NaNoWriMo is fast approaching! With only half of October left, I’m getting ready for November’s writing in earnest now. I’m set up on the NaNoWriMo website (add me as a writing buddy, if you’re writing too!) and am putting the pieces together to be ready to go on my next project, The Princess Beyond the Thorns.
I already have 35,000 words written for this project, but those words are in a somewhat complicated shape. I essentially wrote two novellas some months ago, which are now Parts One and Two of the planned novel. I revised Part One before my September writing retreat, but I still need to finish revising Part Two, so that everything is lined up and sorted before I dive in to completing the novel for NaNoWriMo.
I’ve already gone through Part Two and determined where I need to add a chapter or reorient an existing one. The biggest changes I need to make are to bring Terrence’s perspective in (because the original version was all Rose, and now I want it split more evenly between them!) and to add in details and context that weren’t important when this was a smaller piece. So I need to rewrite around three chapters to put them from Terrence’s point of view, and add in about six more (mostly Terrence, but there’s some extra Rose stuff I need too). Plus do any revision on the remaining, less heavily to-be-altered chapters.
As I calculate it, if I take care of one chapter per day, that will get it all done before NaNo starts (with three days to spare). And if that turns out not to be feasible, there are less significant changes in the final portions, so it won’t be too big a crisis as long as I get most of the way through.
We’ll see how that all goes… In the meantime, here’s a bit I expanded in a Rose chapter, now that I have a better sense of her character growth over the span of the novel.
Instinctively, automatically, she reached out for Terrence’s hand again. She had known they’d be separated eventually, but she still wasn’t ready for that, not yet. Only after their fingers were entwined did it occur to her that the entire room, and the king, had seen that gesture, had seen her reach for Terrence. What would they read in it?
Without even looking at her, Terrence’s fingers tightened around hers and he said evenly, “I’ll show Princess Rose to her new rooms.”
A longer look from the king this time, and did she hear a faint murmur in the crowd? But finally the king said, “My youngest son has grown suddenly bold. How…remarkable.” He turned away, to return to his throne, everything in the movement speaking of dismissal. “Very well then. I expect to meet with you directly after. We have much to discuss.”
For just a moment, this felt like a solution. And then some little part of Rose rebelled, maybe the same part that had been so angry when she thought she was going to die. Because this was a solution, but it was a dismissal too, and she didn’t want to be that girl anymore, the one she had been in the before time. The girl who was sent off into another room while the men discussed important things. While they discussed her. And if she had just showed the king and all his court that she couldn’t stand without Terrence next to her—it felt suddenly as though, if she didn’t make some kind of gesture right now, right at the beginning, she would never be anything more than she had been.
Squeezing Terrence’s hand, wanting him to know she wasn’t exactly rejecting his effort to help, she very carefully, very clearly said, “I appreciate Prince Terrence’s kind offer, but I would like to attend that meeting. To discuss my return to court.”
This prompted a louder murmur among the crowd, and the king stopped a step away from his throne. He turned very slowly back around to look at her, eyes narrowing.