For the first time I am writing a story about someone from the backwoods. Since my relatives are from the backwoods, I know the language intimately. Heck, I speak it fluently. I also understand the culture.
My third cousin, for instance, was the only person in sixth grade to be able to legally drive his pickup truck to middle school. There are plenty of family stories about fishing in the morning before school, owning one pair of shoes that you only wore to church, driving the wagon into town in the winter with heated bricks wrapped in cloth for warmth, cattle theft, backwoods murders, and marriages between young folks.
For the story to have an authentic voice, a first person viewpoint would be nice. I think this sentence--"I hunkered down and snuck up the hill to our family plot, thankful for the quiet pine straw under my toes."--reads better than-- "He hunkered down and snuck up the hill to his family's plot, thankful for the quiet pine straw under his toes."
But with horror and misery, first person viewpoint is so difficult to balance. First person misery can become whining.
Almost as much whining as this post.