Often times when I am working on my book I amaze myself at some of the things that I come up with. I’ve come to the conclusion that at least some of the material has to be inspired so I’ve adopted the stance that I have a Muse that does the inspiring(the picture above is one of the 3 or 9 Muses – depending on who you read the number varies – this one is probably Clio the Muse of history). From Wikipedia: ‘The Muses, the personification of knowledge and the arts, especially literature, dance and music, are the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne(memory personified). Hesiod’s account and description of the Muses was the one generally followed by the writers of antiquity. It was not until Roman times that the following functions were assigned to them, and even then there was some variation in both their names and their attributes:Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (flutes and lyric poetry), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore(dance), Erato (love poetry), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry), Urania (astronomy).’
I imagine that I have been inspired by more than one of the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne but Clio seems to be the most likely given my penchant for my lifelong reading about and studying history. Sometimes I portray my relationship with my creative sources as being a fickle and often a frustrating one. Fickle because many of the thoughts and ideas for the story come when I cannot write them down as I am behind the wheel of my car…frustrating as there are periods of time when I can think of nothing at all to add. Still, however, I am more pleased than pissed with their involvement.
Having chosen which battles or events I want to portray I now have to plan what part(s) my fictional characters will play without disturbing the historical event too much. An example of this is the ill-fated attempt by General Braddock to take Fort Duquesne(Pittsburgh) from the French. In this battle my fictional characters do play a part as they utilize the woodland skills I have given them and as scouts for the colonial militia they are instrumental in helping the historical character of Washington in keeping the rout from becoming worse. This type of integration of my fictional characters with the historical ones does present challenges as I do not want to distort the event yet I want the result to be a compelling read.
The process of making up events that fill out the story and plot lines in part 4.