Wednesday, January 13, 2010

PROGRESS REPORT 61: Sidetracked with Research and Other Tasks


This is the fortress of Amphipolis where Roxana and Iskander are being held by Kassandros. I visited these ruins several years ago. It's high on a hill (which would have been the towns 'acropolis' hill. A river runs below, forking off around it and eventually reaches a lake. There would have been lots of marsh lands - the perfect spot for boar hunting. So I'm trying to set up a scene where Iskander, Orion and the boys with their Greek tutor go on a boar hunt.

It's been a busy week and I am falling slightly behind in my plan to complete SHADOW OF THE LION. However I have been jotting down notes (bits of dialogue and thoughts). And I had an interesting time researching for a scene I am writing when the boys go boar hunting. Rather than go through all my notes, I decided to check into You-Tube and see if there would happen to be anything about boar hunting there. It turned out, there were a lot of videos. Watching them answered all my questions, including the feasible age of boys who might indulge in such a dangerous sport. The youngest I ran across were 8 years old (including the kid in the photo and one who actually killed a boar with a knife! The kid was 8, the boar was about 200 pounds! Imagine that! So boys back in Macedon hunting with javelins, bows and arrows were not even in as close that that kid was!

By watching the films I was able to observe, make notes including the sounds of the hounds baying, the boars squealing and shrieking, the men shouting (or whispering as the stalked their prey). It was quite a visual experience and saved a lot of time looking through notes I'd made some time ago. I also googled about the Boar hunt though and jotted down a few more details, such as "dos" and "don'ts" which will be helpful when I flesh out that scene.

This week my classes started up and as it takes me a long trip there and back to each of them, eating up my time, I haven't had much time at the computer to write. Today was a 'free' day but as it was pouring rain and I needed to catch up on sleep, I didn't get up as early as usual and ran behind, but that's okay, I did achieve bits and pieces and will now spend a few hours making more notes so I can complete that last little chapter segment. Then, it will be the final chapter of the novel (part of which is written). So I am pacing myself, not rushing it. Did a bit of editing today on a previous chapter and trying to focus and get a fresh start on this next part.


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Adrian Swift said...


I really appreciated your comments about your research. It was very clever to use YouTube along with online searches as a way to get the "experience" of it as well as information about it. Absolutely brilliant!

And in your last posting you mentioned reading what others have written to compare as you seek to imbue your dialog with the right tone for these characters. Another clever technique!

You've inspired me to look for new approaches to my own research.

Glad your novel is coming along so well. It sounds utterly fascinating and I look forward to reading it one day.



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