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Characters

July 29, 2005

Despite my best-laid plans, I did not manage to do much in the way of writing while on vacation.  Okay, I actually did not manage to do anything in the way of writing.  We were moving around too much, doing too much, seeing too much, and when I did find time to write, I was usually frustrated by the agonizingly slow iBook that I brought along (my usual HP was too wide to fit in the bag).  After a few attempts, I gave up altogether, and devoted myself instead to thinking about the novel.

It was helpful, I think, seeing some of the locales in which the story unfolds.  It clarified little things such as movements of armies and lines of sight.  Seeing the Italian countryside, I understood how it would be possible for one army to watch the movements of another from three miles away with ease.  I had a chance to see how the topography of  Spain’s coast could dictate strategy and the conduct of campaigns. 

Beyond these topographic and logistical insights, however, I did a lot of pondering over the story itself, or rather, the portrayal of the story.  I questioned how I had developed certain characters, plotted how I would further develop others, and put down thoughts on certain section revisions.

As I worked, I came to a realization.  The Scourge of Rome has three main perspective characters – characters through whose eyes we see the story unfold.  Two, Flaminius and Fabius, are accomplished politicians, both senators, both having already held the office of consul.  The third, Scipio, is the son of a consul, and himself destined for the Senate one day.  Though they are all vastly different characters, all three are nevertheless aristocrats, the top 1% of Roman society. 

When I set out on this journey, I was determined to tell the story from an entirely Roman perspective.  I never intended for that perspective to be limited to one class of Roman society, however, and am now taking steps to correct my oversight.

The forthcoming books in the series will make perspective characters out of a more diverse cast that includes a slave, a senator’s wife, a father joining the legions to avenge the son he lost at Cannae, and a young man from a wealthy but obscure family trying to break his way into the ranks of the aristocracy.

The current book is a different beast.  With the story already set out and twelve of fifteen chapters already written, my options are more…limited.  Still, I have decided to go back and insert another perspective character – a centurion by the name of Aulus Mamercus.

I won’t go into detail about Mamercus here, but I will say this – his character arc will be every bit as trying and as ultimately gratifying as Scipio’s, and that together the two of them will become the two most prominent characters of the entire saga.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kay permalink
    August 1, 2005 11:25 am

    That sounds like it will be a lot of work, reworking the novel to include another character. But, I’m sure it will be worth it.

  2. August 1, 2005 12:05 pm

    Oh, I’m sure it will be a lot of work, but I already have a lot that I will have to go back and rework, and have already planned out where I will be going back and putting Mamercus in.

    And, crazy as it sounds, I actually believe that the addition of another character will help make the book shorter, especially with respect to Chapter XII.

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