Monday, April 17, 2017


So, I am looking at ideas for NaNo in November.  I'll need two or three outlines.  Today I came up with something I think is going to be fun to write.

Let's say my characters are looking for a lost city.  This could be fantasy, science fiction, or even a fictional lost city set in the real world of today.  I am tending towards fantasy, though it might be Alternate Earth Urban Fantasy of some sort.  I only have the very basics of the idea so far, but it is growing enough that I'll start note taking and outlines soon enough.  Anyway, my characters are looking for some ancient place.  The name of the place is in a language no one speaks now.  Many people consider the city to be pure myth with no tie to reality, but my group of adventurers is going to prove them wrong for whatever reason they have for this quest.

They know the basic area, or so they think.  However, the land itself changes over time.  Harbors silt up.  Earthquakes bury ravines in debris.  Humans knock down hills or build new ones to suit their current needs and tastes.  Entire landscapes change; the lush farmlands of ancient times might be a barren desert now.

Or the area might be much like it had been thousands of years before.  Maybe the adventurers have traced what they seek to this general location, but they simply can't find any sign of the ancient city. They know they are close, but where is it?  They spend some time in the largest city in the area, hoping to find more maps, old manuscripts, perhaps even learn a few new myths.  They know they're close.

What if they're standing right on it?

Locations that are suitable for a settlement often remain good, even after slight changes around them.  Conquerers rename cities and the next conqueror names it again.  There was a city named Wasat once -- a powerful city, and it stood for three thousand years.  In fact, it still stands, but that's not the name you are likely to know.  When the Greeks conquered the land, they renamed it after one of their own cities. The current rulers of the land thought these ancient ruins looked liked palaces and gave it a name to reflect that belief.

So a city that was Wasat for about three thousand years in ancient Egypt became Thebes and now is Luxor, and in a fraction of the time the city existed, its old name is forgotten. Wasat is not a name you are likely to know, even though this is a city that was never lost.  The name is inscribed in stone and on papyrus, but until the last century, the ability to read those words was lost.  The ancient Egyptian priesthood had died out, and they took with them the secrets of the mdw ntr -- The Gods' Words.  Was, by the way, was the ancient word for power.  Waset means, basically, the city of power.

Istanbul -- which I believe means 'the city' -- had to be renamed because Constantinople, the city of the great Christian Emperor, would not do in a Muslim world.  Before Constantinople, there had been Byzantium, for which an entire area and era were named.  If you go looking for places, sometimes you need to look under the floorboards, so to speak.  The adventurers might not have to go out into the jungles or the desert wastelands.  Of course digging down into the heart of a populated city isn't going to be easy, either.  Add a few religious implications, and I can have everything up to assassins and riots.  Oh yes, this might be fun.

Another NaNo Novel is also playing in my brain.  I need to do the background work on that one, but it really is going to be a fun new Devlin novel.  Oh, and I haven't forgotten the 'Egypt rules the world' story, either.  I am just not ready to do that much research.

So there might be two major works in the planning stages.  We only have six full months and a couple weeks to get ready, you know.  It is crazy how fast this year is going.

I am also looking at doing something on Wattpad.  Have any of you worked with it?  I think the piece I put up might be Journey of a Thousand Truths as soon as I get the first draft done.  I admit that I don't fully understand Wattpad, but I am willing to expand out and see what it might do for my readership.  There are too many things for authors to try out there and I've been getting lost in the wilds for a long time.  I am not looking to be a top selling author, but I would like to reach a few more people who enjoy the same sort of stories that I enjoy.  I suspect that Wattpad will be another 'lost in the crowd' place, but if I am going to try it anyway.  I think I will be posting on Wednesdays.  Mondays I have this blog and Fridays I have the 2YN class on Facebook and the Flash Friday piece, so I want to get away from this weekend rush of posting.  Since I will have the novel done before I start posting (or close to it), I might even do two posts a week.

But it is all confusing, especially for someone who truly only wants to write and maybe play with pictures and graphic art now and then.  Oh yes and read -- and continue to learn more Egyptian Hieroglyphs.  I shouldn't grumble and complain because I do have the near perfect writing life, just lacking in funds now and then.  On days like today, though, with my back painfully reminding me of why I can't get a job out in the real world, I start looking more at what I can do to help the finances.  I can write.  I am still going to believe that will count!

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