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Author Topic: Ever branching storylines  (Read 2787 times)
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« on: November 09, 2010, 09:28:37 PM »

I've mentioned plot bunnies before, I think, but this week I've encountered something else: the branching stream. While writing, and especially writing to quotas or deadlines as we do in the NaNo, can often seem like we are paddling upstream with too small a paddle and too heavy a load, once in a while it seems more as if we are drifting downstream and our rudder isn't responding.

From somewhere in my subconscious, The Rubáiyát of Omar Kháyyám as translated by Edward FitzGerald managed to creep into my Richard the Lionhearted story. First I caught Blondel singing one of the quatrains, and now I am trying to decide whether to let it shape the direction of the story and the attitudes of the characters. I'm sorely tempted though. I went and researched the timelines and it isn't really even anachronistic quite. Omar lived and wrote in the 11th and early 12th centuries. He died in 1131. That's well before the Second Crusade. Blondel's father was on the Second Crusade, and could well have been exposed to at least an Arabic translation of Omar, no? Blondel being a poet and minstrel by trade can take it from there, I think. Since my story begins in 1189, there has been enough time for Crusaders and their hangers on to have brought back bits of Middle Eastern culture to Europe.

I love Omar's attitude toward life, which carries both the fatalistic and the hedonistic views simultaneously. Of course the English language version to which most of us are accustomed is FitzGerald's 19th century translation (or some say, paraphrase.) But I have no problem with quoting from that. After all, my characters would really be speaking archaic French too, and I present the dialog almost entirely in English...
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 09:31:18 PM by Altivo » Logged

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