I’m writing a new book. Well, kind of a new book. A semi-new book, if you will.
I started it for my PhD, but I had a breakdown and didn’t finish it. But it’s been gnawing at me for years, so I figured I’d take a run at it since I don’t have another book contract in the works.
I hate it so much.
To be fair, I hate all my books at the 30 thousand word mark. But this one I hate more than usual. And for reasons.
You see, I adore mythology, as you might know if you’ve read any of the Afterlife books. And right now I’m working on one of the most ancient myths recorded, from about 1200 BC. Three thousand years ago. And while I’m creating a new story within an old one, I’m trying to stay true to certain aspects. Clothing, jewellery, beliefs…and geography.
Do you know how hard it is to study rivers and tributaries and smaller tributaries when the land has changed over the course of three thousand years? To figure out which cities might or might not have been there? To decide where the character stopped on the four month journey, and why? Who did she meet there? Why is that place important? Are there any indications there was a Bronze Age settlement in that (thousand mile) area?
So I’m learning about the remnants of Bronze Age Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia. SLOWLY. I’m plotting a course over various rivers through each country, and then I’ll write that journey. Until I figure out each stop, though, I’m stuck. I can’t write about what island she stops at if I don’t know where on the river she’s supposed to be.
And here’s the thing.
No one will probably care. If that island I say existed isn’t there today, is someone really going to dress me down for it? If I say there’s a tributary that takes you to point B, are you going to sue me for river infringement because it may not have been there 3000 years ago?
But I can’t let it go. For my own peace of mind there simply needs to be an aspect of veracity to the mythological journey, because…because…well, I suppose because I’m a writer who wants to give it her best.
*sigh* Fucking geography.