Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Feeling Sorry For Myself

Like all authors, I've hit a dip in the road. Well, more like a crator. I've taken on a task I think is too big for me, and will use this space to whine about it.

Rant Part 1: I'm trying to write a trilogy about the Persian Wars, but want it to be epic (all authors want their work to be epic, I know). This could be really great (OK, it's clearly based on GRRM and Robert Jordan style novels, and so is the writing so I guess I can't take much credit) but what I do like is that nobody has ever tried to do what they've done for Ancient Greece. That I know of.

Rant Part 2: There's sooo many interesting characters in Herodotus. I want to write about them. I love character-driven stories and think a lot of people would be interested in seeing things from the point of view of men like Themistocles, Leonidas, Artabanus, Pausanias, and women like Artemisia. I just feel so overwhelmed. These real-life people are so hard to capture, and I want to do them justice. I just feel like my writing is never good enough. Strike that, I'm liking a few of my unique twists on some of the characters: Dieneces is an anti-hero (as opposed to Steven Pressfield's Dieneces), and Leonidas is stoic and no-nonsense (he's actually based off a Final Fantasy X character named Auron), while Cimon is brisk and rather aloof. But Themistocles is especially difficult. In real-life he was quick-witted, ambitious, had a sharp sense of humor and was willing to gamble. I feel like it's hard to convey all of those things. Likewise I can't decide if Artemisia is young and fiery or older and more sharp-tounged. The latter makes sense but originally she and Demaratus were going to be hooked up (^_^). I'm confessing all this because I just can't make up my mind. Not a good thing.

Rant Part 3: Maybe it's the layout of the story: I could just make it one novel, but it could easily be three if I just knew how to pace it. The problem? I don't. And there's so much to cover, and I want to cover it all: how Themistocles managed to convince the assembly to go to war (am I starting too early? Should I have a prolouge where he's actually convincing them to build ships in the first place?), the meeting at Corinth, the ominous signs the Persians should not go to war (eclipse, etc), the oracle given to both Sparta and Athens, the meeting with Prince Gelon of Sicily, the Spartans going to see Xerxes and offer their lives as recompense for their murder of two messengers, Themistocles's stealing money to pay for rowers and stealing a cake from the shrine of Athena to convince the citizens to leave Athens...and this is all for the first book alone!

*sigh* I can do this. I know I can. What am I missing?