Saturday, May 30, 2009

A baron, a herald, and a star singer had a little chat.

Sounds rather like the beginning of a joke, no? Unfortunately the stakes are appallingly high and the choice facing the baron is not much choice at all.

I------’s husband said little at the news or his wife’s outpouring. His face tightened, his eyes seemed lost in the middle distance. M----- retreated into some inner space and the intensity of his posture warned others not to inquire closely. When the leading figures of County Y----- gathered, waiting for some word from him. He began with no more than, “It is war.”
Even at this point the violence has been limited and the narrative mostly of impending disaster. It will soon get rather nasty, alas.

Come to think of it, Year B of the Eucharistic Lectionary is when we get the Davidic succession narrative (Revised Common Lectionary using the semi-continuous track for reading the Hebrew Scriptures). What a perfect time for me to be inventing a succession narrative in my fantasy fiction.

And yes, you clever critters, the graphic above reveals that my land does have its own language. The slogan depicted comes at the end of the call to battle by Count M-----, referred to above, and is adopted by his partisans.

I may have invented the artificial tongue but I don't speak it. For those who love how languages work, inventing one is great fun and very difficult at the same time.

The phrase above is an indefinite future third-person negative imperative structure. We do not think of the imperative in the third person in English, using forms more like "let them" or "she must not." Still, this is how it would have been said in this other world in 739 AD.

M. refers to his distant cousin T., who certainly feels the same way about M.

The topographical map includes the principality in question and was created in the course of working on volumes 1 and 2.

I would like to make some serious headway on the tale this weekend. So far so good. About 32,000 words up to this point.

--the BB


it's margaret said...

so, do you have many volunteers to read drafts?

Paul said...

LOL. Actually, Margaret, only a few. The first draft of the first story (now split into two books) was read by four people. One graciously listed all the typos she found and reminded me that I should be aware of a lady's moon time and issues of contraception. I had thought of those but not mentioned them in the text.

The second draft was rapidly read by my biggest fan and is being read slowly by my ex, who evaluates carefully and makes comments. I am waiting for his feedback before submitting it.

The books are long and intricate. First draft readers had maps, indices of characters and geographic place names, and an intro to the religion of the land, plus guides to pronunciation. It costs about $25 to copy and comb bind one book (in several sections for easy handling) and it takes about 3-4 ink cartridges to print a copy. So they don't circulate widely, for economic as well as copyright reasons.

Having said all that, I would enjoy sharing the stories with you. Does one of our shared friends know both our e-mails?

Paul said...

Actually, one other person read (devoured) the second draft of both books with no maps or helps at all and loved them. An encouraging sign.

Oh, and if Göran passes by this thread, his name and the root of the phrase in the graphic are similar but it is purely coincidental. "Djoran" is the verb "to rule," cognate with "tjern" the form of address ("Lord") used for earls/counts. (J is always pronounced as a consonantal Y.)