Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Below the Land - Update #1

Lately, I've been putting most of my writing efforts into a new novel called Below the Land.  It is a fantasy adventure novel that follows two pairs of siblings as they must avoid people who mean to do them ill, all while trying to understand the incredible yet dangerous powers of the youngest of their party.

I'm very much hoping it turns out as exciting to read as it has been for me to write so far.

One of the reasons it has been so enjoyable to write is because of the research I've taken the opportunity to do in order to better inform the story.  Specifically, I've spent several hours researching things such as making linen fabric, dyeing thread, and sharpening swords.  Each of these hours of research was done just to make one scene slightly more believable.

The reason I find doing this research to be important is that it helps a great deal to flesh out the characters through which I'm telling the story.  For example, while I'm busy telling the story from the perspective of a medieval soldier, I do my best to imagine what might be important to him and how he sees the world.  I concluded that he sees the world in terms of orderliness much of the time.  He prefers the things in his control to be organized.  At the same time, it's important to him to do whatever he can to help and protect his sister.  Interesting character developments tend to occur as these two aspects of the soldier's personality either align or conflict in various ways.  However, not every aspect of this character's personality needs to be so complex.  I figured that such a soldier would know how to sharpen a sword.  Because of this, trying to see the world through his eyes, I figured I ought to know how to sharpen a sword as well.

It's little details like these--such as knowing the proper way to use a whetstone--that I find can help bring a story to life.  And the deeper I traverse into this story, I'm sure I will continue to discover more I need to research.

And that's all part of the fun of writing.