Sunday, January 23, 2011

Writing Update.

Hello, Gentle Readers!

Sorry I've been MIA, but I've been busy with work, voice acting and playing video games like Mass Effect 2. :)

That's not to say I've given up on my writing. In fact, I think I may have stumbled upon a great idea for my Themistocles novel. Why not start it at the Battle of Marathon? I think that would provide an exciting opening, and allow me to guide the reader through the most interesting parts of Themistocles' life with a few flashbacks to fill in his background. It would tighten up the story and keep the pace fast and furious. I've also found an additional motivation for his climb to the top: Archippe.

Archippe was the real-life wife of Themistocles and the daughter of a noble who may have been related to Aristides (my theory--they were from the same area). Archippe was probably out of reach to Themistocles until he was able to establish a name for himself, especially since he was half foreign and not from a well-known family. I think this gives the novel a bit of romance and fun, and an additional motivation for Themistocles to be the best man in Athens.

What do you guys think? Is starting the novel at Marathon a good idea? What about Archippe? Would that be something you'd be interested in reading about?


Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Starting at a point where there is lots of action is always a good thing, I would think. And keeping it fast and furious will only help its "sale-ability." My two-cents worth, anyway!

Mark said...

It's a neat idea. I think it depends upon how much time the novel covers, i.e. the Trojan War for instance took 10 years, but Homer puts the action all within a year, and even that mostly within a few keys days.

Carla said...

Archippe means you can add a romance sub-plot to balance out the war/action/politics plot, which offers a nice contrast and the possibility of a change of pace from time to time. It may also help you develop Themistocles' character, as the relationship with Archippe is potentially an opportunity for you to show other aspects of Themistocles' character that might not necessarily come to the forefront of the action plot. So I'd be all in favour of Archippe :-)
If the history fits with starting at the Battle of Marathon (I don't know enough about it to judge), then starting in medias res has a long and honourable tradition in storytelling. It's also a technique used a lot by Bernard Cornwell et al - start with a fairly frenetic action or battle scene and then fill in the backstory afterwards - so modern readers are likely to be familiar with it. Sounds like another good idea, definitely worth exploring at any rate.