Tuesday, February 24, 2009
[apocalypse now] actually, a few chapters from now
All right, I’m in a bind. I’ve worked my way into a corner.
Help me please.
The first part of this tome was pretty straightforward. Written from 1996 to 2006, set in Russia and France, there’s a lot of what actually happened in there and the relationships were dead easy, so it almost wrote itself.
The second was set mainly in France and then in Britain and it was almost all fiction, with my experiences up and down France thrown in and a hell of a lot of research on Paris and the area south of it. You should see the files I have on everything from what Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps sell through to the Barbizon School.
The third book is the best written but it’s two books in one. I had the third part, set in Britain and that works well but that’s now finished and there are still seven chapters to write cold. The little band of survivors have now made it to the coast near Haifa, ordinary life in Britain having been made impossible by the government [all fiction, I know, I’m sorry] and they’re shacking up with the Druze on Har Carmel.
In lieu of actual knowledge of the Har Megiddon area, necessary for the apocalyptic ending where the troops amass, I’ve had to fill in with a falling out between the two main characters. The setting works – looking out over the Esdraelon Valley, the trees, the olives, the local culture – so that’s OK.
The problem is - how to get from there to the apocalypse and make it sound natural? The mechanism of this – you know, the cabals, the Thirteen in Europe and their arcane insanity leading to a recession, depression, the new feudalism, war, depopulation and then the apocalypse – that’s easy enough to do and people would accept it more in 2009 than in 2005.
Another thing – what does an apocalypse actually look like when it’s at home? When you’re really in that valley that night and the monster appears overhead to frighten the children, what does it actually look like? Tolkien doesn’t help here. Plus, that’s only half a page.
What plot can I put in, from the landing on the coast through to the Big Night, to fill in four chapters?