Novel Update #4

April has been a particularly bumpy month. My daughter came down with Covid (along with five other kids in her theater group) and I managed to tear my calf muscle a week ago, so I’m limping, taking glorified Advil from the doctor, and start physical therapy next week. Good times. Beyond that, there are some cool things to report.

Public Speaking

I’ve been selected to teach a workshop on storytelling at the Toastmasters convention in San Antonio. It will be my first time speaking in front of a live audience (rather than Zoom) in two years. I’m thrilled to get that audience interaction.  I’ve practiced the interactive exercises and stories in front of several online audiences, but it’s different when people can’t mute themselves or shut off their cameras. The stage area is no longer eighteen inches across my laptop and three steps away from it; I can use the entire room to teach. It’s liberating and a little nerve-wracking too. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Novel Update – Witch Trial

Salem Witch Trial Baker, Joseph E., ca. 1837-1914, artist.

I’ve been working on editing Act II to make it more authentic. Plot update: After forty days on a becalmed ship, my lead character, Annaliese, has been accused of witchcraft. (She’s ten years old.)

Now in the original manuscript I wrote an exorcism. Very exciting, but a bit over the top, even for me. I rewrote it to have a witch trial which would be more historically accurate. Conveniently, the protagonist, William Mackenzie, happens to be a barrister, and her guardian on the journey.

Fun history fact: Witchcraft was a capital offense with a death penalty until the Witchcraft Act of 1736 which reduced the crime to a misdemeanor. My story is set in 1740. But since the accusation takes place on a ship and 18th century sailors were notoriously superstitious and pro-mutiny, the death penalty is very much still on the table. Honestly, I had so much fun with this rewrite! I’ve always wanted to write a witch trial and now I can say I’ve scratched that itch.

I’m part of a writers critique group and I just handed in my 5,000 word submission with the trial yesterday. I hope to get some good feedback.

Goal for Next Month

I’m still working on my villains in Act II. Lady Margaret and Sir Percy are being very sneaky and not telling me what they’re up to yet…

How about you? Are you working on your novel too? How’s it going? What’s your writing goal?

Keep reading and writing,

Lisa 😉

Copyright (c) 2022 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved.


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