Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Nanowrimo Day 2

I added another 3,200 words to my novel today, bringing my count to 6,219.

So far so good. I hope I can keep up this pace.

All in all, I must have spent about two hours on the story today. I spent various hours today, and I got two solid chunks so I'm happy. I am struck with the realization that I am naturally verbose in my writing.

So at a little over 6,000 words, I am already locked in to this story. There's no way to back out and write that other story that I was thinking of.

In a way it is almost writing itself. The nice thing about working in the historical genre is that the framework for the story is already set up. And usually, the stories are already quite rich. As they say: fact is stranger than fiction.

With historical novels, mostly a matter of exploring the character's motivations and developing threads of stories beyond that. Even if this story fizzles out somewhere in between now and 50,000 words, I can say I've already learned a great deal about history and developed some theories as to the reasons behind some of the historical events.

An excerpt for today:

Anyway, my old master said that the captain was in search of a slave who could speak Portuguese and Arabic. And indeed, he had come to the right man, for he owned the slave with such abilities. The old wretch began praising my talents to the highest heavens, a full reversal from all the cursing and beating he had given me for the better part of six months. No doubt he was trying to increase the price at which he would sell me.

The master asked me a few questions in Portuguese and in Arabic, and I think I acquitted myself quite well. He turned to the Chinaman and said only: "He will do." Ha! ha! "He will do." That is so like him. The proud bastard, but I love him all the more for it. And so they signed on the paper that had been drawn up before, and he dropped some a sum in silver that quite rightly made my eyes pop. I did not know I was worth so much!

So as he is leading me through the alleyways, and I am following him in awe, he suddenly stops and turns to ask me, as if it had just occured to me then. "What is your name?"

"My name?" I stuttered. "Limangawa, sir. But I am often called Awang."

"Limangawa? Awang?" he blurted. "What sort of name is that? That is not a proper Christian name!" And so we turn back and go to the church where he demands to see the priest. The master was obviously in a hurry, because he suppressed the priest's objections with a couple of silver coins. In short order, he has me christened. Enrique was the name he chose for me. Enrique de Malacca, after the place where I was from. He stood as my godfather, did the master. And as we headed back to his ship, he explains that he does not want the burden of the damnation of my soul on his conscience should he beat me to death for disobeying him. But that is the master for you, because his wit can be sharp when he wants it so.

That, my young friend, is how Limangawa became Enrique de Malacca. So it is he who speaks to you now.