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Camp NaNoWriMo Week 4 – It All Comes Down to Honour

June 24, 2012

I did better this week, but there’s still no way I’ll “win” Camp NaNo. I’m at 21,694 words right now, less than halfway to the goal of 50,000, with only 6 days remaining. I’m not going to write  nearly 5,000 words every day this week – especially not on work days!

June is just too full of many other things – visiting family, spending time with friends, berry-picking, gardening, forest hikes, swimming, vegetables that need to be harvested and cooked… and I’m simply not feeling the enthusiasm that I feel about the “real” NaNoWriMo in November.

But I’m not even as ashamed as I’d usually be for “failing” – it’s June, it’s summer – and I’m still writing! I may not write 1,667 words a day, but I’ve been writing nearly every day, and some of it is actually good.

After nearly 2 weeks of not looking at it, I’ve gotten back to “Goblins” again – and I’m working on the last scene now! Admittedly, much of it is pointless Theresa-and-Sophie babble again, because I usually work on it when I’m tired out from work and my brain has been cooked by 30+° C weather, so I’m not very focused, and just let them “talk”. We’ll eventually get to where we need to go, and I’ll whittle that babbling down whenever I get around to editing.

But “Goblins” is no longer my main story now. “The Legend of Larin and Liria” is. It’s slow going – maybe because I’m handwriting it – but I’m enoying it. I’m finding out a lot of new things about the world and culture while I write, and the plot has finally moved along a bit. Actually, it’s been creeping along all week – and occasionally I got bogged down in explanations of stuff like the coat of arms of Joshama – but today I finally finished the chapter. And stuff actually happened before it ended – totally unplanned stuff. Like Liria, the princess in disguise, nearly drowing, being rescued and, maybe, recognized. And I’ve had ideas for several scenes to come later on.

My best friend and I often joke that we must be two of very few people to regularly use the word “honour”. I mean, seriously, who does use it? But we say things like, “I can’t do that, it wouldn’t be honourable” all the time. I don’t even know where that came from – I mean, yes, it comes from writing, because our peoples – my Kivailo and my best friend’s Cory – are all very concerned with their honour. But where did it come from before that? Where did we even learn what “honour” means, if nobody uses the word any more?

We started considering that question more seriously when my best friend needed one character to explain the word to another – and then she realized she didn’t actually know how to explain “honour”. Googling for definitions, she found that many other people are also  confused about this. She eventually found a way for her character to explain it, but we still don’t know how we learned about it – I guess we picked it up from books we read, but I have no idea where.

In any case, “Larin and Liria” is a story that is very much about honour – I guess it comes up in most other stories I write, but never as strongly as here. From very early on in the story:

“That’s a very high price you’re asking,” the horse dealer said.

“And it’s worth every copper of that price,” Lonna answered, “because I paid for this horse with the most valuable thing I possessed.”

[Some time later:]

When they made camp that night, Tano asked, “How much did your horse cost – if you paid for it with your most valuable possession?”

Lonna replied, “She did cost me my honour, because I had to steal her.”

And that line I just love, that I need to translate into Tosacy (my made-up language) for the quotes from the Larin and Liria poem that I want to place at the beginning of each chapter:

Lonna, who by dishonourable deeds earned undying honour

I’m pretty sure there are already more scenes that I could quote, but it’s late and I’m tired… anyway, all the ideas that I’ve had for future scenes all come down to honour – it’s talking about this subject that leads to the friendship between Larin, prince in disguise, and Ilyo, a Lord’s son, and it’s honour that makes the final duel between Larin and Keschtaron the usurper work the way I want it to. Everything about this story really comes down to honour!

And my writing-location challenge? All week, it looked as if I’d not get a single new place, but I added a few this weekend.

18. bus

19. tram stop at Big Town Train Station

20. tram

21. botanical garden – greenhouse, next to the water lily “pond”

22. botanical garden – next to another pond

And I even have pictures!

# 18 – bus

# 21 – greenhouse. A pretty place, but too hot!

# 22 – at the pond. That was definitely one of the prettiest places yet, and also one of the most comfortable ones. They had deck chairs out on the lawn for visitors to use, so I took one down right to the edge of the pond, into the shade of the redwood trees, with a view of water lilies and goldfish and bright blue dragonflies – I spent several hours there, nearly drowning my princess (in a river, though, not a pond.)

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