Thursday, April 7, 2011

Research! Research! Reseach!

The book is coming along well. I wrote almost 12K words last month, and I'm aiming for about the same this month and next. I think that will just about finish the first draft. Then to the joys of editing.

In anticipation of the next book, I'm starting research now. Book Three in the series (no title yet) will reveal much about Paul's background. I've deliberately kept him as kind of a mysterious character because I wanted to focus on Dafydd. And I thought it was cool to keep some mystery around the vampire.

Paul is actually a minor, but recognizable, historical person. Nope, I'm not revealing it even here, although faithful blog readers will get the scoop first. He "dies" during the Civil War, at the Battle of Gettysburg, and if you are a serious Civil War buff, you might be able to figure it out from that. ;)

Because he was born in a different time, I wanted to read up on that historical period to get an idea of his values. Yes, he's changed over time (he is almost 200 years old!), but the time in which he was human would affect his attitudes and how he thought.

Obviously, I'm going to fictionalize a lot, but if I have a grasp on what he was like as a person, it will make my writing on him richer, even if most of the details are never presented in the story.

In case you are interested, I'm using Shelby Foote's excellent series on the Civil War. And I was just directed by another blogger to a book that is supposed to have a lot of information about my specific character.

One interesting attitude, which could be fun to work into the story, is how he might view attacking vs. defensive strategies. The South decided to fight a defensive war in the beginning, which meant they were reacting to Northern attacks. Based on what Paul would have seen, I'm guessing he won't be much for being on the defensive.

I also have been seeing some political parallels between then and now. Paul can be an interesting observer of current politics, with his own perspective.

He's going to be a lot of fun, with my challenge being presenting him through Dafydd's first person narrative. I do think I made the right decision to go with first person for the series, but it does provide some interesting narrative challenges along the way. However, writing a narrator with some definite biases is very satisfying. Nothing wrong with having some fun at my character's expense!

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