So I’m finally hoping to get back into updating my blog. The holiday season was a little crazy for me. One, I got married. Pretty big deal I guess. Preparations for that consumed most of my time over the month of December, as well as the birth of my first nephew (the day after my own birthday), along with all the other holiday family festivities. Now, I’m back. Work has also kept me extremely busy, and as I mentioned in my last post (sometime in November), I have been writing feverishly to finish the third draft of my novel. I wanted to finish it before the wedding. Well, that didn’t happen, but I did happen to finish it in the airport and on the plane coming back from
Colorado. We went to Steamboat Springs for our honeymoon. It’s been tough to get back in the usual routine of writing since I got back from Colorado. I’ve slowly worked my way into it. My novel desperately needed an overhaul in character name changes and place name changes. I spent the past week reviewing the names of my characters and places, as there were many I still didn’t care for, and I did a careful search of character naming sites and medieval source maps to come up with names that fit well with the time period of my novel. For the place names, I took the names of cities, provinces, or countries from 12th century maps of England and France and altered those names slightly so that at first glance when you read them they sound like actual places, but in reality, they’re not. My novel is a blend of fantasy and historical fiction — it’s historical fiction in the sense that it follows the social, political, economical, and military institutions of 12th century medieval England and France — but it’s not based on an actual historical event, person, or place — those are all fictionalized — therefore, I didn’t want to use actual places of medieval England and France in my novel. It just wouldn’t make sense, so I altered the names slightly, though not so much as to abandon continuity or a feeling of realism.For character names, I stayed mainly with names of English, Celtic, Gaelic, Irish, French, and Anglo-Saxon origin. There is one name I know that is Dutch (“Cobus”) and a name that is entirely invented (“Natas”), but for the most part, I wanted to adhere to names that originated in Northwest Europe or the British Isles, as this area is the basis of my novel’s setting. I tried to give a good mix, and I’m satisfied with where I stand with the characters’ names at this point. Some of the names were more difficult to find, as there are several characters that are spiritually symbolic, and I had to find a meaning that fit their character and stayed within the selected origins, which is why I spent the last several days (1-2 hours per night) determining the names. I was very methodical about it, as I didn’t want to get to the end of the fourth revision and realize I still hated my characters’ names. I also spent about thirty minutes of the last week hammering out and defining/editing/revising the timeline of my novel. I didn’t have to do much with it, as I had already spent a good bit of time previously figuring this out.
Next step: Before I can seriously begin the fourth revision, I have to go back and type out my entire novel with all of the edits and revisions from the third draft. It’s a 400+ page novel, so this could take me an estimated 3-6 months to complete, depending on how much time I have available at night to sit down and write. I’m also selling my house right now, so I constantly have to keep the house clean and organized, and if it sells, and we move, that could cause a delay in the writing process.