<===Take a look at the ticker, folks. That's right! I'm nearly halfway through the word count and I actually have a roadmap of sorts to reach the end (plot-wise). I had a fantastic writing day today, one which began with an @NaNoWordSprints prompt for ten minutes, then ended a couple of hours later with 2300+ words under my belt. I even boasted about it on Twitter:
Yes, a nice, fat word count and the story is moving forward, to boot! Plus, the antagonist got fleshed out a bit and my female protagonist is gaining some insights that are challenging her character. <Yay, me!>
But I digress...
Allow me to get to the point of this post.
I am constantly amazed at where the book-related research is taking me. I must first explain that I write more or less by the seat of my pants (a "pantser" in NaNo terms). This is completely unlike how I normally like to approach things. I am a list-maker by nature; however, when I write, I hardly ever have a plan in place. [You're saying to yourselves right now, "Yeah, no kidding. You tend to ramble in your blog. It would be a lot more helpful if you were systematic and wrote from an outline."] Pshaw...
So, anyway, the fact that I'm a pantser means that random things that I don't know a TON about keep popping up in my writing, since the story kind of has a mind of its own. KWIM? Here are some of the topics that have come up in the past couple of weeks:
- Knights Templar--a topic I've been interested in since reading Umberto Eco's tome Foucault's Pendulum over twenty years ago
- "St. Anthony's Fire"--aka Ergot Poisoning. A friend in high school wrote a paper about the Salem Witch Trials and ergot poisoning, so I guess that stuck with me.
- Barber-surgeons--because, you know, a villain afflicted with the above ailment just might need to have a foot amputated (jus' sayin')
- Viking ships--although the book takes place past the Viking Age in Ireland, one of the antagonists is a Danish mercenary living in Dublin...can't say more on that
- Old Norse Words--so my antagonist appears more authentic
- Horses in the Middle Ages--because, well, they didn't have cars. Gosh!
- Santiago de Compostela--I was curious about major north-south routes traveled in medieval France (Normandy/Anjou/Aquitaine) and stumbled across this, remembering it coming up in some unrelated Ireland research
- A plethora of locations in Northern France (Normandy)--a hint that the adventure takes the protagonists out of Ireland (oooh, semi-spoiler)
[Hey, looky-looky: ^that there^ was a bullet-point list, which is similar to the alpha-numeric outlining that I used to use when taking notes in college. Yeah, I own it. I'm a nerd!]
I'm sure there's more that I don't remember and there will definitely be a lot more in the future. I'm currently reading a couple of books on Eleanor of Aquitaine and I have the feeling that my protagonists are somehow going to get wound up in the whole Thomas Becket scandal surrounding Henry II.
See, I told ya. You know you want to read it!
Oh, and I almost forgot THIS. New title that I like a lot more:
The Chieftain's Daughter