Thursday, October 29, 2009

Elusive plot

I'm chasing plot moths, dashing about in the dark swishing my net trying to catch the flittery things. I know roughly what has to happen to Hild during her next couple of years, but, oh, there are so many ways to get there, so many possibilities.

The problem is politics. Politics in seventh-century England were played for very high stakes: the loser died. (My kind of century...)

Power was abominably complicated. For one thing, everyone--that is, anyone who is anyone, that is, royal--is related to everyone else. Often in three different ways. They're all plotting against everyone and allied with everyone else. It is unbelievably, mind-bogglingly twisty.

It's enormous fun. Every time I get fed up of someone, I just whack their head off, or poison them gruesomely, or watch them die a tragic death in childbirth. On good days I wake up thinking, O-ho-ho, who can I kill today? More importantly, I think, And who does this doomed character remind me of in real life? Which is just a reminder: never piss off a writer :)

Today's mission: invent a suitably horrific but genial Anglo-Saxon torture. I think I have just the thing...

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