Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Remember When . . . Time Stood Still?

First, the announcements. Don't forget my giveaway of Christa's Walking on Broken Glass, and swing over to Sunnybank Meanderings for a really neat giveaway of A Stray Drop of Blood Plus. (The plus includes Companion Guide, bookmark, chamomile, lip balm, and recipe cards).


You know what one of toughest parts of writing a historical is for me? Getting my mind out of this world of instantaneous-everything. I'm used to travel taking, oh, a day. To get from anywhere to anywhere. Maybe a week, if you're going cross-country by car. I'm used to messages being conveyed by computer or phone. Which means you can find information out in about a wink.

Recently, I've run into the issue of how to plot out scenes and take into account that nothing happened that fast back in the day. The movement of both people and information took time. Often lots of it. So when I have a scene with a bad guy asking one of his minions to find out something from the hero . . . I can't have the answer coming back anytime soon. It's gonna take him a goodly little while to get a message to the hero's camp. Then to get an answer back.

In the Esther story I mentioned last week, I'm going to have to take into account travel times of an army of a million from Persia to Greece. That's going to be fun. Thankfully, I think Herodotus helps me out here and gives me an account of time.

The trick is making use of all that time things take. In Stray Drop, I put to use the time traveling from Jerusalem to Rome to build a relationship and establish what Rome's response to Abigail would be. I didn't detail much of the journey--a couple scenes, that was all. But hopefully it made readers aware not only of the passage of time, but of the shift in the characters themselves.

Now I've just got to figure out how to make the passage of time play into the suspenseful aspects of my 20s Egyptian one. Half the problem is simply realizing I must do it, so hopefully it'll come easily now--now that I realize that, no, time doesn't stand still while we're waiting for something to happen. It keeps on ticking, things keep on happening. We've just got to make sure the things happening and the ones we're waiting for meet up at that crucial moment. =)

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting blog. I think it's interesting to go back and time and have it stand still if only for a moment.