We almost forgot you all today. We had to drive to Cleveland to help J’s parents in the rain. On the plus side for us, we scored some bookshelves and books. On the downside, the weeds are getting longer. From where we live, Cleveland is about two hours away, in part because we like taking the scenic route. But we didn’t mind the drive, because we are (as previously mentioned) a Unicorn.
As you may remember, it was on a trip to help out J’s parents, right after returning from our awesome honeymoon, that we started planning our very first novel. So we decided that our trip today would be the perfect opportunity to start planning our project for July Camp NaNoWriMo. For the first time since the Quartet, we’re writing a book together, just in time for our ten-year anniversary.
The book is actually something S started ages ago. But she got bogged down when she realized how sprawling and out of control it was (she blames Game of Thrones). Then S saw Mary Robinette Kowal taking questions on Patrick Rothfuss’s blog, and S asked for advice on how to proceed. Kowal’s response, surprisingly enough, was essentially that maybe it wasn’t the right project for S to be working on at that time. She cited Brandon Sanderson putting aside Way of Kings for years until he was a better writer and able to do it justice. Now that we understand a bit better how to write novels, we decided now might be the time to go back and tackle S’s abandoned project.
The novel is called Magnificent Kingdom, and it is the story of the war of independence that founded Myrcia, the central country of our universe. S originally wanted to do it because the two main POV characters, Edmund and Kuhlbert, are fascinating people—two of her favorite historical figures from Myrciaverse history. She wanted to write about how they met, and how they ultimately fall out. She wanted to write about the moment when two characters she loved crossed paths.
There’s already a rough timeline and some character profiles. But our goal today is to start applying what we’ve learned over the last ten years. We’re going to fill out those profiles using the character beat-ups from My Story Can Beat Up Your Story. Then we’re going to start thinking about making S’s old timeline of events into an actual outline for a “novel-shaped novel.”
We already know that this is going to be a very long book—maybe the longest single novel we’ve ever written (not counting the four novels of the Quartet and the six novels of My Private War). So obviously this is going to take longer than just one month. But we’re pretty confident we can at least make a good start. Once the month is over, we’ll both start working on other projects again (like S’s fanfic), but we’ll keep working on Magnificent Kingdom, as well. As we like to say, it’s always more fun when we’re together.
J and S