I sip a warm latte, enjoying the sunshine and birdsongs that hint of a coming spring. It’s peaceful and quiet, though the anticipation builds within. Like a horse at the gate before the pistol pings, I’m ready. I close my eyes and I feel it. Bare feet on sunned concrete. Aching fingers that tug stubborn weeds. The lemon scent caught in the breeze from freshly cleaned windows. Mmmm. Images as lovely as this morning before me, with my latte and sunshine and birdsongs.
It’s a perfect morning for writing! I’m excited to put fingers to keys and type away at some ideas I’ve had for my medieval fantasy novel. But first, I’m reviewing my progress over the month of January.
As of right now I have 2,455 words typed into my Scrivener document—a number I feel great about when I acknowledge that most of my work is still in my head! I drift to sleep each night and stitch image to image, fabricating a plot with room for twists and turns. I’m creating a world of my own and allow characters to come to me, rather than sitting down to carve them out myself. I try to stay curious and unattached to all angles of this process so that my characters, locations, and events can come to me via inspiration, rather than forced creation.
I’m also reading vigorously and saving words I don’t understand to expand my Old English and medieval vocabulary. Currently, I’m about 56% of the way through Game of Thrones, and have it highlighted like an anatomy textbook before an exam. Additionally, I’m trying to research more than I write at this point. My story will certainly have fantastical features, but will loosely pull influence from medieval Europe. As such, I want to immerse myself in the past throughout the entire process of writing my book, for the purpose of improving my language and sharpening my understanding of castles, classes, occupations, holdfasts, weaponry, food, etc.
I originally wrote my very first scene in first person, but as my story developed I quickly realized I wanted to tap into the minds of several of my main characters. So, I settled on a third person limited point of view, written from several characters’ viewpoints. This was tricky at first; I write poetry in first person, and have always enjoyed the intimacy of a first person viewpoint. But…oh man! Once I was in the groove and completed a few scenes, it felt like the whole world opened before me. Telling the same story from multiple viewpoints is helping me liven the plot’s cadence, while adding each character’s unique flavor. I may write other stories in first person, but it’s finally clear to me that this story shines with a third person limited point of view.
And since we’re both here, I may as well ask—do you have a preference? Do you prefer to read or write in one viewpoint more than another? Also, I was hoping to share excerpts from my manuscript, but I’ve read mixed warnings about publishing bits of your novel before securing a publisher. Anyone have some insight on this? Will publishers reject you for sharing excerpts on your own blog? I’ll look into this more and share what I learn!
Anyways, here’s to another month of softly navigating our goals. To writing and creating. Blogging, reading, and whatever else it is that brings you joy. Here’s your reminder to rest when you need it, and to connect with those who will bring you up. I’m a week late, but am wishing you a wonderful February!
My soft goal for February: Get my manuscript word count to 5,000 words. (eek!)
Photos: My image.