Stuck In The Swamp Of Edit-land

I’ve been editing my first chapter of my MS and have found it extremely difficult. I keep procrastinating. Alot. I mean, I’ve been “farming” on Facebook, for goodness sake! I’m not sure why I can’t seem to make myself just dig in and push my way through.

Maybe it is because there is an issue I’ve been researching and I cannot find the answer! I have searched online and found nothing. I went to the library, but alas, they were closed Thursday through Sunday for the holiday. Sigh…I even resorted to tweeting my question, but again, I came up with nothing.

The question is this: Could a medieval abbess of a convent (head nun, so to speak) force a woman to take her vows if she had been left at the convent as a young girl? Here’s another question. Could a corrupt abbess marry off same woman to the highest bidder if the woman refuses to take her vows?

I don’t want to be wrong, but then if I cannot find the answer, am I at liberty to make up whatever I want? Surely corruption abounds in every generation. Surely greed and power make people do things they normally wouldn’t do, right?

Sigh…my story hinges on the answer to these questions. I need to find answers before I move on and I really need to move on and get this MS edited!

22 responses to “Stuck In The Swamp Of Edit-land”

  1. Grr… I hear you with the wip troubles.

    Interesting dilemma. I wouldn't think the nun could legally do it, but maybe she can force the girl into it somehow?

    Good luck! It sounds like a great story! Esp. if the man she's forced to marry is the one she falls in love with. *wink*


  2. Well firstly let me say that it sounds like a really interesting story!

    And secondly, have been a nun myself I would say… okay, sorry. I am joking! I have no idea about the ways of nuns. But I like Jessica's comment. Is that helpful? No? Sorry 🙂

    And stop farming on face book. Really. go cold turkey. you can do it. 😛


  3. Wonderful plot twists Sherrinda. I agree with Jessica- it doesn't sound legal but blackmail could be an option.

    I hope you find your answers soon! Praying for you.


  4. Sherrinda, in the middle ages, anything could happen. And it's fiction too. So as long as you're plausible in how you “force” these issues, I think you can stick with them. I did a lot of research on nuns in the middle ages and found a lot of “forcing” especially when nuns tried to run away from the abbey. Email me if you want anymore specific help.


  5. Okay….I know NOT knowing what to do is totally, completely 100% frustrating, but I must say, your story sounds SUPER intriguing!

    Sorry I don't have any answers for you. I'm pretty oblivious when it comes to history (unless its American history).

    Hope you find your answer because your story sounds smokin'!


  6. Oooh, Sherrinda. I'm already looking forward to reading your story some day! I hope you find your answers.


  7. I think you could go with the corrupt nun and base it on the girl's ignorance that it's allowed to happen. As in, have the main heroine questioning, “can she even DO this” the same way you're questioning. In reality, she probably WOULD question it and where we she find the answer? Probably no where. Maybe that's a cop out scenario, but it popped in my head. Now … back to Farmville and hazenut creamer 😉


  8. I was thinking, wouldn't Jody be a good resource for this, then I see she's answered you already. It's funny, but I see Nun, and think holier than thou, GUESS NOT!!!

    Editing is hard to get into, I think for me it's fear that I won't make it better, that I'll just fail this round too. You just have to get passed that, grab hold of some God-confidence and plow into it. Good luck, Sherrinda!


  9. Just because it isn't legal doesn't mean it couldn't or didn't happen. That's the point of the story isn't it??? It's hard to say if that could or couldn't really happen. And to be honest, if it did, I have a good feeling it would have been covered up and you wouldn't find out anyway 😉

    And why aren't we farming neighbors???


