Tag Archives: How Far the World Will Bend

Exploring the Creative Process, Part IV: Interview with Nancy Klein

We invited Thornton and Guy fan fiction  author Nancy Klein to share how she works and offer some advice.

GWIW

What type of environment do you need to write?

Quiet helps. A cup of coffee. I’ll often sit down to write after I’ve just exercised or done a bit of meditation and my mind is quiet.

 
How do your ideas come to you? Do you always write them or do you let them disappear?
A lot of my ideas come when I’m doing my daily walk. I’ll just go along day dreaming and things will often pop into my head and I’ll play with them. I try to write them down when I get home-this works sometimes, and sometimes the ideas are gone. Ideas also come to me in my sleep, but I never remember to keep pen and paper by the bed.
Nancy Klein
Nancy Klein
Do you plan a story from the beginning to end or start with an idea and let the chapters come to you as they do?
I have to have a plan from beginning to end–not every detail, but just to know where the main thrust of the story is going to go.
 
Do you prefer writing easy, quick stories or long, layered stories?
Long, layered stories are what I write, even when I think I’m going to create a quick story. Ideas end up branching off one another, and the story sometimes takes a detour or two.
 
Which do you find easier to write: dialogue or description or are the equally hard/easy?
Dialogue is by far the easiest for me–my betas often have to prod me to put more details in my descriptions.
 
Is there anything that you won’t write or feel uncomfortable writing?
I won’t write detailed sex scenes–I feel silly doing it. 
[Armitage Authors note: Don’t believe that her stories lack passion, however! Nancy’s sex scenes pack a powerful punch without all the mechanical details.]
 
What do you do to cure writer’s block? What advice can you give to new writers who might be scared to post their stories?
Just keep writing, even if you do a few pages and throw them away. Keep at it. Write descriptions of your characters, things they might say. Try writing the last chapter first, just for fun. Everyone is afraid of posting their stories–I still am, and I’ve posted three pretty long ones. Ask someone else who writes to look at your story. I have the best betas in the world–they make sure I stay true to the characters and details, and nag me when I’ve gone too long without posting (like now, ahem). Also, reading helps me. I will read something wonderful–often poetry–and it will inspire me to get in front of the computer again.
 
What is your favorite book and why?
I don’t have a favorite book–it seems like every fifth book I read is my new favorite. But there are some that I read over and over again, and I feel like they are fresh that 20th, 30th time–North and South, Wives and Daughters, Persuasion, Jane Eyre, Shirley. Right now I am in love with Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being. What she does with point of view and plot is amazing.
 
howfartheworldwillbend
Nancy’s North and South story, How Far the World Will Bend, is available at Amazon here.
And don’t miss her fantastic Guy and Marian story, Grant What I Wish, at Wattpad.com here.
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#NS10 My Favorite N&S fanfiction

Meek Margaret

Romantic tension between would-be lovers. Thornton with his book. He loves to read, too!

 

After watching North & South for the very first time, I was desperate to talk about the story with others because I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it. I found C19 within a few days. It saved me from certain lunacy (or did it?). What a relief to know that I wasn’t the only one suffering from the effects of watching a Victorian cotton mill owner smolder for nearly four hours. Finally I could discuss and ask questions … but that was not all. There were stories there! Other people, whom the gods had allowed to find N&S years before me, had written stories about John and Margaret.

I had discovered fan fiction! Cue the music from on high.

I spent hours upon hours immersing myself in Milton again through the creative talents of many fellow fans. I devoured all the stories set in the Victorian Era and then, still hungry for more, tried those that transferred the romance to a modern setting.

Eventually, I turned to writing my own stories. It’s the most effective way of getting the story fleshed out in exactly the way you see it playing in your head.

But what if you’re not inclined to write your own N&S story? There are plenty of tales to get lost in, written by those who couldn’t leave the images of Margaret and John swirling in their heads until they had attempted to transcribe it for others to enjoy.

Here are some of my favorites, heavily influenced by my long-term love for and connection to the C19 forum:

Traditional continuation stories

Pack Clouds Away My all-time favorite continuation from the book. So Gaskellesque: tender and passionate all at once.

True North Wonderful continuation from the mini-series written with historical detail and a little spice.

Mistress of Marlborough  Unfinished, but a favorite at C19. They go to Cadiz to visit Fred!

