I finished chapter eleven. That's a surprise.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

As I've moved up through the grade levels in college, I've found less and less time to actually write for myself. However, I've actually finished a chapter for the first time in a while, which is a pleasant surprise to me, considering that this semester I was working on a capstone paper (which I am polishing off as I post this - I need a break from writing academically every now and then).

I'm actually typing up the beginnings of chapter twelve, as well, whilst I watch the horribly inaccurate film The Patriot on TV. It's really just unpleasant when historical films are so grossly off from what actually happened. It's okay to stretch the truth a little bit to make the characters' adventures more fun, which is what most of us historical fiction writers do from time to time, but to actually change history too much...it becomes unrealistic, and you lose your readers and viewers that way.

With Londinium, I know that certain things are somewhat of a stretch - Basil and Dustin's friendship is a tad unusual, though not unheard of in Victorian times - but I've been doing my very best to make sure they're still believable people. The key to historical fiction, after all, is to keep it historical, but make sure you're telling the stories of real people (your characters become real when they appears in your pages!).

I suppose I should get back to finishing up my thesis now. Well, that and mocking The Patriot. C'mon, do some research before you put these things out, seriously!

Kynaston Jordan?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I was looking through my quote lists and I found this:

Oh! Ill-fated Bridge of the Sil’vry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

This is the conclusion to William McGonagall's poem The Tay Bridge Disaster, which is so beyond God-awful that I can't even begin to describe it. Basically, McGonagall is the Jim Theis of poetry. As he worked during the 19th century, I knew I had to parody him in Londinium, so I created the character of Kynaston Jordan, a horrible poet whose published works are a favorite source of humor for Basil and his friends at Eton during their childhoods. I somehow ended up finding the one piece of Jordan's poetry that I actually wrote, which is a terrible little work entitled Oh Grassy Knoll:

Oh, grassy knoll so green and fair,
You are undisputably there,
I can see you with my blue eyes
And will be able to see you there until I dies
The hills in the Cotswolds are very fair
Just like my own hair,
But fairer because they are green
If my golden hair was thus it would be so very obscene
I like to climb them and then roll down
It makes all the townspeople stare and frown (and want to drown)
Then my clothes are stained with grass
Into a church I cannot pass
I look very disheveled
Like a rebel
That really did not rhyme, did it?
Perhaps this poem I ought to quit.
I really do not know what to think of myself for writing that. At least it's intentionally bad. Anyhow, Kynaston Jordan's work serves as something for Basil and his friends to bond over as children and shapes them as young satirists as they grow older. Well, that and they just love making fun of it. And really, how can you blame them?

So here we go again!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Giving Londinium a blog isn't a new idea of mine. My original blog for the novel was my Livejournal, but obviously that began to focus more and more on baseball and less and less on Victorian London. So therefore, let's amend that and get this blog off the ground.

I have a Twitter account for Dustin synced up with this one - you can see what he, Basil and the gang are up to by following him (see the sidebar on the right). I'll also do my best to keep everyone up with what I'm doing, how my writing is coming along, and even some various oddities I come across in my research (and believe me, I come across a lot).

Enough for now - I'll update this again soon!