Whew! Good thing I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving this year (from choice, so don’t feel sorry for me). I needed that day of un-busy-ness to hit my 50K-word target. But, as Dr. Johnson put it, “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”
BTW, did I mention that Boswell and Johnson have roles in my new project? For now, at any rate. This is a book for middle-grade readers, but those two can amuse readers of all ages: the crotchety old man and his ever-attentive shadow. They travel to the Hebrides in the 1770s, exactly when I need to get some items from London to Lewis.
Boswell is going to be a smuggler for me, despite all historical evidence to the contrary, but why not? This is why it’s called historical FICTION.
I hope I can figure out a way to retain these two inestimable characters. With the exception of Beryl Bainbridge’s According to Queeney, they don’t feature in any novel. If you know otherwise, please say so!
My first draft is a mess, with perhaps 40 pages (out of 200) that are reader-ready. Yet even for those reader-ready pages I have major plans for revision, shifting the focus from one character to another. This is hard work, but actually more fun than NaNo, because I can take my time about it.
NaNo is all about emptying the mind onto the page. Post-NaNo is about crafting a story.
Goal for finishing Draft 2 = January 27 (when spring term begins). Goal for summer 2014 = 2 months’ research in UK and Norway as I work on Draft 3.
Congratulations on finishing your novel! I thought about doing NaNo, but that’s as far as I got. LOL!
Thanks! And there’s always next year. NaNo isn’t for everyone, but everyone should try it at least once. Good luck with your writing.
I can’t think of a novel where they feature either; all I recall is a TV drama with Boswell and Johnson — played respectively by John Sessions and Robbie Coltrane — traipsing about the Scottish countryside. That doesn’t count of course!
Sessions and Coltrane — I’ll have to look for that online. It must be somewhere. Thanks for the tip. BTW, my historian friend shudders when I talk about bending facts to suit my plot, but I have no shame. History is the convenient frame on which I weave my tale, and if I need to redesign the frame to accommodate my design, so be it.
I’ve researched so you don’t have to…
In fiction you can do what you like! I particularly like blatantly counterfactual novels such as Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castel, Keith Roberts’ Pavane and, of course, Joan Aiken’s Wolves Chronicles. My only beef is with pseudo-historians who re-write history because they believe academic historians are concealing ‘the facts’…
Thanks! Poor Boswell gets the worst of most of it — appropriate for someone who smacks of buffoonery. But what a writer!