RSW Eighth Update


Ready. Set. Write! is a summer-long initiative hosted by Alison MillerKaty UppermanElodie NowodazkijJaime Morrow, and Erin Funk. Each week, participants post brief updates under five headings.

  • How I did on last week’s goal(s)

Camp NaNo July 2015 Win

Of course, those 52,000-some words I had as of winning on the 28th didn’t complete the book, but I did meet my goal of doing 50,000 new words during July. Some of those words represented revisions/polishings, but the vast majority were brand-new words. That was the weirdest copy and paste job I ever did, since I wrote out of order in a pre-existing document. I didn’t want to cheat by copying and pasting the entire thing, so I had to select the chapters and sections I did work on.

I finished the last day of Camp NaNo with just over 60,000 words, glad I made it that far before Shabbos started and I couldn’t write anymore. Overall, I wrote 8,000 words this past week.

  • My goal(s) for this week

Go back to writing in order and clear a few more chapters. My screensaver helps to hold me accountable and force me to keep going, particularly since my protagonist is on the left-hand side, where my stronger eye is.


  • A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

Igor relaxed his hold on [Mariya] and looked down into her large blue eyes, which now merely glistened instead of running over. “Please forgive me if I’m being far too bold, but would you mind if I volunteered myself as your own personal soldier to take care of you and protect you from anyone who might try to harm you?  It would be such a special honor to be the soldier who heals your wounded heart.”

  • The biggest challenge I faced this week

Having to write all out of order to up my Camp NaNo productivity, going back and forth between all these chapters and timeframes. I normally never write out of order.

  • Something I love about my WIP

Being able to give so many good, deserving people a second chance at life and the complete lives they deserved. Three of Aleksey’s four brothers-in-law were murdered by the Bolsheviks in real life, as was his eventual second-in-command, Grand Duke Nikolay Mikhaylovich (nicknamed Bimbo), a fellow reformer whose liberal views, intellectual pursuits, and equal treatment of everyone made him rather unpopular in the family.


Grand Duke Nikolay Mikhaylovich (Bimbo), 14/26 April 1859–24 January 1919


What do you all think of extending the Dowager Empress’s lifespan? I’d originally stayed true to her real-life 1928 death, but now I’m wondering if it might be a nice touch to have her still around at least as of 1930. I really like the idea of her making peace with the fact that her grandson revised the House Laws so liberally, married a morganatic princess, and named his firstborn child Yaroslav (after Yaroslav the Wise, an 11th century ruler) in lieu of a more traditional family name. It would be a really nice scene, in the baptism chapter, for her to admit not all change is bad and that maybe she’s been too rigid.


Tsesarevna Mariya Fyodorovna and Tsesarevich Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, 1860s

I already extended two other characters’ lifespans past their real-life equivalents, for different reasons. The scheming Miechen (Grand Duchess Mariya Pavlovna the Elder) stays alive so she can be tossed into the Shlisselburg dungeon along with her two oldest sons and daughter-in-law, and I kept the last Mistress of the Robes alive a little longer because I simply didn’t have the time or interest to find out whom her successor would’ve been. The Mistress of the Robes was the oldest woman at court, and one of her duties included carrying the Tsar’s children to the baptismal font on a pillow.


8 thoughts on “RSW Eighth Update

  1. That’s such a lovely excerpt, so sweet! And congratulations on your 8,000 words for the week and 60,000 Camp NaNo words both!

    I really like the idea of being able to let her make her peace with the changes, personally. It sounds like it’s already started writing itself in your head, so it can’t hurt to write it into the story, can it? 😉 At least you can remove it later if you change your mind, but I think that’s better than it not existing at all, it gives you the choice then.

    Good luck with this week! 🙂


  2. Congrats on all those words and on winning Camp NaNo! Awesome, productive week for you! 🙂 I think your idea of extending the Dowager Empress’s lifespan makes sense and it could give you some good character development. I don’t write historicals really, but it sounds good to me, haha… Good luck on your goals this week!


  3. 60K in a month! That’s amazing, well done. Know what you mean about writing out of order, I’ve only ever done it once for NaNo and I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. Good luck this week! 😀


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