Thank you to Steven Till for blogging about this. The Digital Atlas of Medieval and Roman Civilisations is an interactive map created by Harvard to create a Google style historical map. I must say this is an exciting project, and although they have released it as a beta, I did feel slightly disappointed that there wasn’t more. I would have expected all the major Medieval kingdoms to be mapped out, but that’s not the case. Hopefully more will be added soon though.
Here’s a screenshot to wet your appetite (click on it to expand!):
Just a quick update about the writing of my novel, the historical fantasy, Hell has its Demons.
Things are progressing steadily on a daily basis. I’m really glad I have set myself a low daily limit of 250 words. Although this isn’t much, and sometimes can only take ten minutes to write, it does mean that I have no excuse on nearly any day to get the words done. And with only the odd exception I have been able to do this, even on occasion doing a bit more. So I’m now at about 30,000 words, and I think I’ll end up with about 150,000 words in total. This is very much the first draft though, and because I don’t have much time to write on a daily basis, I’m not doing any editing or polishing work. My aim is to get it all down and then go back through the whole thing.
One problem I have had, and this is probably a symptom of not being able to write for extended periods of time, is that I don’t have long to sit and ponder plot and characters while I’m writing. In a way this is quite exciting and produces the freshness that you can get with automatically writing whatever comes into your head, but also it leaves me a bit rudderless – will the novel ever lurch to the ports that I want it to visit? To this end I have decided to write an outline on a daily basis too, which will consist of a long paragraph or two describing each chapter or scene (I tend to write in scenes a lot). Previously my outlining was a bit too process driven containing notes about character arc, bullet points about conflict etc, whereas now I’m just writing what happens in a narrative summary format, which ends up being a bit more natural.
Inevitably the outlining will get a bit ahead of the actual writing, but should remain close enough to it to keep things fresh. I don’t want to do the whole outline and then come back and do all the writing – I think even with everything written down, or maybe because everything will be written down, that will really take the edge of the excitement of writing the book.