Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Search for Re: A Roman Spin

Well, while looking up ghosts and ghoulies, I ran across lemures.  Also, not long ago, it was Read a Banned Book Week, which got me to thinking about censorship.  For some reason, the  two things crossed in my mind.  So I looked up about the term censor at wikipedia, and found this page.

That's the fun part about research.  You can find one cool thing, and it leads to a fixture in the story that changes everything.  Good when done early on; no so good, when done later in the writing process.  But anyway, what is the fixture in my case?  That the dominant culture in my nano novel is based off the ancient Roman's.  Which is  neat because, of a third reason.  I got this book out of the bargain bin at B&N for my birthday, and been looking for an excuse to use it.

So, right now, I am focusing my Roman research on lemures, homes, and censors. 

On censors.  You see, I have difficulties writing about real world people with real world type jobs.  Even past historical jobs, where I become over focused on getting details perfect.  Which is why many of my protags in my novels have something to do with magic, because the details are my details and I can make it up.  But this nano novel needs people in it as unmagical as possible.  After all, it would be hard to focus on  the weirdness inside them and in the mist, if they are already too weird to start with. 

So, MC#1 is a censor.  More of a morality police, big brother type than a census taker.  Also, I want them to perform acts of censorship in the sense of the word as we know it now.  Plus, they must seem to embody the morality they enforce, and the latter just opens the door wide onto a world of inner conflict, since someone close to MC#1 is corrupt and untouchable because he is also a censor.  MC#1 feels the hypocrisy greatly.

Anyway, some links on censors:
Now, how about lemures?  They were basically malefic ghosts and had to be exorcised during certain festivals.  I am going with a form of them instead of zombies, per se.  After all, I  think they'd be a lot more freaky to encounter in a perpetual mist than zombies--and  harder to kill, especially if the typical exorcisms no longer work.  I also thought it would be neat to tie it in with the Festival of Luna (discovered in Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome).  On that day, the cover of the ritual pit (mundus) was removed and ghosts were allowed to walk around--and although this festival involves the "blessed dead", that's just asking for trouble of the zombie-like sort in my world.

Some links on lemures and lemuria, the festival associated with them, and the mundus.

Finally, since I am going with a Romanesque culture, I need a Romanesque haunted house.   This is my hardest research thus far, because so many things will be going on inside this place, I have to be able to see the house and rooms clearly in my head.  And what I found isn't quite cutting it.  So, all I can do is keep looking until something clicks.

Well, that's it so far.  Enjoy!

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