Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Checking in

I have been writing like mad these last few days. I know, right? It's sort of my job. Well, it is my job. But sometimes it ebbs and sometimes it flows, and this week it's definitely flowing.

A while back I started messing around with a new fantasy universe, in which certain people can utilise the strength of crystals to develop special powers. They're known as Chosen, since they're believed to have been picked by the gods for this, and their talent is manifested by a tattoo-like mark that appears all by itself. The location and pattern of the mark denotes the talent. I don't know why it is I keep writing characters with funky tattoos; I've done at least three for Changeling, off the top of my head, and even the Smart Bitches were commenting on how many paranormal covers have tattooed chicks on them these days.

Anyway. The setting for this story is a world based very loosely on ancient Rome, with a strict social hierarchy of Citizens and peasants and a well-laid-out city with things like drainage. And here my knowledge of Rome stops.

The thing that's kept me from writing historicals in the past is the research. I actually love doing research, you never know what you might find out that sparks off a new idea, but I'm very detail-orientated when I write, and I find myself wanting to know every detail of daily life: clothing, food, routine. Who buys the food and where from. What time people get up in the morning. How they filled their days. If I wanted to know which senator stabbed which emperor in which year, I'd get the info in two clicks on Wikipedia (and then I'd double-check it somewhere else). But social history? Harder to come by!


  1. Try Rotten Romans in the Horrible Histories series. My daughter used to get bonus marks all over the place for her essays because she'd inhaled every unattractive fact from them when she was in her formative years.

  2. You know what? I actually have that somewhere. The trick is finding it...