Variations stories / What-ifs

Fate & Circumstance  Unfinished, but so worth it anyway! The prose is incredible. I’m left with my jaw hanging every time. And the sexual tension is staggering. A must-read, but be prepared for a grinding halt to the story.

How Far the World Will Bend (also available at Amazon) Creative time-travel with spine-tingling romantic tension. I’ve reviewed it on another post here.

Under Compulsion Margaret is pressured to marry Thornton to save her reputation after the riot. Margaret warms to John as his wife.

Bring the Heart to Earth The premise is tough to take, but the reconciliation involved is a slow-burn delight.

Modern setting

Past and Present There’s a magnetic attraction between Milton hotel owner John Thornton and the girl who’s just moved into town. Intense! I love this author’s writing.

East and West Sweet story based on N&S although the names are changed. ‘Margaret’ is a California liberal who moves to NYC where she meets the conservative financial executive ‘John Thornton.’

Come Back to Me  Maggie and Jon endure a tumultuous relationship that includes crossing social classes.

Alternate Universe

Deep Blue Sea  Fantastic Regency world story based on N&S. The names have been changed, but ‘John Thornton’ is a sea captain! A creative and spicy spin on the story.

For Laughs

North and Spoof  This is a hilarious spoof that throws a little Thorin in with the stolid Mr Thornton. It takes a special skill and a little inherent wackiness to create a brilliant parody. The author talks about her craft and inspiration on another post here.

North and South for Dummies Who doesn’t need a good laugh now and then? A zany look at a few of the episodes in N&S.

 

You’re welcome to tell us your favorites!

 

 

 

How Far the World Will Bend

How Far the World Will Bend  – review by Trudy Brasure

JT in window

The Armitage Authors Network is thrilled to introduce How Far the World Will Bend by Nancy Klein for our first review.

If you haven’t read any of Nancy’s works, you’re missing out. Beloved by many for years at C19 and Wattpad for her Thornton and Guy stories, Nancy took the indie publishing plunge and released How Far the World Will Bend as an e-book in July.

This was the fanfiction-turned-published book that helped instigate the idea for this blog.

And what a story to be introduced to the wider North and South-loving public! This is not your traditional sequel to the story. Nancy loves to create variations of Gaskell’s tale, with new twists and turns.

As the title of her work hints, Nancy throws in some time-travel magic to swap Victorian Margaret for a slightly more modern-minded “Meg” from the 1920s. Meg finds herself in 1850s Milton with a mission to save the Master from a fateful riot. And this Margaret is not as resistant to the allure of the cotton mill master of Gaskell’s story that we all love to imagine looks and sounds just like Richard Armitage in a cravat!

I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t certain I would thoroughly enjoy a N&S variation with a time-twist, but it didn’t take long for me to be swept up by the unfolding story. And who am I to balk at a little science fiction added to a love story? With all the Outlander mania, time-travel romance is all the rage!

The romance between John and ‘Margaret’ develops a little differently than the original, and it’s entrancing to read. Nancy is a skilled storyteller, and she has a knack for evoking powerful images that linger in the mind. There’s a particular scene where a look across a crowded theater had my heart thudding, and then there’s an unforgettable scene where they finally kiss …

Kiss

( no, not like this gentle kiss)

… and THIS kiss rates just a notch below spontaneous combustion on the passion meter! Phew!

There’s not much of the plot that I can reveal without spoiling the adventure of reading this creative story, but if you enjoy Thornton angst and intensity, I believe this story will deliver. How Far the World Will Bend also deftly pulls at the heartstrings of deep emotions about destiny and loneliness. This tale has the honor of being the only North and South fan fiction that ever made me cry. (But don’t worry – it all ends well!)

I’ve given this a five-star rating at Amazon. It was pure enjoyment to read. If you loved North and South and have a heart for romance, I recommend this piece of romantic drama highly.

howfartheworldwillbend

How Far the World Will Bend by Nancy Klein (cover by Judy Worrall) is available at Amazon.

 

Trudy Brasure is co-founder of The Armitage Authors Network and is author of A Heart for Milton and In Consequence.  The reviewer confesses that Nancy Klein is a personal fandom friend and her editor. However, no favors or moneys were exchanged for this glowing praise; the reviewer swears that she has not exaggerated her experience in reading this book.