NaNo ends, and the real work begins

2013-Winner-Square-ButtonWhew! 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.”


Courtesy Library of Congress

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 looking the upright citizen

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.

About Lizzie Ross

in no particular order: author, teacher, cyclist, world traveler, single parent. oh, and i read. a lot.
This entry was posted in Am writing, Historical fiction, NaNoWriMo and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to NaNo ends, and the real work begins

  1. Day's Lee says:

    Congratulations on finishing your novel! I thought about doing NaNo, but that’s as far as I got. LOL!


  2. calmgrove says:

    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!


    • Lizzie Ross says:

      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.


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