Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by VynniL, Jan 26, 2016.
Good luck! How did you do for the month
Good job! I finished last fall the first draft of "The Eagle and the Dragon: A novel of Rome and China" which at 250K is more than a bit long. But I have about 25 beta readers who have all been enthusiastic. I am on my third revision, and have engaged my first paid editor. She found the first 40 or so pages and remaining chapter synopses to tell a good well-written story. Let's face it, a 9000 mile sea journey from the Red Sea to China in 100AD is an interesting trip in itself, then there's Parthian intrigue in the Chinese court that gets them all condemned to death. A dramatic escape and trip back overland through the steppes north of China with the Xiongnu (ancestors to the Huns), and caravans around the Taklamakan Desert through Bactria (Afghanistan) back to Rome, that's another 5000 miles of adventure. Not to mention some love, kidnappings, pirates and some incredibly strong women.
Ya gov'ryu po-Russkiye, ni-mnego. And my Romanized spelling is terrible! My wife and I took a river cruise in Russia from Moscow to St Petersburg in 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Learned to love Baltika beer, Mashina Vremeni and other Russian contemporary country and rock and roll music. Took Russian in college (Naval Academy) and kept up with it a bit, but it has gone back into long term storage in my brain for now.
Relax and enjoy it... My two heroines I managed to capture nicely, with great reviews by women, and I am not a women, so it is possible.
Marcia Lucia is Chinese of Roman descent (captive soldiers from Carrhae were taken to China and settled in Liqian six generations before the story, the descendants grew up bilingual and biliterate) She is translator for the Chinese mission to Rome, and the Romans borrowed her and a few others for the return Roman mission to China. She is 22, was taken as concubine at 12 by a mid-level Chinese official also traveling with the party. Not a nice person, beats her, he is very jealous of her, thinks she is Da Qin (Roman) whore.
Separated from him, she becomes friend with centurion Antonius. She evolves into a very strong woman, learns to fight under a Xiongnu warrior woman, becomes lover with Antonius after the escape from jail (first time they make love, facing death, with ambassador, her brother, and the centurion's companion watching to make sure the guards don't come back for a cell check). Encounter Wang Ming right before their wedding in Liqian, he tries to take her back to Luoyang, ends badly for him. Did I mention she learned to fight under a Xiongnu warrior woman? As she tells him before the fight, "Si Hoar (her Chinese name) died in the jail cell at Luoyang. You may call me Marcia Lucia" Not the same woman.
The Xiongnu warrior woman herself is an interesting character, it was not easy for a 1st century woman to become a fighter, she has a long story to tell. Winds up pairing off with one of their traveling companions, a displaced American Indian he had served as deckhand on the Europa.
Focus, focus, focus! Are you a "pantser" or planner? If the former, don't try to structure your characters ahead of time, just let them talk to you as you write, and take their dictation. That is my style. When they acted oddly, I asked them why, they told me, and I wrote that down too. Bit by bit, their background emerged. I just read an interesting book on character development: have your character say or do something that you would never, ever do... but secretly would like to. tell somebody off, get in someone's face.
PS. sorry for the Russian blurb... that was for another thread with KateAmadeo, who is Russian. Forgot who I was threading with. Keep up the good work.
Good comments! Be wary of criticism in the early part of your work... of course it has a long way to go, you just started it! The first stages of your creativity is like, I guess (being a man) being pregnant, and you want to protect it and nurture, not expose it to a rough world for which it is not yet ready.
Your story about your writing groups was amazing.... there is a kernel of a short story there, a very amusing one!.
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