There haven’t been any posts for the last couple of weeks as I’ve been away on a wildlife watching holiday in the Philippines – of which there will be a full report in due course.
I can’t afford to let jet lag slow me down as there are plenty of things I need to do – including the commencement of yet another National Novel Writing Month!
Luckily, I got most of my plans in place before heading off on my travels – though for a while, I didn’t expect to. I have had little success with meeting writing targets so far this year, and even by September, there was a real block on my mind. I couldn’t summon enthusiasm for anything on my list of ideas, and I’ve never done too well with pantsing. But as it happened, I just woke up one morning and the block seemed to disappear, and I started making plans for the idea that had been my backup for last year: a historical thriller set aboard the final voyage of the RMS Lusitania in 1915.
Planning has been fun in itself, involving research not only into the sinking of the Lusitania itself (and the conspiracy theories involved, which will be playing a role in the story), but the progression of World War 1 at the time, among other things. Among other things, I also had the idea to bring in a character I had already created, Sylvia Deansgate. Sylvia was a secondary character in my 2012 Camp NaNoWriMo – set aboard the Titanic, which sank three years before the Lusitania – and I enjoyed writing her so much that I’d already had vague ideas of making her the protagonist of her own story. All my thoughts about what Sylvia did in the intervening years have resulted in a first act which may end up being rather longer than intended. Though Sylvia is a fictional character and not based on any real person, I was still a little unsure about including her as there are no verified cases of any one person being shipwrecked on both the Titanic and Lusitania. On the other hand, a few people nearly were: Alfred Vanderbilt cancelled his passage on the Titanic but subsequently died on the Lusitania, while Titanic survivor Lady Duff-Gordon almost sailed on the Lusitania‘s last voyage.
So, it’s the first of November – let’s get going!