In Which Our Heroine Works Back

19 January 2005

It's been Wednesday all day, I think. I'm getting a bit lost in this week, which seems to have the wrong number of days in it somehow, though I can't quite put my finger on where or even in which direction.

I'm reading Juha Pentikäinen's Kalevala Mythology a little bit at a time, and so far it hasn't given me any major fits related to Thermionic Night. So that's good; we're at a stage for avoiding major fits, I think. When possible. Still open to major fits when necessary and all that.

I also read Anthony Price's The '44 Vintage, which is part of the main series I've been reading of his, but also not. That is, the main series is contemporary to when they were written (so far late-1960s and 1970s), and this one goes back to the history some of the characters have during the Second World War. I'm particularly interested in this kind of thing because I have a backstory I want to tell about the characters from Thermionic Night and Sampo (well, most of the characters), and I want to see how others handle it. I'm not sure Bujold's Cordelia books count, since Shards of Honor is, as I recall, roughly contemporary with the early Miles stuff (in our world, not theirs) and not later backfill.

The hard part, from the looks of it, is making sure that the back story is neither significantly less interesting than the main story line (or else why bother going back to it and not just going ahead in the main story line?) nor significantly more interesting (because of the problem of back story overwhelming the later events). My current theory is that the best way of doing this is to make it a different kind of story, and in that Price succeeded: this is much more directly a war story, and the characters are...themselves, certainly, but quite different incarnations. They've learned things along the way. Being that much younger matters.

I still didn't like The '44 Vintage as well as the rest of the books in the Price series, which makes me a bit nervous about my own prospects with The Winter Wars (which is also a war story, not a Cold War story as the ones I've been working on now are). But I can deal with that as it arises, I suppose.

(My favorite notecards right now are the ones that say WW or MSR or S in the top right corner, because that means The Winter Wars or Midnight Sun Rising or Sampo, which means I don't have to deal with them right this very now. S is less favorite than the others, because "not now" is immediately followed by "soon, though.")

I seem to be attempting one of those series where you don't have to read everything to read some of it. I think they're good things to do, though not the only good things to do; there's room for series-sized plot and character arcs in my world, certainly. But it's a bit of a struggle not letting this world eat my head entirely. Should probably poke something else for awhile between Thermionic Night edits and Sampo edits. Something else long, I mean.

I was going to mess with pictures so you could see Roo opening his meeno, but I called Michelle instead, and we had a fair amount to say (go figure), so you just get to wait. Sorry. Priorities.

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