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Plotting Along

August 26, 2009

After last weekend’s cram session to get the partial request for The Scourge of Rome packaged up and out the door, my mind is finally turning back to the Belisarius novel, and it’s firing on all kinds of cylinders it never has before.

Great. Just great.

A few weeks back, I started to realize that the great Byzantine general’s life is just too massive to cover in the span of a single novel. After a lot of mental back-and-forth, I finally arrived at the decision to stick to his early career, a five year period that takes him from the Middle East to Constantinople and concludes with the conquest of the Vandal kingdom in Africa.

I even started writing a bit.

Over the past few days, though, I’ve cracked some crucial character dynamics and arrived at a theme that could really drive a story sweeping Belisarius’ entire career. And I love it. I absolutely love it. I can see whole chunks of the story slotting into place.

The only thing is…this puts me back at square one. Belisarius’ career spans thirty-five years, six campaigns, and literally dozens of battles. It’s just too big. Any story tackling the expanse of his career would, by necessity, have to cut out whole swaths, not unlike a book being adapted to film.

So now…I’m at an impasse. Write the shorter story with more nuance and detail, or the longer, very character driven one, and find a way to skim past the bulk of his campaigns…

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