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.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thinking about the ending--realized I need to figure out what happened in an offscreen conversation between the two main secondary characters on the way to the ending.

Also suddenly remembered this guy from the Iliad, a young prince of Troy who'd recently been caught by Achilles, kept for ransom, and freed for a huge payment. He only made his way back home days ago, and now has the misfortune to be caught by Achilles in battle again. Only this time when they meet up, Achilles is out of his mind with rage re. the death of his friend Patroclus, and is cutting a bloody, merciless swath through the Trojan forces.

Had to look it up--the guy is Lycaon, and in the scene he's stumbling exhausted out of river rapids, disarmed, no shield, no spear, no helmet, no nothing. He sees the very well-armed (by the gods!) Achilles coming for him, and knows his only hope is to beg for his life.

Achilles hurls his spear at Lycaon, who dodges it and falls to his knees before Achilles. The spear has stuck in the ground behind him, so he's clutching at Achilles' legs with one hand and the spear with the other, trying to keep hold of both so Achilles can't pull the spear out of the ground and run him through. And all the time he's pleading for mercy, listing reason after reason Achilles should spare him.

Achilles, of course, says no.

This is the part that stuck in my head: When Lycaon hears this--it's a very firm, merciless, fatalistic "no"--he lets go of the spear, lets go of Achilles, spreads both his arms out wide, and waits for the death blow, accepting it.

There's more after that; Achilles kills Lycaon--drives his sword into L's neck/shoulder up to the hilt, then grabs a foot and slings Lycaon's body into the river where it's immediately carried away. But the image that stayed with me is this young guy realizing that he's about to die, and meeting his fate with dignity and courage, arms outspread.

I don't know that this has anything to do with my WIP, but it's a cool moment and I've been thinking about it suddenly.