Getting It Down

Quote of the Day:
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
–Richard Bach

Bustin’ out writing day – just over 8000 words on the new WIP. Yippee! (Come on, Lara, I know you can do it, too.)

I think the most hilarious curse in historical novels is the following: God’s teeth. It just cracks me up. The first time I read it was in Sandy Blair’s Man In A Kilt (an excellent read, by the way). And I’m terribly elated I get to use it in my new historical, fondly called the jousting novel.

So I stalled on a scene I was writing and decided to go ahead and move along. I can’t think of what I want to have happen from one point to another. I jumped to a section that will be much further in the book, just to get it written.

When it comes to the novels, I don’t write in order. I never have. Now, the serials are a totally different story (no pun intended) – I have to write those in order since I have to turn in the material in issue order. But I’ve been known to write ahead of myself as far as the serials are concerned and just save that section as Issue XX. Then I know it’s for future use.

But I digress. I wrote the fantasy novel completely out of order and then strung it all together when I was ready. I broke the writing into chapters after the fact. That’s what I’m going to do with the jousting novel. I’m writing bits and pieces as they come to me and not worrying about chapter breaks or anything. I just want to get to the 50K mark by the end of July.

I think next Fiona Judd is going to write the pirate novel. I already have some of it written so I need to figure out the tone of the story. It will involve some rewriting if I’m going to try to go with that historical romantic comedy feel again.

Something that works for me when writing historical: I just try to relax and let the words come. I try to focus on ONE thing that is important to the historical – like jousting. I think the reason it’s working so well (so far) for me, is that I’m not concerned with details yet. The whole love story is centered around tournament and jousting. Everything else is backdrop.

I learned this with the time travel adventure serial, Ransom & Fortune. When I write about the past, I just try to write the bare bones down as quickly as I can and then go back and flesh it out. Maybe it sucks. Maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know.

I know when I pick up a historical to read, I expect a certain thing: I want to be taken to a place I cannot go. I want the lush landscape, the ambiance. I want the writer to make me suspend my disbelief and get into the story so the technical details don’t really matter much. For instance, I know the tilt barrier (the wall down the middle of the jousting field) did not come into existence until the 15th century. However, for the purpose of my novel, I’m going to fudge a little since I think (I THINK) my story will take place toward the end of the 14th century, when Chaucer lived (although he won’t be making an appearance in my novel…I don’t think).

Listen to me go…like I’m an expert or something.

Anyhoo, regarding the jousting novel, [the squire] now has a name. I have dubbed him Geoffrey. Hooray! And I decided to change the lady-in-waiting’s name because it was too English (and she’s supposed to be Scottish). So I changed it to Elyne (Ellie for short). Things are falling into place now with the story. I’m getting lots of good stuff down and am progressing nicely. Still writing in bits and pieces and wrote a scene I expect will be toward the end of the novel. I’m fleshing out more things as I read over it. So I’m editing and writing at the same time. I’m trying to turn off that inner edit, though. It’s hard because I want to go back and re-read everything and tweak (I like to tinker).

Target Last Issue
I think I can wrap up the romance serial by issue 131. That’s my target anyway. I should really shoot for 135, that will be exactly two more months worth of subscriptions from the last renewal at 117. But I figure the sooner the better, so 131 it is. I have a partial of 114, so only 17 more issues to go. UGH that seems like a lot. But I’ll get there.

Don’t know when I’m going to end the adventure yet. I gotta figure out how I’m going to end it first. I had thought about having a really disastrous ending, but then, the reader might not be satisfied with that. Especially after all the work I’ve put into the hero, making him a bad-guy-gone-good.

Gonna try to get two issues of the serials (one each) done today. That’s the goal anyway. Hopefully I can make it.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.