Wednesday, June 30, 2021

New Work-in-Progress

 JANICE:  Now that my latest book project, Village Without Men, is in the hands of the publisher, I have begun a historical novel set in ancient Athens during the time of Pericles - the golden age. The working title is Aspasia's Choice. Such an ambitious project means research, research, and more research, which I find fascinating, especially visual research. The images give me the power to make images in my head, which turn into words on paper. Here we have a reconstruction of the Acropolis.

And one of the theater of Dionysus at the base of the Acropolis. I once sat on these steep seats and listened to Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

 Not only do I need settings, I need to know about daily life, how the people dressed, what they ate, what their houses were like, etc. The basic garment of both women and men was a chiton. After much searching I found this simple drawing of how a chiton works.

And I need images of the characters. Here is the main character, based on a historical person.

Maps and plans are helpful, such as this one of Athens Agora.

And this plan of a Greek house helps me write scenes of my characters at home.
So, whenever I can't write, it is because I can't visualize the scene, which means more research to get in touch with that moment in time and place. As David McCullough, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning biography of John Adams, said, "I've been living in the 18th Century for seven years, and I'm not coming back." Well, I'm living in the 5th Century BC, but I will be back so I don't catch the plague that came to Athens in 430 BC.



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