Wednesday, September 26, 2012

November and novel excitement

Realizing that NaNoWriMo is little more than a month away leads to a Very Important Question.  What exactly do I plan to do this November?

I briefly toyed with the idea of not doing Nano; perhaps spending that time on studying and doing a sort of MyWrimo thing to finish up the 40,000 words I still want in The Frenchwoman.  But I think The Frenchwoman is best with the slow, lazy, inspiration-condusive pace I'm on with it right now.  And I couldn't not do Nano.  For pity's sake, I've done it every year since I was eleven and I don't want to stop now! 

Which brings me to the obvious meaning of my Very Important Question: Which book do I plan to write this November?  A few days ago Anne wrote about her Works To Write.  I have a couple of those, all of them very dear to me, and I really don't know which would benefit most (or be harmed least) by being written in 30 days, this year.  So, to proceed sensibly, I will list off all my Works to Write in a logical fashion.

The Huguenot Cross: Proceeding from my love of Huguenot (French Protestant) history and the excessive reading of what were my favorite books at the time, The Huguenot Cross is the story that made me know I wanted to be a writer.  I planned the characters out at age eleven, gave them a family tree and started the first two chapters, when I decided since this was obviously going to be my masterpiece I'd better learn how to write before I continued.  Now I know that it won't be a masterpiece, but it is a lovely story and has wonderful potential.  The advantage of doing this one is that I started the plot simmering four or five years ago, all I'd have to do is reheat it, add some kind of writing cornstarch (to thicken the plot, naturally) and get going. 

The Huguenot Cross chronicles the stories of two sisters, Charlotte and Aimee, and their cousin Marie-Elise left in France as the persecution of French Protestants is reaching its height (sometime after 1685.)  With disguises, danger, and escapes the girls manage to evade imprisonment, but can this last long?  Will the three of them ever be together again and find their families, now in far-off Switzerland?  Will their faith in God sustain them when a little compromise could mean so much?

Be Careful or I'll Put You in my Novel (working title): This one is just a lighthearted romance story of a dear and slightly crazy authoress and, well, a hero. I'm thinking it'll perhaps benefit from being left until I have more life experience, more ability to make their faith permeate the whole thing, and, well, more romance-experience would help too. But still, it would be the most fun book I've ever written.

Divided Loyalty: A brave, high-spirited boy, brought up to consider patriotism the highest of virtues. But he doesn't have a country to call his own, and as war comes on, he must choose one - and stick to his choice ever after. This inspiration for this one came just before I started The Frenchwoman and I've plotted it in-between times of The Frenchwoman, so it shares the same general tone, although different theme, as that one. And the hero and heroine are a little too much like Hastings and Madeleine. Okay, scratch that, they are TOTALLY like Hastings and Madeleine. Down to the shape of Madeleine's chin. So I'll have to work on giving them personalities of their own.

Almost a Fairy Tale: By rights, this one shouldn't be on my list because it has very little chance of being much more than 3-10 thousand words.  It does not have a happy ending and, since my worldview is one of hope rather than pessimism, I don't think I'd want to stretch it out long enough to be a novel.  I had taken a Persuasion-esque subplot from Times of Love and Laughter and turned it into a short story to enter a contest.  It didn't win, but the tone of it's narrative and one beautiful sentence in particular made me itch to turn it into a contemporary story.  The two characters, even though I haven't written a single bit about them, are perhaps my favorites.  There's just something beautiful about them, something beautiful and something heartbreaking.  And the love story of David and Emily is both beautiful and heartbreaking. 

I surprised meself by realizing that David and Emily look exactly like Ten and Rose in Doctor Who.  The fact that I've never watched it is not the point.  It just means that I won`t be stealing plot ideas and personality bits from Ten and Rose.  Which is sort of a good thing.  And since my new internet filter somehow blocked google images (Shocking!  What ARE internet filters coming to?) I had to find this picture by looking through months and months of archives in the blog of a beloved Whovian.  I knew she had posted it somewhere... and since I couldn't help re-reading all her posts, yeah, that's the reason this post is later than I thought it would be.

After the Holiday: Roman Holiday needs a sequel, right?  Right.  Did you know that the princess that Ann's father nearly married disappeared to marry Joe Bradley's father instead?  And that their son was - you guessed it - Joe Bradley?  And that Joe's mother's country rather needs an heir to the throne?  And that the Countess is horribly mad at Princess Ann because she came up the envelope with pictures of her Roman holiday and she thinks Ann is dreadfully close to following the path of her father's near-wife?   And that, since marrying Joe is Out of the Question, Princess Ann is resigned to marry any tolerably tolerable princely dude recommended to her by the prime minister?  (I think we're going to have fun with that prime minister... :D)

Richard and Eloise: She came only to help her people remind him of his duty as a king.  But now he loves her and it almost breaks her heart to see herself using him for her own ends.  I thought for about two seconds of calling this The King`s Conscience.  But that would be waaaaay too cheesy.  The only worse thing I can think of at the moment is spreading a thick layer of cheese whiz over the title page and ignoring the title altogether.  I first met these characters while reading The Scottish Chiefs  (Great book, by the way.  And the excessively flowery parts are not my fault.  I like flowery parts, anyhow.) even though they`re not even in there.  Eloise calmly appeared when I was considering the most effective way of changing the mind of a king who's usurped another country.  The king was Edward III until I found out that he was already married, and besides, he never did change his mind.  So Richard, king of no country in particular, naturally took Edward`s place and now the story of Richard and Eloise needs to be told.  So I think I will tell it.  Someday.

What do you think?   Which sounds like your favorite?  Which do you think I should do in November?