Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Storytelling


I'm blogging over at bellesandbeaus today, so if you're quick you'll catch an excerpt from my very first published novel!

I think my style has matured in the last five years and though there are certainly places where I long for a magic red editing pencil, on the whole I'm happy with it.

I'm gearing up for an assault on writing projects because I have done very little lately. Too many distractions: redecorating my study, finding that the latest Norton update took up most of the spare memory on my laptop and then working hard to discover how to add more memory - plus all the normal thing like washing, grocery shopping. I have one more thing to do - go to the library this avo. I can't bear to have nothing new to read in the house. Must have my book fix soon. I've been reading a Shirley Nicholson's A Victorian Household and though it has charm, it is set a little late in the century to help me with my latest work.

I did not finish Dragon Child, the first volume of M K Hume's Arthur trilogy, but thought the second, Warrior of the West, might be better. I've read 60 or 70 pages and it hasn't gripped me any more than the first voume did. I don't know why, as the writing is competant, the research is probably excellent and the story...well, perhaps covering a lifetime is too great a span of time.

The blurb certainly ought to stir my interest: "Twelve long, blood-soaked years, have passed since Artor fulfilled his destiny and was crowned the High King of the Britons. Against all odds, Artor has united Celtic Britain and with a last great campaign, has banished the Saxon scourge. The legend of Camlann has begun. But even as Artor’s kingdom is at its zenith, even as he has succeeded in conquering all external threats to his rule, his kingdom is being undermined from within. For Artor has chosen Wenhaver (Guenevere) as a second wife.

Queen of the Britons, Wenhaver will always love what she cannot have and have what she cannot love, and her bitterness threatens to bring down all those around her. Not only is Artor betrayed by the one person he should be able to trust, he has also learned of appalling perversion at the heart of his kingdom. He must make a terrible choice. Does he commit a deed that leaves him open to comparison with the despotic Uther Pendragon, or does he let evil go unchecked? The burden of leadership, of power, now rests solely – and heavily – on Artor’s shoulders for Myrddion Merlinus, master tactician, guiding light for so many years, has left Artor to his fate. Could all that Artor has fought for, the destiny of Britain, be lost? Will Britain be torn apart?"

Hume places the story of Arthur to the correct time period, the 5th century, and was able to use years of study in Art, Ancient History and Literature to build a factual world that might have existed in Arthur’s time.

So why doesn't it grip me? Perhaps the story is too well known? Perhaps however different the approach, however deep the scholarship, a tale simply cannot be told over and over again with the readers' mind glazing over. If Arthur's
story is new to you, then read it and enjoy. For me, I think it's been one Arthur story too many.

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