Dynamically Create and Reference TextFields?

I have been working on porting a dynamic text effect generator to Flash 5. Right now it works perfectly in Flash MX. It uses createEmptyMovieClip and createTextField to create TextFields for each character in a given string and then applies a particular effect to the characters. My problem arises in that Flash 5 does not support the createEmptyMovieClip and createTextField methods.

I have attempted to change my code by creating an dummy MovieClip with an empty TextField inside of it, then using duplicateMovieClip to create subsequent MovieClips for each character in the string.

This seems to be working, but I am having trouble referencing the TextField inside of the MovieClip. As I understand it, in Flash 5 you need to assign a TextField a variable name in order change its value. If I have set up the empty TextField inside of the dummy MovieClip, given it the variable name “field” and duplicated the MovieClip, giving it an instance name of “letter,” how would I reference the TextField? I have tried letter.field, but the trace merely returns an undefined value.

Or maybe there is a better way I could be doing this?

(I should probably note that I am developing this in the Flash MX environment.)