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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Morning Java


Agesilaus II of Sparta.
 Here I sit at my desk at work.  My boss is on the road today.  I have a few tasks to complete, but nothing all that time-consuming or immediate.  So, of course I open Word, and choose one of my many ongoing writing projects.  This morning it is my Sword & Sorcery novella/novel (I'm aiming for 40-50k, but it could end up being shorter).  I set my old iPhone 3G, which serves as an iPod right now, to playing epic soundtracks (currently Troy).  I place my fingers on the keyboard, stare at the screen like a sprinter waiting for the shot, and then...nothing.

So, when the words have a hard time getting started, what do I do?  I blog!

From my last post, you know that things have been hectic lately.  But, this week things have managed to slow down a bit.  With school being done for a week, and my next class promising to be pretty low-stress (I don't even have to buy any books, as all of the reading will be from the online library and in "handouts"), I have put academia out of my mind a bit.  Not completely, though.

As some of you may know, one of my long-standing projects is a biographical novel about Agesilaus II of Sparta.  He was an interesting character in that, despite being born with a deformity (usually a death-sentence for a Spartan infant), he was spared, and eventually sent to the agoge, even though he was the son of the king.  He excelled in his training and is regarded by the ancient historians Xenophon and Plutarch (among others) as being an extremely just and competent ruler, once he assumed the throne from his brother, Agis.  And yet, his rulership coincided with the downfall of Sparta, from which it would never rise to power again.  Thus history often lays the blame for this at Agesilaus' feet.  Whether that is justified or not, is irrelevant, as that is how history has been recorded for millennia, and is only now starting to change.

Anyways, my initial idea was to write about Agesliaus' youth, of which there is virtually no record.  It seems such a natural fit for historical fiction, as I can make most of it up, as long as the results coincide with recorded history.  However, for a previous class, I did a research paper on this very subject, extrapolating a probable outline of his youth based on what we are told about him, what we know happened during his early life (as in, the Peloponnesian War), and what life for a Spartan was like during that period in history.

I got full marks for the paper, and have even self-published it as a Kindle for $.99 (it's listed on my author page linked above, if you're interested).  This got me to thinking about possibly doing his story not as historical fiction, but as a work of academically researched nonfiction.  I already have a decent start.  I could basically expand on the various points I bring up in my paper until I have about 80,000 words.  Seems simple enough, right?

It's just an idea right now, but I am going to seriously consider it.

In the meantime, I will continue to dabble in my fantasy and science fiction stories, and see where it all leads me.

After I finish my coffee, of course.

4 comments:

Keith West said...

That's why you're getting nothing when you try to right. You're caffeine deprived. It's a food group, you know.

Keith West said...

That should be "write", not "right". I, too, am suffering from a caffeine deficiency.

Tom Doolan said...

You speak the truth! Typos and all. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

They say nonfiction makes more money than fiction. It has generally been true in my experience.