NaNoWriMo? No.

Confession: I’ve never done NaNoWriMo. Even though I’m a writer. It sounds fun. You madly type about a gazillion words a day in the frantic hope of reaching 50,000 by the end of the month. Some days you procrastinate, and then you have to make up for lost time at the end of the month…

Someday I might. But more than likely I will continue to plod through the rest of the year and do nothing special for November. I’ll just cheer on all the other people who try to write 1,666 words a day for 30 days. I’ll like all their facebook posts and clap when they make their goals.

But not this November.

What am I doing this NaNoWriMo? Nothing. I just finished the first revision of Doctor and King, and I’m enjoying a well-deserved break before I dig into editing.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How’s it going for you?

Meet the Cast

What is a story without the people? As I’m going through the alpha reading phase of Doctor and King, (which means I’m reading it to my husband for insta-feedback) I’m getting reactions not just to the story, but to the people themselves. That gave me the idea: why not have a “meet the cast” day?

So, without further ado, here are the major players of Doctor and King.

Gervaise: [Jer-vayz] The young king of Averon who mixes his own tonics and doctors animals as a hobby. After all, every king needs a hobby to keep himself sane. Gervaise has a bit of a sweet tooth, preferring to start breakfast with a pastry. He does his best to live up to the expectations everyone has of him, but secretly wonders if he’s really the great king everyone thinks he is.

The Queen Mother, Margaret: A bubbly personality with an intense inclination towards mothering her only child, Gervaise. She does her best to keep “her boy” safe from intrigues and make sure he is steered toward filling her late husband’s shoes as king.

Sedgwick: Gervaise’s servant, who prides himself in maintaining an even keel and doing what is best for his master. Even when his master may not agree.

Evangeline: The princess of Sharrilock, a kind-hearted young woman who finds the charades of those who call themselves nobility insufferable. She enjoys the occasional bout of sarcasm, and hopes to one day try her hand at raising bees.

King Oberon: Evangeline’s father, a stern-looking man with a temper, but with a sincere heart and a desire to provide for his daughter as best he can.

Clara: Evangeline’s cousin, a micro-manager extrordinaire. She hates men, due to bad experiences with a drunken father, but is not above trying a few rounds of swordplay with any man willing to try his skill against her. She usually wins.

Constance: Clara’s sister, a timid personality who relies on her sister and clings to her, but is secretly afraid of her. Evangeline is her best friend, and the two share many secrets, but Constance won’t share this one with anyone—not unless she has to.

Revising: Dread or Delight?

Many authors groan at the idea of revision. I used to. I mean, I could sit there forever, staring at a scene that needed revising, wondering just where to begin, afraid to accidentally delete the best part.

Fortunately I’ve come a long way since then. In fact, I absolutely love revision! I love taking the first draft and carving it into clearer, sharper focus.

My transition from fearfully tweaking a sentence or two, to boldly chopping, rearranging, even rewriting, came with the discovery of a simple trick. Here’s the trick: whenever I came to a scene that needed rewriting, I would copy and paste it to another document before changing the original. That way I knew I had a backup if I didn’t like the rewrite.

Do you know what happened? I never, ever, had to use the backup. Rewriting really works! It always turns out better than the original! Who knew, right? But that backup broke through my mental barriers that made rewriting difficult.

Now I love it! And the best part? I don’t have to use a backup anymore.