The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

No actual writing today. Laying groundwork by doing something I have been avoiding and writing around in all previous versions, in hopes I would never have to do it: figuring out the agricultural system the farmers in my ms use and what might cause crop failure and famine. I'm not at all interested in agriculture or plants of any kind (except when they're on a plate and I have a fork in my hand). But until I can wrap my mind around a very basic idea of what's going on, my book has no spine, my bad guy remains vague and my MC's motivation is foggy. So I have spent I don't know how many hours wondering why all these people on the internet can't get it together and have the same facts. Thank g*d this isn't historical fiction, because I'd go crazy if it was. As it is, I've got a bunch of stuff to reread and organize in my head, and then, after I pull out the info that suits my purposes--no matter if it's from the 1315-17 famine in England rather than three or four centuries later in something sort of like France--I've got to try to find out real stuff like what fields look like in late spring if the winter wheat (or rye--who the h*ll knows, because all these internet people certainly don't agree!) crop is poor to nonexistent. Or maybe I need to move the whole story a month or two later in the year, if I have to establish that the spring barley crop is almost certainly doomed. Although I have the notion from all the mountains of stuff I've read today that I won't have to move the story timewise because these folks would have been using a three-field rotation system, which means (I think) that the wheat (or rye!) would have been finishing up in one field while the barley had already been sown in another.

Note to self: Never write historical. Always call it "fantasy."

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