Sunday, 5 May 2013

Writing Log 130505

Delicious, including the French Fries
If last week was a struggle this week was me hitting a brick wall.  Not helped by being put on some additional medication for the treatment of my rheumatoid arthritis.  The doctor warned that there would unpleasant be side-effects, and she was right.  As a result this weeks word total stands at a paltry 2831 words, and the running total is at 19,933.

This sucks, but I was able to sit and read One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick, which is an excellent book.  I have taken a couple of pages of notes for the scenes I want to write about for my character's transition from an enlisted Marine to becoming an officer from this book.

For me it felt important to not just write a pastiche of the process, but to work from the most authentic sources I can get my hands on.  The other two books I have used in my research to date are; One of Us: Officers of Marines – Their Training, Traditions, and Values by Jack Ruppert, and The Marine Corps Officer's Guide 6th Ed by Kenneth W. Estes.

They are three very different works.

Fick's book is an autobiography of his experience of becoming an officer with the United States Marine Corps, and is a warts and all account of his experience that is frank and honest.  It tells his story of being deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and for those who have watched Generation Kill it will feel familiar, because Evan Wright was the embedded journalist with Lieutenant Fick's platoon.

Lt Colonel Este's (Ret.) book is a manual, and as such makes for a rather drier read.  However, if you want to know what a Marine officer is supposed to know then it is a book that is required reading.

Ruppert's book compares and contrasts the training of two platoons of officer candidates.  The first being his own experience in 1956 with those that were being trained in 2000.  Similarities and differences are discussed.

Finally, the picture is of a lovely meal that I had in Bristol cod loin in bacon at the Spyglass restaurant, which is down in the harbour.  Saturday was the first day I hadn't felt nauseous from taking the new tablets.  Oorah, outstanding as they say in the Corps.

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