Day Four

Nov. 4th, 2010 11:54 pm
rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
Today is brought to you by a somewhat tired and grumpy Rhian. Today's writing involved the proper introduction of the women of the court, mostly Ragnelle and Guinevere, and it turns out that I rather like Guinevere after all. I was worried I wouldn't, and that she was going to be a character it'd be hard to like, but her backstory changes things somewhat.

After my post yesterday asserting that Gaheris is asexual, I realised that I'd love to write an asexual romance between Gaheris and Enide. According to the definition of courtly love that operates in a few of the texts I've read, that'd be the perfect courtly relationship -- love and duty without the distractions of sex. Hmmm.

(I should probably go and read an excerpt from C.S. Lewis' ideas on courtly love, for a class. That, however, will have to wait.)

In any case, tomorrow I get to embark on writing a version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as told by Ragnelle, from this verse. I've done that before, but that had a completely different tone. That whole chunk will be excised from the final draft of this story, probably, but it'll be good to know -- I need to know how the magic will function in the story, if at all, and how fantastical it will all be. In theory I know this already, but in practice, I think Ragnelle needs to tell me.

How's anyone else doing? Managing to get anything else done, other than writing? I'm trying to get reading -- I've been reading Joseph Hansen's Brandstetter novels, but haven't touched them so far this month, and I got a couple of new books that I'd been excited about but haven't even cracked open yet. Sigh.


Oct. 6th, 2010 11:29 pm
rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
I come to you from the depths of deep woe with our connection! Seriously, O2 internet with a BT phoneline? Don't do it. Just don't do it.

Anyway, I haven't really said much about myself here, yet. Mostly consciously: I want to focus on writing, not on myself. Not totally consciously, though: partly it's just that I've had an online presence for about ten years now, and I'm not used to starting new. But I do have to tell you a little bit about me and what I'm up to, to tell you about my project for NaNoWriMo 2010.

I've done NaNoWriMo every year since I was fifteen, with various levels of seriousness. At fifteen, I was deadly serious. It was going to be my magnum opus, you know? Since then, I've generally been more blasé about it, sometimes even half-hearted. This year, it kinda matters again, because I've got this big idea and it's going to be a major project and people are actually (hopefully!) going to read it. It's going to be out there for public consumption. And I'm basing it on a story that means a lot to me -- a story I've always loved, with varying degrees of passion. A story that many, many people have loved, but which originated -- as best as can be made out -- from my own culture. From Wales.

(If you haven't got it yet, I'm ashamed of you.)

My story for this year is going to be based on Arthurian legend. It's not going to centre around Arthur himself, as far as I can make out, but that's pretty much a part of the tradition. The main character is going to be Gawain (Gwalchmai), probably supported mostly by his wife (Ragnelle, aka the Loathly Lady), and his brother, Gaheris. I'm going to pull from a range of sources (the earliest being Nennius and The Mabinogion!), but it's not going to be Yet Another Arthurian Retelling with damsels and so on. Instead, Gawain's presented with a rather sticky problem: he and his brothers were the only knights away from Arthur's court when a murder took place. Fingers are being pointed everywhere, and only Gawain is judged neutral enough to investigate.

The first thing I knew was that Gawain would be the detective character. I also knew that Ragnelle and Gaheris would play a part, given that I've developed both their characters in short stories and such, and fallen rather in love with them. After that, I was stumped. Who could the murderer be?

And then I stopped, again. Never mind the murderer, who is the victim? At first, I was thinking in terms of a Nameless Knight -- the medieval equivalent of a Redshirt? -- or perhaps an emissary from Rome, who would be killed for political reasons. (In various of the medieval sources, Arthur eventually conquers most of Europe, including Rome, after they remind him that he should probably be paying tribute to them.)

After that thought came the realisation that it doesn't have to be a Redshirt. Who says this has to be disconnected from the traditional path of the Arthurian canon? And so I had my murderer -- no more hints on that score, though. That's your one and only hint! My choice for the victim came a little later, when I was reading Nennius for a class. One particular character's death clicked into place as an excellent thing to use: a small reference that no one will get, unless they've read that particular source text too, but... that's the kind of thing I'd love to see, if I were reading Arthurian novels right now.

If only my title would come this easily.

I have to say, it's so handy doing a degree like English Literature in which, if I play my cards right, research for my classes means research for my novel/s. I've done a module on Crime Fiction, and now I'm doing one on Medieval Arthurian Literature. Handy!

Still working on a short story to post here. The aforesaid research has been getting in the way somewhat!


rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
Rhian Crockett

August 2013



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