Off the Cuff


I was going to do another link post to showcase all the writing and book talk that's going on at the moment on All The World's Our Page, Voyages of the Artemis and Write On, but they're all there on the left of this post, a little further down.

It's time I concentrated on a writing post. I've been knee-deep in research, learning about all sorts of things like colours and painting, pilgrimages, money and currency, naming conventions, etc. Between university libraries and the internet, I've got the pre-Renaissance covered like nobody's business. Reading non-fiction can sometimes be an eye-opener for one's own writing. There's pages and pages of numbers and dates and statistics, until suddenly you come across a paragraph like "This cost 4,000 marevides. X petitioned the Crown and led a group back to Spain, on the promise that they would convert. Once in the town of X, they attempted to reclaim their land, which had been sold for 62,000 marevides. Records tell us that the house was worth 75,000 but the court had decreed..."

There's an entire story in that one paragraph and the author simply skips over it. By the end of the chapter my eyes were glazing past the numbers as I had visions in my mind's eye of a small group of dispossessed people, trekking back across mountains and flatland, presenting a letter from the Crown guaranteeing their safe passage, whenever they were stopped for questioning returning to a village they'd left only a few years before to find their homes and vineyards sold, changing their religion - these are all weighty matters. But in this book, we concentrate on the numbers... Makes for interesting reading and speculation - which is why authors are there, of course.

And in the background of all of this I've discovered some interesting truths about Rose's journey. She may even have found herself in a love triangle on the Greek isles - not something I was expecting at all! We'll see how it plays out.


Tara said…
Ooh, a love triangle for Rose? I like it!

My eyes would have been glazed over at the tedium, as well - dreaming of those people looking for a new start...

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