NaNo Update: Random Facts I’ve Learned This Month

I have officially crossed the 50K mark and I hope many of you have too!

But you know me, never satisfied with a challenge unless it’s the super-duper insanity-inducing kind, so my goal this month was never to hit 50K, but rather to finish the first draft of my Secret Nano Project of 2012, which I’ve always expected to come in around the 75K word mark.

But after 10 days of travel and 7 days of Cress revisions, I made it to November 24 with a mere 24,000 words written! *dies*

So the last five days have been a flurry of words as I’ve tried to catch up. I’m still aiming to write “The End” by midnight tomorrow, but with 15,000-20,000 words still to go, well, we’ll see. Wish me luck!

As I was preparing to write this last-ditch-effort blog post, I got to thinking about the crazy world of writing, and all the things that turn up in a novel that you never would have expected. Particularly all the strange things you have to research in order to get that one necessary detail. You just never know what you’re going to dig up, which is why I think writers in general tend to be curious people.

Here are some of the neat things I’ve learned during the researching of my Secret Nano Project:

* Snapping turtles (which are used to make turtle soup) are typically killed by cutting off their heads… but they die slowly, and can continue to both crawl AND bite even after their heads have been severed.

* Court jesters were often considered to be “outside the court” and were often the only people allowed to poke fun of the royal family and the gentry, even to their face. Their frankness and openness often led to them becoming trusted advisers of the same people they were mocking.

* Before the regency era, English ladies would sometimes pat down their dresses with water to make them skintight. (This was, of course, before the prim and proper days of the Victorian era, but still – who would have thought?)

* An early version of the yard game badminton was called battledore and shuttlecock – it was essentially the same game but without a net.

* The largest pumpkin ever grown (according to Guinness) weighed 1,810.5 pounds. It was grown in Ohio in 2010.

* Card flourishers are cool. (Okay, that one’s not a scientific fact, but… come on. They just are.)

Source: via Marissa on Pinterest

What interesting tidbits have you learned lately?