What I’m Reading
No change from the books reported in previous weeks.
What I’m Writing
I claimed my victory on Day 23 and a bit over 51,000 words. The book is still far from over (I’m guesstimating 150,00–200,000 words), but I’ve got more than 60,000 words out of the way already. I wish I’d known sooner that you don’t need to write a book that’s complete at only 50K, or I would’ve been officially doing NaNo for the last few years!
I left a lot of deliberately unfinished chapters and gaps to get back to, which is really uncharacteristic for me. Normally I never write out of order, particularly not on purpose. After November, I can go back in the proper order and flesh things out, pay more attention to areas I skimped or left for later. I’ve got to research things like the Belleville neighbourhood of Paris (in the Twentieth Arrondissement), the Siege of Leningrad (whose name is changed back to St. Petersburg in my alternative history), and the husbands I’m giving the four Grand Duchesses. I already chose Prince Konstantin Konstantinovich for Olga and Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley for Tatyana, both of whom were murdered in real life.
Sometimes it’s kind of unsettling to think about how so many of my characters were murdered in real life, and that they never had these miraculous rescues and happy endings. But it’s one of those stories I just had to write, or my conscience never would’ve forgiven me. This story is all for the sake of that beautiful, innocent boy who so deserved a happy ending, the chance to live into adulthood, a beautiful wife, and healthy children.
What Works for Me
I can’t believe I’m actually writing out of order for this WIP. That’s not something I’ve ever done, with rare exceptions like writing the end of Cinnimin way ahead of time just to get Cinni’s death out of the way and not have to constantly dread it as it got ever closer. In this particular instance, it’s working. If I’m not feeling a particular chapter, I can just skip ahead to something I want to write more, and if I haven’t done enough research to write something well, I can focus on something else, like the coronation or wedding chapters.
I’m skipping back and forth between all four Parts— “The Boy Tsar” (July 1918–?), “Awaiting on the Throne” (August 1922–?), “A Most Unusual Sovereign” (August 1929–perhaps early 1931), and “Tsar Aleksey the Savior” (September 1939–May 1945). I also want to write an Epilogue, modeling it after Deuteronomy 34. That’s just such a powerful ending, particularly the final line, “Never again did there arise….”
What Else I’ve Been Up To
That mystery bug I’ve been suffering for two weeks, and the violent lingering cough, isn’t the result of bronchitis or pneumonia. Apparently I’ve developed asthma in adulthood, which really exacerbated my coughing fits. I was put on an antibiotic, Prednisone, and an inhaler. I wish I’d also been given cough syrup laced with codeine, but they didn’t want to keep me too drugged or suppress the cough too much.
I also finally found a beyond-awesome deal on a 72-count set of Derwent Artbars, made even cheaper by several Amazon gift cards and such I had. They’re like wax pastel sticks, watersoluble, and grouped by tones—Brights, Pales, Earths, and Darks. Since I love the Derwent Inktense pencils so much, I’m greatly looking forward to finally getting to draw with the Artbars.