Here’s the thing. I was planning (and dropped a hint or two on the blog to this effect) to write the Mediterranean-fairy-tale story for the last Rooglewood contest. Then I found out it was Snow White, and the two didn’t quite share a mood. But then I heard that every entry would be getting professional criticism, so I tried to make the plot into something recognizable as that fairy tale. But that didn’t work.
And then my sister said something about how the seven dwarves should be seven parts of a matryoshka, and I thought that was a neat idea, but put it to the side because I had nothing more to go with it.
And then one morning while our mother was gone, we were doing chores (I forget what time of day it was, but it involved hay), and I had an idea hit me so hard I stopped doing things. (I tend to stop working, without noticing it, when I get an idea like this, which is good, otherwise I’d be doing things on autopilot and chaos would ensue.) Then, of course, my sister noticed, and said I should pay attention.
But now I have most of my plot in a sort of synopsis form. I don’t do outlines, because things tend to change too much, and writing an outline is asking for trouble. Also, in this case, there’s a lot I don’t know yet, like the niceties of characters’ personalities, or the story’s theme, and things.
I stayed awake for quite a while last night, because the ideas wouldn’t stop coming. Only I couldn’t find my pen, or the pencil stub I keep on my bookshelf, though I had plenty of paper. My pencil and notebook were on the bookshelf in the kitchen. So I tried using the last thing, an old silver gel pen, which gave out on me in the middle of a title idea. I was driven at last to take out my ponytail holder and tie it in all sorts of knots, one for each idea — that usually helps hold them over till the morning, unless it’s a scene I need verbatim, in which case there’s no help but to get up and write the thing down — and this morning I still remembered all five.
I don’t want to talk a lot about the story yet, partly because it is for the contest, and partly because I haven’t actually started writing yet. But you can expect Russia, or a Russian sort of feel (I’m not sure if this one will turn into historical fiction on me yet or not), and red and black and blue and pearls, and an antique or curiosity shop, a touch of enchantment, and no kissing.
Also, in re-reading the story to refresh my memory on the details, I came across this line: “And the seventh dwarf slept with his companions, one hour with each, and so passed the night.” How did anyone get rested that night? It’s worse than spending the night in the hospital, if a guy’s changing beds every hour. How did they know when the hour was up? Who thought this was a good idea?
So for now, if things go as I’ve planned, I’ll still be doing my Rooglewood entry during July Camp NaNo. It will just be a different story.