Friday, April 13, 2007

What To Do

I'm worried.

I am writing three books on the second Persian War (yeah, I'm over-the-top ambitious). Most of the action in my series won't take start until book two. Book one is the set-up for everything that happens in the war, which allows me to introduce characters, places, and the events that lead to the confrontation between Hellas and Persia. However...

I worry about having too many discussions and flashbacks concerning the Ionian Rebellion (which occured at least 10 years before the story takes place and is essential to understanding why Xerxes is on the march). I'm worried that all the war councils and discussions about fighting are boring. I'm worried that my characters lack dimension. I'm worried about the overall layout of the story.

Do I worry too much? Not enough? Help!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Character Profile: Themistocles

"I am not of the noble Grecian race,
I'm poor Abrotonon, and born in Thrace;
Let the Greek women scorn me, if they please,
I was the mother of Themistocles."


Thems--as I like to call him for short-- is by far the most exciting yet difficult character to write about in The Owl & The Eagle. This man has so much charisma and ambition it's ridiculous. He is poisounous charm, foxy intelligence, shrewd merchant and zealous patriot. He's always looking out for number one, and doesn't care much about who he has to step on to stay at the top. He is the cult of personality, which makes it exceedingly hard to grasp who the real Themistocles is.

In my story, Thems does indeed have the bulldog face and curly hair of that famous bust you see above, but there's a twist. In my mind's eye he's a carrot-top, with orangish red hair set off by a pair of small, hazel eyes that see sharply. He's quick to laugh and most insults roll right off his back; he's used to them. He's managed to dodge ostracism and Persian arrows so little frigthens him except for failure, or worse, fading into obscurity. It seems he takes little seriously but he's always calculating and factoring things into his plans, because he is blessed with uncanny forsight. He is impatient and often blunt, which tends to rub some people the wrong way. The commoners love him though, because he is willing to converse among them and speak up for them, even though it's usually to his own benefit...