Saturday, March 01, 2008

So Here It Is

Well, I said I had an idea for the Owl & The Eagle, so here it is: start the book one to two years earlier.

This may not sound like much of an epiphany, but it really makes a difference. You see, 481 BCE (the original start date) is just too transitional of a year. All the exciting stuff happens before or after this point in time. By 481 BCE, the rebellion in Babylon is over. Aegina and Athens have somehow managed to hammer out a temporary truce. Xerxes is marching to Sardis and then sits there until the next spring. Sparta is digging in its heels about going anywhere outside of its immediate surroundings. Not much fun to write about.

Then it hit me. An earlier start will open up tons of possibilities that weren't there before. I can write more battle scenes. I can explain important events leading up to the 2nd Persian War without having to resort to flashbacks or long-winded explainations (i.e. "info dumping"). I can even introduce historical figures in the first book that I wasn't planning on bringing in until much later because certain historical events allow that to be possible.

I'm pretty excited about this and hope that anyone who's interested in O&E is too. I've been trying to write this book for three years now and refuse to give up now. I have that much confidence in it. Look for an excerpt soon.

10 comments:

Constance said...

Hey, I'm sure there's some exciting engineering event out there in 481 you could use to kill time until Xerxes gets off his butt and invades. *g*

I think you're on to something. When in doubt, start in a different time/place...

Meghan said...

That will appear in the story as well, but I can only have tribes so many chapters about a certain canal before that gets old. But with an earlier date I can have rebels in Babylon, a war with Aegina and Athens, and can even bring events to a head with one of the Circuit games (maybe the games at Delphi where multiple city-states are warned of an impending storm)?

Constance said...

sounds... complicated. I'm having enough trouble plotting out my imaginary world. :)

Wynn Bexton said...

Good luck with you project. Should be fascinating!

Gabriele C. said...

Sounds good.

I always pick a time rich in action - not that that is any problem with the Romans. :)

Meghan said...

Yeah I'd say Roman times are pretty action-packed!

Wynn Bexton said...

Speaking of ROME have you been watching the HBO series? I've borrowed the DVDs and I'm now into the 2nd season. Fantastic!

Carla said...

Sounds very promising! The starting point can make all the difference, but often it doesn't become apparent where it should be until you're some way into the novel. Then you look back, see the shape of the story evolving, and get one of those "Aha!" moments where things suddenly fall into place. It sounds like this has just happened to you :-) Good luck with the new version!

Meghan said...

Rome is a craaaazy series. I flinch sometimes because it gets to be so graphic but it's intense and very interesting.

Wynn Bexton said...

RE: ROME. And those men! Whoa!
That one female Atia, reminds me of my Olympias so much. Have to admit each episode leaves you gasping and sitting on the edge of your seat!