So, this is going to be my first foray into full-length novel writing. One of my favorite historical time periods to study and read about is Ancient Greece. It has always impressed me that a few small cities on a relatively infertile and rocky strip of land ended up having such an outsized influence on the course of world civilization. Likewise, one of my favorite genres is alternate history so it only followed to write an alternate history set in Ancient Greece. The story will follow a Hebrew smuggler who is marooned on the Italian Peninsula and taken in by Pythagoras’ famous academic community shortly before it was destroyed by an angry mob. Our hero will proceed to rally the Pythagoreans and begin a guerilla war against the corrupt rulers of the Greek colonial city of Croton using forbidden technology pioneered by the community’s brilliant coterie of scientists, ushering in an industrial age more than 2000 years prior to our own world. It’s not as crazy as one might think. Excavations of shipwrecks have found complex clockwork devices, springs, along with diagrams for steam-powered devices and complex chemical mixtures that have yet to be replicated.
My purpose here is not to write a marketable book. Most alternate histories cover the ‘Point of Divergence’ in a prologue or simply mention it in passing. Rather, my purpose is to begin to get a handle on plot construction, character development, and refine my writing style. If this thing were ever to be published, it would probably be as a prequel to a book about Leonidas and his 300 biplanes fighting desperately against an invading fleet of Persian war zeppelins, but I’m OK with that. Like I said, the purpose of this project is to improve as a writer and hopefully entertain a few of you with an interesting story.
The book is more than halfway done. The plan is to publish a chapter a week on the blog, which will help motivate me to edit and not be distracted by other tantalizing novel ideas.