“Ever heard the expression ‘beyond the pale’? Someone behaves dreadfully and someone else says, ‘tsk, tsk, that’s beyond the pale’. The English administration in Ireland coined that phrase about the ‘wild’ Irish. Wild? What?? And just what was the Pale?
Ireland has clans too, not just Scotland. Clan comes from clann the Gaelic word for children or descendants. The Gaels of Scotland and Ireland shared not only a language but also culture and law. What you know about Gaelic Scotland (the Highlands), may also be true about Gaelic Ireland.
The land was sacred to the Gaels. The Gaels believed that every bump and dip in the landscape had a story to explain its existence. Fionn, a giant, picked up a clod of earth to throw at his enemy. The hole left in the earth filled with water and is now called Loch (Lake) Neagh. Fionn was likely a pagan god in origin.
Between 1400 and 1700 Ireland changed from a Gaelic land to one conquered by the English. Your readers want a great story, but often they will expect to learn something about the country or period in which your novel is set. You will learn what you require from this course.
What you will learn:
· Major historical events, wonderful or deadly, which provide the background for your novels
· How to create characters with motivations and conflicts based in Irish history
· The difference between a Gaelic clan and an Anglo-Irish family as well as their names and locations
· Daily life in Gaelic Ireland
· Marriage customs of the clans – very different from customs in England
· How to avoid exposition ‘dumps’ & thread in details which enhance your story
· How to make readers want more after the first five pages of your novel
The meanings of placenames named for the activities of the ancient gods will be provided as well as a timeline for the Late Medieval period (1150-1600)
Who should take the course:
· Writers wanting to write a novel set in Ireland
· Writers who have little or no knowledge of Irish history – the ‘big picture’ will be given
· Writers who have some knowledge of British or Scottish history – the contrasts and similarities will be explained
· Writers who want to learn a little about Celtic mythology and the meaning of place names and surnames