RSW Tenth Update

Behold, my gorgeous new rook piercing! Contrary to what the picture depicts, the gems are much bluer, and my third lobe is actually blue, not green. I handled my first-ever cartilage piercing like a boss.


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)

I took a detour and finished planning/plotting my fourth Russian historical. I began chapter-by-chapter notes in March, when I thought I’d be starting it for April Camp NaNo, but only planned nine chapters. I now have four and a half pages, 50 working chapters, and a stronger sense of the major storylines. For some reason, I completely forgot about the Korean War while plotting, even though three of my characters are in the Navy. Luckily, I found out there wasn’t a very big Naval role in the war anyway.


I also began the cast of characters, table of contents, and glossary. For the glossary and cast list, it’s mostly copying and pasting from the Dark Forest file, though some character IDs change from book to book. For example, someone may now be a husband, not a mere love interest; someone may be introduced in a different capacity; or someone may have a different surname or nickname.

On my WIP, I did write about 2,000 words.

  • My goal(s) for this week

Go back to my WIP, now that I’ve done the bulk of preparing for my fourth Russian historical.

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

This new character in the cast list, waiting patiently to be written into existence:

Dragomir Mechislavovich Obolenskiy, Vasilisa’s love interest and a prince by birth, born December 1919

Isn’t that just such a romantic Russian name? At first I only wanted to give Vasilisa (Ivan’s much-younger cousin, born January 1924) a husband with an older, less-common name like hers, but then I was moved to make him a real prince. Vasilisa’s father is a deposed prince himself, thus making Vasilisa a morganatic princess.

  • The biggest challenge I faced this week

Coming up with working titles for all 50 of the currently planned chapters. Some of them are just boring placeholders, like “Unchanged Situation” and “Another Strained School Year.” When I actually start writing it in November, I’ll be changing some of these dull working titles. Right now, not enough of them are inspired by song lyrics or literature, and don’t sound very serious or literary.

  • Something I love about my WIP

I do love some of the chapter titles I came up with, like “The Ivory Ceiling,” “The House of Kalvik Under Siege,” and “The Streets of the Future.” The lattermost title actually comes from the opening line in The Who’s “Why Did I Fall for That,” a song I rather dislike but thought would be appropriate inspiration given the era. The song prominently features the Doomsday Clock, which is at 3 minutes to midnight for most of the book.



Since A Dream Deferred is set from 1948–52, and Katrin spends January–August 1950 in Japan, I’d like to use bomb-inspired titles for Parts I and II. I’m thinking Fission and Fallout, Hypocenter and Epicenter, Bright Light and Black Rain, or Pika (Flash) and Don (Boom). Any strong opinions on which are best? I think the Epilogue will be titled “Red Canna Flowers,” after the miraculous flowers which started blooming 10 days after Hiroshima was destroyed. These flowers represented hope and courage to the survivors, and helped them to heal and rebuild their lives.

Copyright Rexness from Melbourne, Australia; Source Cannas

I’ve also begun thinking I should change the name of Katrin’s husband from Sandros to Sandro, which thus means his real name would become Aleksander. (He’s Estonian, not Russian, so the name wouldn’t take the Russian spelling.) I think what happened when I created him in 1999 was that I subconsciously remembered Nicholas II’s brother-in-law Sandro, only I misremembered his name. Does Sandro or Sandros sound better to you? I can’t find any evidence of Sandros being used as a name or nickname outside of my own character, and I’m such a stickler for onomastic accuracy and outlier names being within the realm of plausibility.


9 thoughts on “RSW Tenth Update

  1. Yikes! That spot for a piercing looks like it would be painful. I got the top-most part of my ear cartilage pierced when I was a teen, but it hurt my ear too much to sleep with the earring in so I eventually took it out and left it out.

    I love plotting a new book. 🙂


    • Many people say the rook piercing was one of their most painful piercings, since it goes through double cartilage, but I personally would rate it a 4 out of 10 on the pain scale. I’ve heard the anti-tragus piercing (which I personally have no interest in) and the daith piercing (which I don’t think I have the anatomy for in either ear) are usually the absolute most painful of all the ear piercings.


  2. Yes, I’d have to say that’s a very romantic Russian name! Nicely done on finishing all that plotting/planning for your fourth Russian novel. Also, I love the colour of your piercings. Blue is my favourite. Good luck with your goal this week!


  3. That is definitely a romantic Russian name! I think I need help with proper pronunciation, though. 🙂 I’m so impressed with all your planning, Carrie-Anne. Is this the novel you’ll write for NaNo? Best of luck diving back into your current WiP this week. I’m so impressed with all you’ve accomplished this summer. Have a good one!


    • Dragomir is Drah-gah-meer, Mechislavovich is Myeh-chee-slahv-ah-veech, and Obolenskiy is Ah-bah-lehn-skee. Russian Os are pronounced like long As unless the stress falls on them.

      Yes, this is the novel I’m starting for NaNo. I think I’ll be one of the two overachievers in my local writing group again, though I’m definitely not planning on getting the first 50K out within the first day or week like some of the overachievers I’ve seen on the boards.


  4. That Doomsday clock has me all kinds of intrigued. And I LOVE the piercings! Sounds like you are doing great with your goals, lady! Hope you have another great week!


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