Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Twist in the Tale

I don't like history.

There's not really a logical reason.  I'm not good at absorbing old facts and even worse at numbers.  I know history is important and it's not like I don't know anything about it, it was just always the hardest thing for me to do.  Numbers aren't my friends.  We have a mutual respect for each other and try not to interact anymore than humanly possibly. I've never been into math, I've always been into words.  

This being the case, it is complete craziness that I've taken on the book I'm writing

I'm writing a retelling of the Arthurian legend. Not a Arthurian legend, mind you.  The Arthurian legend.  It's a project I took out of love and one I'm living to regret.  I'm not a history buff.  My internet tab consist of Pinterest eye makeup tutorials and blogs written by history nerds.  Granted, my book has a sci-fi angle to it so I have some leeway but certainly not as much as I'd like.  For instance, if I was writing the true legend, my main character wouldn't even be able to understand what the people of Camelot were saying.  The English people in the six hundreds spoke an offshoot Celtic language, something no English speaking person today would ever understand. For those interested and wondering about the crest at the top, it's a concept drawing of the first known documented crest of Arthur Pendragon.

To add to the craziness, I have a main character who isn't a lot like me.  She doesn't talk a lot (I do!), she's a peacemaker, willing to be thought of badly as long as it means keeping others happy (definitely not me), and she's really smart.  I'm not a dummy but I won't even try to compete with the smarts of my main character.  I'm a writer who doesn't like history and numbers writing about a girl who loves them both. 

Along with these difficulties, I hit a bit of a snag. 

My main character was put in a situation which filled a few chapters of my manuscript and influenced the rest of the story.  The situation wasn't working out and it was limiting the places she needed to be.  For the last week I've laid awake in bed at night, trying to figure out how to make it work.  Yesterday morning (maybe a little closer to afternoon), I woke up knowing exactly what I had to do.  I needed to scrap it.  Last night I cut 12,000 words from my manuscript.  Might not sound like a lot but when I have a 40,000 word WIP, it's a chunk.  It needed to happen but it's leaving me a bit breathless moving forward.  I'm going to have to put in a lot of work to stay on schedule to finish, something I've let slip a bit this week.  Every two weeks I have to submit a chapter of this book to my critique group so I've been working overtime on getting it to a place where my critique partners can at least understand what I'm talking about!

Despite my fears, I can tell the story is already tighter.  I have to finish up this blog post to get back to it.  I'm in the middle of the scene where Gwen meets Guinevere for the first time!

- Anna Leigh

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