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So, now that I've written my outline (though so far it only covers what I've actually written so far), I've finally given in to the reality that what I currently have for the squire and crown prince sub plot is just not going to work.

So, it's out. Well, sort of. Everything I've written once these two characters are together is being taken out and put aside. There's been a critical timeline issue that I was stuck on and couldn't find a solution to resolve. But the solution has been there all along.

These events will still take place. They just need to take place in the second half of the book, not the first half.

And so, in pondering what will happen to them in the first half I realized I could no longer ignore a key element:

There will be a naval battle, a couple of them actually, that are pivotal moments in the whole story and I've never been inclined to show them. The way this story has developed I know now that I can't ignore them any longer.

So, now I have to start researching early (and I do mean early) naval conflicts for inspiration. So far, I've come across the Battle of Salamis as an inspirational starting point.

In this world I've created these will be, after all, probably the first actual naval battles in history.

While the research will be fun, it will, unfortunately push back my timeline for the overall book. But getting it right is more important than getting it done quick.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Jul. 27th, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
Salamis Bay is a pretty good battle if you have hundreds of triremes and a bottleneck.
cedunkley
Jul. 27th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
For the early stages there is a serious bottleneck that would enable a small group of trireme-like ships be effective. Later on, however, the protagonists' small fleet doesn't stand much of a chance on its own.

sartorias
Jul. 27th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, then Salamis Bay is perfect--there's some nifty detail about what happened in a few old naval accounts. Maybe the Persian POV is gonna be useful for your guys!
cedunkley
Jul. 27th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
I've been searching around with little luck so far. Any recommendations on either online or actual books that would be good sources of information?

My knowledge of early naval warfare is pretty minor so having reputable materials to look for would be a great help.
sartorias
Jul. 27th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
Okay, first, get hold of John Keegan, the History of Warfare. He writes clearly, and he's got a good basic biblio at the back of the book. I reread it every five years or so, to refresh my brain because (thank goodness) I have no experience of war to draw on.

If you want the early period, Rodgers' Greek and Roman Naval Warfare, and also, you can get plenty out of that old blunderbuss Mahan. The opening pages of Keegan's The Price of Admiralty might be useful, including his references.
cedunkley
Jul. 27th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendations! I love any excuse to buy more books.
sartorias
Jul. 27th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
I bought all these and they have enough post its and notes to look like they sprouted yellow fungus.

Let me know if you need more--I have a bunch o' ship and war books here.
jongibbs
Jul. 27th, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
I can relate to your frustration. On the other hand, I'd rather spend three years completing a good novel than simply churning something out. You're doing the right thing :)
cedunkley
Jul. 27th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
One thing I've learned is, if a writer is introducing something in his fantasy story that has a real world equivalent, it's important to get the details as accurate as possible.

It may be time for another trip into Manhattan to take a ride on the new Clipper City tall ship they just opened up.
jongibbs
Jul. 27th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Lol. Just make sure you never write a book about chimney-sweeps :)
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