I wanted to talk about my book today, I think next week I will actually share a part of it. I don’t have a name for it yet, (I’m not so good with names). It is in part a variation or retelling of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, in the same way that “Bridget Jones Diary” is a retelling of “Pride and Prejudice”. It happens in modern times, but also the story tends to take on a life of its own. For those of you not familiar with the play, here is a synopsis I found from the 1993 movie, (check out this cast! So 90s and so wonderful!) all the others online were very long break downs of it:
“In this Shakespearean farce, Hero (Kate Beckinsale) and her groom-to-be, Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard), team up with Claudio’s commanding officer, Don Pedro (Denzel Washington), the week before their wedding to hatch a matchmaking scheme. Their targets are sharp-witted duo Benedick (Kenneth Branagh) and Beatrice (Emma Thompson) — a tough task indeed, considering their corresponding distaste for love and each other. Meanwhile, meddling Don John (Keanu Reeves) plots to ruin the wedding.”
Let’s pretend my book was actually publish, I imagine the back would read:
When Kate Mitchell’s Uncle told her the theme of his yearly artistic retreat, or salon as the French like to call it, was “Much Ado About Nothing” she thought her only problems were going to be The Pretentious quoting Shakespeare all month and having to see David Knight. It never even occurred to her that she would be living out the play. Can Kate and David forgive and forget years of hurt and past transgressions when their friends and family decide to play “Love Gods” to try to convince the pair that love is real and they can find it with each other.
This all began (like many things I write) thanks to one line in the play. I was reading the play for the umpteenth time, (I have no idea how many times I’ve read it or watched it, I know I have a problem) and came across this line:
Don Pedro. Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of
Beatrice. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave
him use for it, a double heart for his single one:
marry, once before he won it of me with false dice,
therefore your grace may well say I have lost it.
And that is it, that is the only reference to Benedick and Beatrice’s past. These two start of absolutely hating each other, and ripping each other to shreds and we have no real idea what happened with these two.
There is no real background. Of course “he lent it to me awhile” and “he won it of me with false dice” got me curious, picturing their back story. I read a quote somewhere that said something along the lines of if you want to read a story that doesn’t exist then write it. So that’s what I did, except I don’t know enough about love in Elizabethan times so I translated it to what I thought happened in modern times. I guess really it started out as fan fiction. It was only supposed to be a quick short story to amuse myself but it just kept getting bigger until I hit about novella length. I finally let my boyfriend at the time read it and he really encouraged me to go further with it.
Embarrassingly this was like 2 years ago and I’m still not done with it. I let depression and a bad breakup stop me from writing for over a year. Now I am back at it again, I’ve started at the beginning adding and reworking certain things. I believe I am over 60000 words since I completely removed ending of the book. As long as all goes to plan (and it never does, thanks life) and the characters cooperate with me I have a goal to try finish in 2 months.