The Lybian

Okay, thanks a bunch to Scott Oden for his suggestions for a working title for project codename "Inaros". I'll stick with his suggestion of The Lybian, which I like a lot (sounds better in english than in spanish, though, El libio).

BTW, as promised, I started writing, and having trouble, but I'll manage, I guess. I hope.

On the analysis phase I identified 22 items of narration. Item of narration (I.O.N) is my coined-term for story events that must be narrated in a sequential way. They can roughly be equivalent to chapters, but they need not. Actually I am breaking them into scenes, parallel scenes, at that, in which I am introducing characters.

The "problem" is, I have identified 22!!! My current estimation, based upon what I've written so far, throws an average of 5,900-6,200 words per ION!!! This is, the novel draft can be estimated at somewhere between 129,800 and 136,400 words! At 250 words per manuscripted page (which is a fairly standard metric in the publishing world, apparently) this throws a grand totale of 512-546 manuscripted pages, with averages of 23.6-24.8 pages per ION.

"Traditionally" (which is, in my two previous novel adventures), IONs were much shorter. For example, in Damned Lineage, my NaNoWriMo 2004 novel (which got almost mid-way at 30,000+ words), IONs averaged some 12-14 manuscripted pages... What's going on with me? Am I getting much verboser? Is this story complexer than my Mykenaean recreation of the myths of OEdipus? Humphr... Also, it took me a real world month to write those... And about the same for my Alexander "what-if" story, which is some 32K-words... Therefore, it will take me some 5 months of real world time (with few books reading!) to just write the first draft of the story... grrr... I am supposed to start my Visigoths novel in November (that's just 3 months to write this sucker... Ops!). We'll see...

Well, I'll add a counter that I'll update from time to time so you can check how I'm doing... So far, I'm about 2170 words, including title, TOC, and other metainfo... Let's say I have some 2130 words into the story... 8 pages of manuscripted first draft. Not bad for basically one day of writing, uh?

Of course, lots of it will get gone on revision. But nevertheless... it will be big... I better try to make it good :-)

Thanks for your support and understanding for the next years of novelling, I will need help, and your patience... (forward-thinking I got, uh? ;-)

OK, rant finished. Kallisti!


Book tittle wanted

All right, I'm almost ready to start writing the 1st draft of my Greek/Persian/Egyptian novel, at last!

The project codename is Inaros, but as you may guess, it's a bad working tittle. Therefore I admit votes and suggestions for a working tittle.

This is the one paragraph synopsis:

Lower Egypt is in rebellion, and the greatest powers on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea are there to fight for it: the growing force of Athens and her Delian League, and the huge Achaemenid Persian Empire. Three civilizations clash at the God-river Nile, and the result will determine who will rule in the Mediterraean, and, eventually the fate of Western Civilization.

My thoughts on it (in no particular order):

1) The Egyptian Expedition
2) The Egyptian Disaster
3) Rebellion in Egypt
4) The Egyptian Vector
5) The Inaros's Rebellion
6) Inaros

Actually, those are all pretty lame tittles... But I cannot find a great one. Anyway, I will start to write pretty soon. You can help me now, or suffer a bad tittle for the following months... >:-)



When the Real Thing is not enough

When you are researching a topic for your novel, story, etc and Ctesias is your (almost) only source, you know you are in trouble.

He was famed as one of the greater liars of the Ancient Times. Lucian of Samosata, an author I have started to read recently, (and to love deeply, he was good!) clearly exposes (exposed?) so in many of his works. Ctesias was a liar.

When Thukidides barely mentions something in 3 paragraphs, and Diodorus in a couple more paragraphs, and Ctesias has a couple of pages, you are in deep trouble.

This is, more or less, the situation I find myself researching information about the so-called Inaros's Rebellion, ca. 465BCE, and the Athenian help forces sent to assist him against the new Great King of the Medes, Artaxerxes I. This is an old project of mine, Hellas in Egypt, with Persians and ships and basically every single hoplological situation one can dream of (phalanxes, skirmishers, naval battles, sieges, escapades, lots of exhausting work, and all kind of war niceties, at least there wasn't, at the time, the term "collateral effects": you raped, burned, chomped and basically did whatever, and it was okay, such is war. Nowadays we have a kind of sissy morals).

Thus the story, if well told, should be good. Indeed! The problem is, the Egyptians lost, the Greek lost and they won. Therefore, understandably, the Greek historians barely mention it, as a small episode in the grandeur of Perikles's powerful, and more powerful everyday, Athens.

If you can help, I'll be thankful. Anyway, I need to write this in order not to go crazy with the Visigoths. It will help me to slow down a bit, and I will be writing! :-)



STOP software patents!

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We are asking our representatives in the European Parliament to save Europe from software patents by following the Buzek-Rocard-Duff amendments.

The Software Patents Directive, as approved by the European Council of Ministers, would legalise US-style Software Patents in the European Union.

How you can help
If that happens, software developers will no longer own what they write and can be sued for selling or distributing their own software. This would not only endanger your job, but the entire European software sector.

On Wed the 6th of July, the European Parliament will have the last chance to prevent this. To do so, 367 of the 732 members must be present and vote for the right amendments.

Goths and History

Investigating for your novel is fun, but you cannot get lost on it, as we have just discussed, or you'll never write a single line of it.

On the other hand, you cannot just make up History and be proud of it, for it will be a lie: call it Fantasy and be proud of it! (remember Lucian of Samosata, which incidentally I'm currently reading, pretty interesting author, indeed!) But it's History and historical novel or fiction what we are dealing with in here, Fantasy has its place elsewhere.

I am investigating the Goths, specifically I'm concentrating on the Visigoths, a.k.a. Tervingi, Getae, Gutons, etc on the Sources.

Problem is, the Sources are not necessarily trustier than any other current author that could write the History of its People (or others). We are used to manipulation of truth, and how easy it is to set in stone that someone is, indeed, the Bad Guy (do you remember "terrorism" and its, say, "malleable" nature?). I mean, victors write History, and most sources on Goths were Roman or Greek (and then, most when it was a Roman province).

Tacitus, Cassiodorus, Jordanes, Orosius, &c . . . Sorting through their works is like moving in moody waters. If you add to the mix Ulfila's bible translation, the first and basically only "Germanic" text from the old times, things get really ugly. I put 'Germanic' between double quotations, because the Germanic origins of the Goths can be doubted. At least the origins as we thought they were. Some authors point to Alphonse X's and Jordanes's texts to show the Baltic origins of the Goths, others suggest they are from Jatt (Indo-Iranian) origins, although, apparently, that hypothesis is very discredited nowadaus, and others that they were Germanic, but not quite as we thought they were, with very different origins (and therefore, probably, societies and culture).

Which path to follow when writing them?

I'll let you know when I find out. In the meantime I'm watching the nicer and uglier faces of Science and Scientific Method. Which I do like. And not.