|pinterest: the soldier's cross|
1. I had a great, detailed, intricate outline when I began writing, and ditched it almost before I had used it. So sad, really; I spent such a deal of time over that outline... Incidentally, I wrote it in a large pink-and-white spiral-bound notebook during our annual beach trip. I still have the notebook, and somewhere around here, the outline also exists.
2. The Soldier's Cross was not my first, but my second attempt at NaNoWriMo. In 2008, caught up in the charm of this newly-discovered challenge, I launched proudly into a story just as the founders would have wanted me to: no plot, no theme, no ending in mind. It was about a modern-day idiot of a magician. Bad idea right there: I can't write modern-day setting worth a hoot. Anyhow, I think I got about 17,000 words total. Yeah...
3. Coming up with designs to show the cover designer approximately what I wanted for The Soldier's Cross was hard. And fun. I got to trawl through shelves at Barnes & Noble, writing down the titles of covers that caught my eye. I also found that I'm particularly fond of covers with a "watered" technique, where different aspects run together.
4. I went with my father to sign the contract for my novel, and when Jenny signed hers, I went along with her and her husband. After that we went to Chick-fil-a, despite Jenny's cold. Good times.
5. I listened to a great deal of music while writing The Soldier's Cross; apparently something about me has greatly changed, because I can't listen to music and write now. I recall large doses of Mannheim Steamroller (The Holly and the Ivy is a favorite), Fernando Ortega (Noonday Devil especially), and Twila Paris (Daughter of Grace is really the theme song for the novel). When I picture the winter scenes, particularly in the convent, my mind goes to The Holly and the Ivy.
6. I still can't make a pretty signature, and it pains me to look at books from the 1800s with beautiful signatures in calligraphic font. Enough said.
7. My clearest memory of plotting The Soldier's Cross is of the scene with the Duke of Gloucester and the slobbering dog. How charming.
8. Although I finished out NaNo 2009 with 62,000 words, I put the novel aside for a month or so because I could not bring myself to kill a character who most certainly had to die. I believe it was my dad who at last informed me that I needed to buckle down and write the stupid scene. (Well, I hope it's not stupid, and he wouldn't have said it in this terms anyhow, but you get the idea.) That makes it very difficult to say exactly how long it took me to write the book.
9. I finished writing on a Sunday afternoon, and made the mistake of immediately calling up Jenny to tell her all about it. I say this was a mistake because I happened to wake her up from a nap, and that's just not something you do if you value your skin. She didn't flay me (hard to do through the phone), but she was not terribly excited. Finishing novels on Sundays is not recommended.