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Tony Grist

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Purchas continues. [Jan. 9th, 2006|04:29 pm]
Tony Grist
The novel- Purchas- has been running a week.

I started off with a single idea. I wanted to explore the life of an Immortal. I decided that my hero(ine) would be a child who swallows the elixir of life by accident.

And that's all I knew when I started to write.

I set myself the task of posting it in daily installments on LJ. The first week's worth are on display now at purchas. I'm afraid the format dictates that one has to read from the bottom up. Sorry about that. It's rather jerky, but there you go....

The novel is part fantasy, part history. The year is 1482 and all the details are, so far as I can make them (thank you, thank you, Google!) historically accurate.

I know what happens next. Just about. At present I have two or three installments in hand. What happens further on is very, very cloudy. But I trust my characters. They will tell me how their story is meant to go. I have the feeling that the entire saga already exists, in some form, somewhere, and that it's being unveiled to me bit by bit.

I don't know how long I'll keep it up. I envisage the present novel running for 60,000+ words and after that there'll still be 500 years to go. But whether I write the sequels is hardly up to me. If Purchas wants to tell me about her post-medieval adventures she will, and if she doesn't she won't. But I've let her know that I'm very, very eager to learn about her meetings with Cagliostro and the Count de St Germain in Paris in the 1770s...
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-09 09:59 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'll have to experiment. It would be good to have a copy on line which ran in the proper sequence.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2006-01-09 11:18 am (UTC)
If you click on a <lj user="purchas" link, you go straight the journal. If you click on "calendar" at the top, and then click on the first entry, you can read that, click "next" and read the second, and so on.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2006-01-09 01:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, gosh, what a mess I made of the first post. Let me try again.

Click on this link: purchas. Then select "calendar view." Click the first date, January 3. From there you can just keep clicking "next day" and read things in sequence.

The first day you skip will probably break the spell.
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2006-01-09 09:24 am (UTC)
I am glad the meeting with st germain is so realistic
as not to be in the 1970s...
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2006-01-09 09:31 am (UTC)

eco

you know he appears memorably
in foucault's pendulum...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-09 10:01 am (UTC)

Re: eco

I love Foucault's Pendulum.
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2006-01-09 11:56 am (UTC)
Yes. It is not well written really. It is
a compendium of reading of stuff from occult
bookstores, and yet... and yet it is fine.
I of course like the bit about "they have
the Eucharist [why do they look for something
else?]" but also the st Germain / Mr Welldone
(was it?) nicely left an ambiguity...
John Dickson Carr's stories I think just once
or twice do that, leave an ambiguity after
Gideon Fell debunks the supernatural hokum.
+Seraphim
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-09 01:28 pm (UTC)
I like it when a window is left open like that.

And the same with a supernatural story where the possibility of a rational explanation is not wholly discounted.

My favourite Dickson Carr is He Who Whispers.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-09 10:01 am (UTC)
But, of course, if he was what he said he was he could turn up at any time.

He could turn up in the 1480s.

But it's unlikely that he would have belonged to the English chapter of the Order of the Immortals
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2006-01-09 12:25 pm (UTC)
as to his order, the only evidence I have
seen is that he was a vegetarian and so
did not eat much at the King's table. I expect
he is as dead as Fulcanelli whom that Dutch
fellow saw, as a corpse, turned inauspiciously
black.
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[User Picture]From: dadi
2006-01-09 11:52 am (UTC)
That's the idea I was having too.. that it already exists somewhere inside you and is just waiting to flow out! Fascinating! I can't wait to continue reading!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-09 01:29 pm (UTC)
It's very odd, the creative process.

I look at things I've written and think "where the hell did that come from?"
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[User Picture]From: dakegra
2006-01-09 03:21 pm (UTC)
do you have any of your own webspace? you could link to a complete-so-far version that way
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-10 02:03 am (UTC)
No, I don't own any webspace at the moment.

But, I shall, I shall...
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[User Picture]From: dakegra
2006-01-11 03:36 am (UTC)
another option, which has just occurred to me, would be to add the new parts to the original post (or another post specifially for the purpose) and pop a link to that master post at the end of each section as it gets written?
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From: manfalling
2006-01-09 06:35 pm (UTC)
hey dad- been reading purchas and digging it so far- this whole daily updates thing is pretty cool. stephen king has done similar things. i know with the green mile- that got released as like 6 chapbooks originally. and i think neil gaiman was doing some of it too.

as to creative process- yeah i feel the same way. like michelangelo's david. it's in there somewhere, you know it, it just has to be found.

and about presenting the whole- you could at regular intervals (say- once a week, weeks end) lump everything up to date together in the correct order, then stick it behind a labeled LJ cut. kind of like eastenders does an omnibus show on sundays that brings you up to date with the past week...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-10 02:04 am (UTC)
I'm glad you like it.

Michelangelo's David- exactly.

P.S. I love the Christmas card. With the moving Xmas sushi bar. Brilliant!
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[User Picture]From: qos
2006-01-09 08:22 pm (UTC)
Ha!

Something about the encounter with the Mother Superior (am I remembering correctly?) suggested Purchas was a girl, while still leaving me in doubt!

Were you really being subtle, or was I too distracted to pick up properly on what was an obvious clue?

I love it when my characters start telling me their own story. That's when I know I'm onto something.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-10 02:31 am (UTC)
When I started the story I toyed with the idea of making Purchas androgynous, or at least of not declaring her gender.

But then it struck me that the only way I could sustain this was by being coyly evasive, so I changed tack.

The encounter with Mother Superior was the decisive moment. I realised that Purchas couldn't be taking baths, with people in attendance, and still keep her secret.

I haven't been working to a plan. I started with next to nothing and just forged ahead. But that's the way I've always written fiction...



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