NaNoWriMo 2016: Final preparations

NaNoWriMo starts on Tuesday and I don’t even have a finished outline… ahhhh!

BUT I HAVE A PINTEREST BOARD, SO IT’S ALL FINE.

But honestly, not having a finished outline this close to NaNoWriMo is usually something that would make me panic. Not this time. Why?

Well, reason #1 is that I’m not trying to win NaNo. I’m participating for the joy of it, but I’m not forcing myself to meet word-count goals. I have two papers due in early December and I can’t afford to not do well on them. For the longest time I told myself I wasn’t going to do Nano, but it made me so SAD.

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so depressed

I love NaNo. I love the community, the excitement, the winner’s goodies, the friends I make on Twitter and in the NaNo forums. For me, it’s a month-long celebration of writing and those who love it, those who carve hours out of their time-strapped loves to dedicate themselves to storytelling. So I’m going to celebrate that, enjoy participating, maybe write 15,000 words in-between papers, and you know what? I’m going to love every minute.

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ok maybe not every minute but u kno

The #2 reason I’m not freaking out is because my new project is a retelling of a 12th century epic by the Persian poet Nizami about the last great king of pre-Islamic Persia, Khosrow II Parviz (the Victor), and Shirin, the Armenian princess with whom he falls head over heels in love.

So, you know, because it’s a retelling, I kind of know how it ends… no surprises in the 11th hour in this project (looking at you, Iron Queen, aka the most monstrous thing I have ever plotted).

Khosrow-u-Shirin is an epic romantic poem, one of five in Nizami’s Khamsa, or Quintet. Im addition to being masterfully written, it is a stunningly gorgeous reflection on heartbreak, weakness, and the realities of human nature that has the same resonance in Persian and Turkish literature as Romeo and Juliet does in the Western canon.

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Nizami’s Khosrow-u-Shirin was retold/ reillustrated so many times it was basically the Spiderman of the early modern Islamicate world.

It’s been retold and translated dozens of times over the centuries, but never into English. The Persianist Peter Chelkoswki has published partial translations and a summary translation, but never has the whole thing been made available for an English-speaking audience outside of academic circles.

*cue movie trailer voice* UNTIL NOW.

I plan to adapt Nizami’s poem for audiences who loved Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn and Roshani Chokshi’s The Star Touched Queen. My Khosrow & Shirin will be a YA historical fantasy of some 95,000 words, heavy on the atmosphere and romance, heavy on the beautiful prose (gotta do the master Ganjavi justice).

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just a little bit of romance

Khosrow-u-Shirin is already famous for its tangled love triangles and dramatic tension. I started my outline the other night and everything just fell into place. Like frickin’ Tetris. It was so beautiful.

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Throw in some magic, and baby, we are off to the races!

So… in a way, this has been a long way of saying check out my NaNo page and add me as a writing buddy if you’d like, because I’M DOING NANOWRIMO.

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I’ll also be Tweeting all through NaNo while avoiding deadlines (hahahaaaa my life is death this quarter).

In the meantime, I’m off to go study Persian! Nothing like a sparkly new promising novel project to get you enthusiastic about studying the language the source/inspiration material is written in!

sylvia xx

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