A day ahead

I have not been as diligent with (daily) updates about JuNoWriMo as my comrade-in-words Kelly is over at her blog. Though I will not begin writing daily updates, I will, perhaps, try to be better about including a word count at the end of my posts.

That said, during last night’s writing session I got a day ahead (recap: to reach 50,000 words in 30 days one only needs to write 1,667 words/day). This leap forward was actually the product of writing extra during two days’ worth of writing sessions. I am very pleased. Usually I try to write two days’ worth on the first day of a WriMo, but that didn’t happen this time. Nevertheless, it’s always nice to have some cushion.

Princess Agnes has thus far been chased by wolves, entertained in a pleasant palace, told a story to trolls, walked down a road that led to nowhere, been kidnapped by toads, turned into a seal, joined a circus, and run away with a dragon. She’s made a new friend and travelling companion, the Golden Crab. Soon and very soon the illustrious Pooka will make an appearance. As always, when the Pooka appears I expect the novel to write itself…

WORD COUNT: 16,793*

* And before, dear readers, you begin to think, ‘Wait, why does Chera only have 16,793 words when Kelly has over 20,000’, allow me to inform you that Kelly‘s goal is to write 2,000 words/day, because her novel is going to be much longer than the standard 50,000 words. We are both on schedule for our respective writing goals.

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Under the bridge

Did you know it’s difficult to find any folk tales about trolls? Other than ‘Billy Goats Gruff’ that is. I was very surprised. So when Princess Agnes of Three Towers encountered trolls under a bridge, I had to make something up…

No sooner had she put one foot on the bridge than two trolls jumped out from underneath it, one on either side of her. They growled, and one said, “Wait right there!”

“Go no further!” said the other.

“We are the trolls of this bridge-”

“-and no one crosses without paying us first.”

“Good morning, trolls,” said Agnes, doing a small curtsy. “I am glad to meet you. I have not met trolls before.”

The two trolls stared at her, dumbfounded. Both were more than twice her height and four times as broad (if not larger), with leathery grey skin and scraggly hair that came to their elbows. They had droopy eyes and large round noses. Some would call them hideously ugly, but Princess Agnes found them a little endearing. “Aren’t you supposed to scream?” asked the first troll.

“Why would I do that?”

“Because we’re trolls!” shouted the second, raising up his arms and snarling.

But the princess only shook her head. “No. You’re not nearly as frightening as the boggart who lived under my bed. But then he wasn’t very frightening in the end. I told him I wouldn’t taste very nice and he would like my bedtime cookies much better. He agreed.”

“You had bedtime cookies?” asked the second troll.

“Yes, the brownie would sneak them up to me. Now, what do I need to give you to cross the bridge?”

I like Princess Agnes. When something out of the ordinary happens, she’s totally cool with it and stays polite. Her grandfather Silas and father Linus taught her well. The above excerpt is from Chapter Two, which I finished last night, bringing my novel up to 10026 words. The princess needs to escape her impending marriage to the Toad Prince. How will she do it? I’ll soon find out…

Myths & fairy tales

It’s only three (3) days until JuNoWriMo — because NaNoWriMo isn’t enough insanity for a few of us (meaning, me and Kelly). I have decided to write Book 3 of my Fairy Tales series and I am terrified. Book 2 was nerve wracking enough, and now I’m going to pull it off for a third time?

The Faerie King was easy. I was essentially rewriting Sir Orfeo, one of my favourite Middle English romances, and the Orpheus myth naturally paired with the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. The Harpy (formerly The Knight of the Rose) was trickier, but Beauty & the Beast and Cupid & Psyche came together better than I thought. Now I need another fairy tale, and another myth.

Do you know how difficult it is to find fairy tales about princesses who actually do something? And tales about princes don’t easily lend themselves to adaptation into tales about princesses. I have a couple of ideas that I am trying to milk into being novel-length. I’ll be writing on 1st June whatever happens…

At long last

With JuNoWriMo only 10 days away, I decided to finally put my room into order. I know, it’s only taken me nine months to finish moving into my bedroom, but there you have it. Hoovering, dusting, filing, hanging up the clock I bought months ago, posting pictures on the bulletin board – it was a day for being industrious. My room now is the cleanest, most organised it will probably ever be. And the desk – at last – is actually at a point where I can use it.

My folklore books will be at hand; the postcards used as inspiration for the previous two WriMos I’ve done in Scotland are arranged on the board, along with a NaNoWriMo guilt monkey ready to make sure I write.

More on JuNoWriMo as we draw closer to June – I’ll only say now that I’m really excited for it and my mind is bubbling with ideas…