Remember, remember Jane Austen’s Prisoner

As you know from my Twitter and Facebook feeds, the current word count for N is for Northanger (previously Northanger Raspberry Royale) is at more than 61,000. I decided to make several minor changes by adding some new scenes and giving each book in the series a new title. This has all happened within the last five weeks, particularly when I started my new temp job at Arrow and April 1st kicked off the biannual Camp NaNoWriMo.

For this year’s Camp April, I began by finishing and re-envisioning my Pushing Daisies script I completed for my screenwriting class at Towson University… But then I realized I couldn’t help writing the rest of my first installment of my new series. After reading and rereading several places, I thought it might need some more work here and there. Also, I imagined that something with a steampunk and BBC’s The Prisoner vibe merged with Jane Austen needed a stronger title. After all, a serious science fiction series could not thrive on book titles involving tea flavors. That’s why the new books will be called: N is for Northanger, W is for Wickham, and finally, C is for Checkmate (title pending). I’m still questioning whether or not I should use that last title for my third and final bookd in the series, or if I should use P is for Persuasion for the very end. Persuasion is covered in the final book, for it brings a sense of unity and puts all of Austen’s stories together, tying it off in a bow as the very last book she finished before she died. Prisoner of Austen, however, will still remain as the name for the entire trilogy.

Think of the titles as something reminiscent of V for Vendetta. That’s the way I see it, the same goes for my best friend, who’s also a writer who loves science fiction, steampunk, and writing screenplays; but also has a love for The X-Files and crime dramas/ murder mysteries. And yes, she thought the movie and graphic novel version of V for Vendetta was amazing. (We need to see this sometime when I come over, Kerensa! Hint, hint…)

Last November in 2013, I was blocked from writing my dream novel, mainly due to a mild case of a broken heart. For the official National Novel Writing Month, I didn’t want to touch Northanger after all the hurtful things my ex-boyfriend said about me being a writer and how books, newspapers and magazines will soon die out for good. I occasionally went through the book later, but I kept sinking further into a haunting depression that would never leave me be.

Then March, 2014 came in like an avenging fury. I got a new job with some income, I managed to pay off my first college loan payment, and I finally saw Disney’s Frozen. The movie was fine, though in comparison I thought Pixar’s Brave had a stronger delivery of the same message (you don’t need a man to break a curse), and in honesty The Croods from DreamWorks was a much better, vividly attracting film from the same year. (Besides, I knew the prince in the movie was the real villain and Christoff was Anna’s true love.) Still, Olaf the snowman was very cuddly, Sven the reindeer was hilarious, and Elsa the Snow Queen had only one awesome musical number that I wanted to sing at the top of my lungs.

You know the song. It’s all over the radios. Thank you, Wicked’s Idina Menzel.

In a sense, I do feel like Elsa, keeping herself in an icy fortress at the top of a snowy mountain to harness her powers. I’ve been cooped up here in northern Maryland for far too long and I need a little change of scenery to thaw this icy heart. But no, I’m not doing it by the disastrous, detrimental distraction of falling in love. If I had the choice to choose getting married or become a published writer, I’d rather go with being a writer. : P

That song plays in my head whenever I hit up karaoke places, thinking I’m going to show off tonight. The lyrics speak for themselves and you don’t really need the perfect singer to perform them. Menzel has a nice voice, but she’s a little on the tinny side, which reminds me of her role in Wicked as Elphaba the Witch of the West. Still, she can pull off the bad girl who doesn’t mean to be the bad girl.

Ellie Benson, the main character in my story, doesn’t want to be the slut or the bad girl, but she ends up acting like one in the real world before entering The Country. No matter what she does, she’s a shameless flirt who doesn’t take love seriously except when she dreams about Jane Austen’s stories. But now that she’s in Regency territory where it is frowned upon if women fornicate with men freely without getting married, she has difficulty getting rid of that part of herself, which is why she’s anxious to leave.

Therefore, I’m working on more of the plot driving the whole story of the scandalous desire of escape from love, no matter what shape. It’s pretty funny, since most of my friends from high school and college are married with toddlers now and I now have one of my own, only it’s made of paper rather than my flesh and blood. Prisoner of Austen is my darling daughter, and I am raising her to be well-mannered, even if she kicks and screams at me to be written against my better judgment.


2 thoughts on “Remember, remember Jane Austen’s Prisoner

    • That is a really loaded question, but I’d be happy to answer. If it were an actor, I’d ask them something pertaining to their career or a movie they just did without going all fan girl on them. For say, Zachary Levi from Chuck and Thor: The Dark World, it would be, “What drew you to these characters and roles as an actor?” For someone like an author, say J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, or James Patterson, I would ask, “What drove you and kept you persistent in writing the first novel?” Or just basically, “What drives you?” for everyone else.

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