  10. LOL I was addicted to Yoville, but I think I've killed that obsession, at least for now. 😉

    My problem is with replotting the darn thing now that I've changed the killer. Plus, the family was sick last week (yeah, I got it, too) and then off visiting out of town. I didn't get any writing done at all, so now I'm out of the rhythm. Just have to jump back in, I guess, if the twins will allow that. hehehe

    Lynnette Labelle


  11. Historical advice is not my strong point.
    But your questions have me intrigued with your book!


  12. Oh, it sounds like a great story. I say anything goes. There are always people who are corrupt (and this abbess would surely fall into that category). I know there wasn't a lot of church regulation in the middle ages (communication was difficult) and it sounds plausible to me 🙂


  13. I bet there's a way… women are great at manipulation. But I don't know an official answer.

    Hope the editing gets better for you!


  14. You story sounds very interesting. I hope you get your answers so you can work more on the editing!


  15. Hi Sherrinda –

    We tend to think in terms of American law. The church was powerful back in Medieval times.

    What about her blackmailing the girl? If you don't do this, we'll…if you get my drift.

    Susan 🙂


  16. Oh but you have started …. that is progress in my eyes.

    And I'm am all empathy with the procrastination thing; says the queen of comments.


  17. IMO… If you as a writer can pull the plot twists off, it doesn't matter if it COULD HAVE happened in real life. We read books because we like a good story! So make it as believable as possible and your readers will believe it!


  18. LOL! Seriously funny about you farming on facebook. Yes that is a sign. 😉

    I'm not sure they could force to take vows since they are rather personal but in fiction all things are possible right? Just make sure it's believable.

    If Dinosaurs could come back from ancient DNA and be believable, you could deff. figure out a way to do this. I'll even be your cheerleader.
    *Go Sherrinda!*


  19. No help in nun land… I have my own research issues, LOL!

    End of December right?!? It's on, girlfriend!


  20. Jessica, my heroine didn't marry the one the nun was forcing on her. She escapes…into the arms of a knight. 🙂

    Tabitha, going cold turkey on farmville, huh? I really need to!!! What a waste of time, though my farm is looking very pretty. lol

    Hi Tamika! Yes, blackmail could work and judging by the rest of the comments, I have free reign over the plot, as long as it is believable. 🙂

    Thank you Jody! I needed that reassurance. I will definitely email if I get hung up again!

    Katie, a smokin' story???? I love that description, girl! Several who have read it said they couldn't put it down, so I think I have a compelling plot. At least, I hope it works! lol

    Thanks Heather! I am feeling more confident with all these great comments.

    Jaime, just finished my delicious hazelnut creamer and coffee. Mmmm, so good!!!! Great idea re: my wip! You rock. 🙂

    Eileen, yes! I was thinking how fear is getting in the way for me with the editing! Isn't fear the worst thing ever? If I am going to write, I definitely need to overcome the fear!!!

    Marybeth! You are so right! It's fiction, for goodness sake! BUT…in historical books, people are more critical of historical mistakes. I just want to be “mostly” right. lol

    Lynnette, oh my! You changed the killer? The work involved in doing that would send me over the edge, I think! lol Glad you are all healthier now. Here's to getting those edits/rewrites done!

    Jennifer, historical books are such an escape for me, but the research involved is a bit daunting. 🙂

    Natalie! Thanks for the encouragment. I keep telling myself, “It's fiction…anything goes!” So you reaffirmed my thinking!!!!

    Kristen, thanks! I'm feeling much better about it today!

    Thanks Cindy! Things are looking brighter for me regarding this wip!

    Susan, excellent advice! Blackmail is always a good motivator! lol

    Sande, I had to laugh with the “queen on comments”! I do that too!!!!

    Bethany, thanks for the encouragement! It's fiction, right? lol

    T.Anne, yes, farming is the sign of procrastination, for sure! Now, you sold me with the dinosaur thing. 🙂 And oh my goodness, I now have my very own cheerleader!!! That is awesome!

    Krista….we're on! Definitely! My husband thinks we are totally nuts, given that it is DECEMBER!!! But aren't all writers nuts????


  21. Oh, dear. I like Jody's answer. Trust her and your heart.

    This sounds like a fascinating story–please finish it so I can read it! Now are you motivated?


  22. Oh yes, Jeanette! I am now motivated! I believe I've found my answer! 🙂


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