Saturday, January 05, 2008

Ravages of Time

The next story I'm writing has got the certain-to-be-changed working title of 'Ravages of Time' simply because that's the first thing I thought of when I started it. It continues the adventures of Apollo Valerius Delphinius; my Greek, future-seeing, literary thief/collector, son of the last Oracle of Delphi. This story is written in the same flashback heavy style as the first, where I jump around in the timeline in order to build the tension of the tale.

The setting for this one will very likely be entirely in Greece ca. 400 AD. Right now I have the Isthmus of Corinth as the location for the 'current story' with flashbacks in Athens and Delphi. An interesting stumbling block that I've been running up against is the lack of good research material for Roman era Greece. It seems that most historical study has been focussed on either Ancient Greece (800 BC to maybe 200 BC) or the Italian peninsula for later Roman times. Then the literature seems to jump to the Byzantine period of 600 AD and later. This is forcing me to be a bit vague on the street scenes and to extrapolate from known Roman customs and hope they were in practice in Late Empire Greece. As always, the little things that make a story unique and interesting are the things that become the hardest. I spent half an hour searching for a city to have something shipped to. Each time I looked over a map and found a city that would fit the story a little bit of research would reveal "Nope, this place was destroyed by invaders in 395" or something like that. Anyhow, I'm 1200 words into it and enjoying the process so things aren't all that bad.



I have a work-in-progress (I have to set it aside for a while, though, to work on something else) that's set in a fantasy version of Baroque Italy. Since I am playing a bit with history, and thus the plausibility of certain events that just didn't jive with the research, I thought 'Why not fill in the missing bits with whatever I imagine, and see what happens?' Of course, being a bit of a purist (is there such a thing as being only a BIT of a purist?), that's the only way I could allow myself to mess with the facts.

Scriptorius Rex said...

I've always done fantasy worlds of my own so it is interesting to be constrained by reality. I want to get every detail right and still tell a great story. That challenge is ending up being part of the fun.