and Position of a Sick Man

Scene: This is written in first person and takes place in modern day suburban Texas. The main character is a Texas Ranger in charge of their forensics lab and he's been working a high profile case. He's getting too close to the answers so the perpetrators have infiltrated the lab and convinced two college students to poison him. It's a long term poisoning (we're using oleander honey and datura ground into the coffee) and this scene takes place the first time they've tried it. He's not quite sure what's going on, just knows that he feels off for no apparent reason. He has his intern with him, an observant young man who is very familiar with his boss' habits and sure to notice something is wrong. They decide to visit the Ranger's mother and get some feedback from her about the case and while he's there the full effect of the poisoning reaches its peak.

The problem is, my co-writer and I are both females. We really don't have much insight as to how a man would react to his mother's probing questions or the concern of his young intern, who views him as a big brother/father figure. The two poisons we've chosen leave the victim with GI symptoms which gradually worsen, a headache, visual disturbances, and irritability. At this point in time, our Ranger would likely attribute it to a recent fight he's been in or to working under the fluorescent lights too long and missing meals but he's not sure how long he can keep up the charade of being fine and he doesn't want to worry either of them.

At some point during the meal he excuses himself. We don't want to go into detail there, either, but when he doesn't reappear his worried mother goes to check on him (or would she even do that? She's a Southern lady, born and bred, so maybe that's taboo even in this day and age? Would she send the intern after him and if so, how's that kid going to react?). In what position would she find him? Again, we don't know. I know, as a female that I get down on the floor or hang over the sink or bathtub. Is that typical for a man also, or would he just be standing there kind of lost looking?

There wasn't any real way to research this. Our guy friends wouldn't talk about it and the girls didn't know. I tried looking through different fictional books to see how it's handled but other female writers seem just as clueless and the male ones pulled the standard "suck it up/that would never happen/fade to black" routine. We can't go that way because what happens here builds up to a more dramatic happening later.

English Laws on Spousal Abuse, 1870s

Hello again,

I'm looking for a information on spousal abuse laws in England (specifically Dartford, in Kent, if it matters) circa the late 1870s. So far I've only been able to find partial texts of theses and books, none of which have been particularly useful.

I'd like to know things along the lines of the "you're allowed to beat your wife as long as you use a stick no wider than such and such." Basically, things that are legal to do to a spouse but which would be assault if you committed them against someone else. However, anything anyone can provide me will be better than what I have!

Thanks!