Thursday, February 05, 2009

Still no buggery

Page 240. In fact, there's no sex. Characters get married and have children in the space of a paragraph. I think this one is going right back to Paperback Swap when I am done. It's actually a chore to pick it up to read.

The only interesting thing about Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae so far is the style in which the tale is told. It's recounted by a survivor of Thermopylae, not a Spartan, but a slave who sort of joined up with Sparta after losing everything in some previous conflict. It's a classic structure - orphan wanders with mentor and sister/lover figure, loses both, joins up with the biggest, baddest gang he can find, or else becomes a close friend/servant of some named historical figure. I think I have read at least half a dozen books which start off in similar ways - nah. Many more than a dozen. Hell, John Jakes made his career out of an entire family serving as witnesses to history.

It's interesting to me because I have this idea for a historical fiction book based in the history of my Marketplace world. I hadn't given a lot of thought to what voice to use in writing it, though, and I wonder if a first person account would be right for it.

The trouble with writing in first person (for me) is that I like the ability to shift narrative focus. The omniscient and third voice styles allow me to jump around and give peeks into different ways of thinking and storytelling. It's something to mull over.

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