on the needles

Friday, November 18, 2005

NaNoWriMo Update

Well - not much blogging going on since I have been working seemingly non-stop on my novel for NaNoWriMo - trying to meet the 50,000 word count by Nov 30. So far I am at 33,000+ not too bad but not enough to sit back and relax either. I hope I can make it!

It has been the all-Romanovs-all-the-time channel around here. When I am not actually writing about them, I am reading about them. Unfortunately, I have realized that I have bitten off a subject that is absolutely enormous with literally a cast of thousands. Writing a historical novel in diary format means that I have to have a level of knowledge about the subject that must be so detailed that I am able to include minute details in the writing in an offhand manner - just as some one who actually lived that life would.

For instance, Tatiana (Alexandra's second daughter) has a dog, it is a French Bulldog named Ortino. I need to know what he looked like, what his personality was like, what family stories there are about him, did the rest of the family like or dislike the dog, how long did she have him, who gave him to her, what happened to him after the Revolution, etc. All in order to be able to mention the dog once or twice in a convincing way.

The problem is that the more research I do - the more I have to do. Every question has an answer and also leads me to four more questions. The more I learn about the Romanovs, the less I feel like I know.

Ideally, I am writing this novel for people like me who probably have a pretty high amount of general knowledge about the subject. They are reading the novel because they already know the story, already have a lot of interest in the Romanovs themselves. I guess you could say they are "fans". In order to be convincing to those people, I need to achieve a VERY high level of detailed knowledge. That is totally not possible for the period of NaNoWriMo. So I was feeling a bit discouraged - being a perfectionist, I want to get everything just right.

I'm trying to remember that perfection is the opposite of what NaNoWriMo is about. I'm trying to embrace volume and speed and worry about accuracy and intelligibility later! :)

For inspiration, (and because there is SOME knitting in the book) here is a photograph of Anastasia knitting on the piano bench in Alexandra's famous Mauve Room.

Aren't these old photographs so fabulous? There is such an aura of romance about them - especially given the sad, harsh fate that met this poor little girl...

As a mini break from the novel, I took a one day class at the LYS in entrelac. Who knew it was so easy? I love it so far. I just continued on with my sample piece and am making it into a scarf - half in Cash Iroha and half in Silk Garden. It is my first time working with Cash Iroha and I love it! I love the plumpy feel of it & of course, the softness. The plan is to make another scarf with the mirror image entrelac design on it and knit the sides of the two scarves together to make a double sided entrelac scarf. The only thing I am going to dislike is weaving in ALL THOSE ENDS. Entrelac is the King of loose ends!

I am also attending a lace knitting class taught by Anne Modesitt this weekend & I have a one day Fair Isle class coming up as well. With all of this knitting distracting me I have given no thought at all to Thanksgiving - I sure hope someone else is planning on cooking for the guests I have invited & entertaining them as well since I will be holled up in my room writing and knitting. :)


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