First off, I’d like to apologize for not getting an update up last week. Not too sure what happened – it just slipped my mind. I’m not sure there was anything particularly exciting going on, but nonetheless. My apologies.
Spent a bunch of time working on research and architecture-ing these last few weeks. I finished the first portion of my Perseus book (titled ‘Prolegomena’) and realized that while I liked what was being written, it wasn’t matching my goals. I don’t know enough about the social structures and the chronology I want to have the setting thoroughly worked out.
So, I’ve stopped working on Camp NaNo. I like the work, and I expect that I shall return to it someday, but for the time being I need more background structure and research done to be able to make The Age of Heroes be the series I want it to be.
I often come across the claim online that writers either tend to be mostly gardeners, or mostly architects. Gardeners (also known as pantsers, or discovery writers) tend to explore and discover their story and setting as they go. On the other hand, architects structure and outline and plan ad infinitum. Well, I do; I find that I’m pretty susceptible to ‘Worldbuilder’s Disease.’
But I feel that what I really need here is more planning, rather than going in with ideas and dreams. The story I want to tell with The Age of Heroes is big – really big – and it’s going to need a lot of supporting structure underneath.
Currently, my plan is to spend the rest of April kind of haphazardly. I’d like to spend most of my working time on research and structure for The Age of Heroes, but I ended up spending some time on The Rule of Iron last night instead. I’m starting to get the itch to go back to working on my second draft, which is good. Rewriting is still awful, but doing the normal line-by-line editing can be an enjoyable experience.
I’m waiting on some more research materials at the moment (Amazon must love me), but currently I’m tinkering with the genealogy of Greek heroes (that’s the cover picture). It’s a huge, frustrating mess – and I love it, like a good, aggravating jigsaw puzzle. The whole thing lacks a lot of internal consistency. My plan is to try pinning it down to our general knowledge of the historical Mukenaian timeline in conjunction with the historical Hittite timeline. Loosely, the whole of The Age of Heroes will cover from 1300 B.C.E to about 1100 B.C.E. I’m still working out the details, but it will basically run from Perseus founding Mukenai until after the Trojan War and the events of The Odyssey and Oresteia.
Part of me is tempted to structure it as one large, impossible novel – something like The Rise and Fall of Mukenai. After all, in the world of e-publishing, we’re no longer bound by what can physically be… bound.
That being said, it would probably still be split up into multiple volumes, if only to keep myself sane. I’m struggling to revise The Rule of Iron, and its paperback-equivalent length is in the 250 to 300 page mark.
Like most new authors, I feel I’m much better with ideas than with actually working on them.
For reading recommendations, I’d check out Descendants by Rae Else. I read this about a month ago (I received an advance-release copy from the author; she’s a member of one of the writing groups I’m involved in) and it’s a fun take on blending Greek myth & urban fantasy. I suspect that it’s a bit derivative of Riordan’s books, but I haven’t actually read them (they’re on my list, somewhere), so I can’t say for sure. I’m not sure I found anything new from the book, but it was a fun read – and that’s important, too.
I don’t have anything concrete in mind for next week; my immediate-future plans are pretty reliant upon when books arrive. If I get them soon, I’ll be researching all week and hopefully working on a setting bible for The Age of Heroes. Or at least notes or something. Alternatively, there’s a good chance that I’ll try getting another chapter of The Rule of Iron chipped away, or finish getting that genealogy figured out.
Either way there’s plenty to do. As always.