Tag Archives: nano2011

What’s in a Name?

16316 / 50000 words. 33% done!

So I think I can blog about my current WIP again because I’ve started liking it, which after a week of near-torture is something of a relief!

My main problem at the moment is that I am writing a story set in the Verona of Romeo & Juliet (well, not entirely THAT Verona what with the tropical islands and the necromancy) and the only way to add magic and logic and possibly the occasional steam-powered robot (oops) to Shakespeare is to make sure that the canon itself works hard in the story. And there are only three canon facts about my heroine Rosaline, apart from the whole thing about Romeo being in love with her before Juliet: 1) her complexion was pale 2) she was determinedly chaste and 3) her sister’s name is Livia.

All of these things have given me a massive headache, at one time or another. But if I chuck them out, why bother calling my heroine Rosaline at all? So I’ve had to address them in my story, and in the building of the character. The only problem is that now her sister wants to be a point of view character and she’s a stitch away from becoming joint protagonist, and I can’t, I simply can’t have a protagonist called Livia. Quite apart from the fact that I’ve written three different fictional Livillas in the last two years (OK two of them were historical figures but still) I still live in hope that some day I will write the Great Livia Drusilla novel of all time, and how can I possibly do that if I already have another fictional Livia inside my head?

So I have to screw with canon. Which bugs the hell out of me. Because, you know. I want to be true to the play. Apart from all the liberties I already planned to take.

So she’s going to have to be Olivia, or Livian, or Liliane. Or something.

Damn you, canon!

Day Two: This Nanowrimo thing.

3750 / 50000 words. 8% done!

I was just looking back over old posts, and wow I did a LOT of blogging last time I did Nanowrimo, in the grand old days of 2009. Not sure I’ll be keeping that up this year. I’m already juggling two different books!

Writing something new is scaryfun, though.

Some Nano links:

Scott Westerfeld linked to a series of posts he and Justince Larbalestier did a few years back, one for each day of Nanowrimo. Some wonderful, clever tips there, with such enticing titles as “Emergency Unstucking Techniques,” “Stealing from Chandler” and “Square Brackets”.

Ah, square brackets, what would we do without you?

Natalie Zutter at Tor.com looks at some of the Nano books that have actually got published – I commented there, but it got eaten. I had to stop and check what my previous Nano novels were, to see if I’d had any published – and I haven’t yet, I will in February! Yes, the first 50,000 words of Reign of Beasts was written in the 2010 Nano! I had completely forgotten that.

Meanwhile, Maureen Johnson is embracing the title of Nanowrimo Agony Aunt. Her blog is always fun to read but gets particularly manic at this time of year. If you have any questions about Nanowrimo, or life and the universe in general, I recommend you head over there and see what Aunty MJ has to say.

Countdown to Nanowrimo

So we have… eight days to go! I’m getting so excited about this year’s Nano. I have a new book to start FROM SCRATCH (newbooknewbooknewbook) – Fury was a new book, but it came out of Siren Beat, and came with the baggage and negatives of writing a sequel without the benefits.

But this one is newwwwwww and even though I first got the spark about it a year or more ago (possibly two? I think Iz was badgering me to write it for Nano last year) I have not let myself write any of it down.

What I love about new new new new new book is that it’s a challenge in so many interesting ways – it contains stuff I’ve never done before, and a few aspects of it terrify me. But in many ways I think it will make a better follow up to Creature Court than Nancy Napoleon – it’s not the same kind of book in any real sense, but it has a few tonal aspects in common. It can certainly be described as dark fantasy rather than urban fantasy, and I can see it being marketed in the same sort of way.


The other nice thing, once I have wrapped my head around the idea that I’m starting a new novel in just over a week, is that I feel like I can start blogging about writing again. There’s something about the middle and second half of a novel where it’s hard to think of anything to talk about – without massively spoilering everyone for a book that isn’t even contracted yet. I mean, do you want to know that Nancy is decapitated in the second last chapter?* No, you do not.

*This doesn’t happen. Unless workshopping it takes the book in a radically different direction…

So I imagine I’ll be talking a lot about writing. This happens when I nano.

Plus, did I mention?


If you are Nanoing this year, you can find my profile at tansyrr.