The novel gets a second map

Some people have asked whether I’d include another map or two. You see, I do listen!

Map of Tenochtitlan and the Temple Complex

Map of Tenochtitlan and the Temple Complex

Why is a map not always a good thing? Because it stifles the imagination and interrupts the narrative as the reader flicks back to the find it and orient the action in the tale.

Warning! This map is based very loosely on fact.

This is likely to be the last post before the 1st of October, the closing date for the headline competition to win a free, signed copy of the book. I’ll announce the winners no later than Tuesday the 2nd of October. By then, I should also have received the second half of the manuscript back with all the proof-reading corrections and checked them all for incorporation. The time is drawing near!

Research, the foundation

The foundation of every good historical fiction novel is research. Your story needs to be woven onto the fabric of history itself. This doesn’t mean you have to teach your readers history by labouring through a list of dates or tediously enumerating every member of a royal lineage. It’s just needs the the smallest details scattered here and there that give the tale some authenticity by painting pictures in the readers head. If you need to name the entire household of a noble family or create an index of key dates, then do it as an appendix, like George R. R. Martin’s ‘Game of Thrones’ to name just one example. That way the reader can decide to soak up the extra information if he/she wants to.

Here’s an extract from my notebook. When I was doing the majority of my research, I kept a ring-bound notebook which contains lots of scribbling that including a couple of maps. Rob Cooper has asked for more maps and so has Mel.

Map extract from research

Page from research notebook including a sketched map

How accurate is this map? Probably not very accurate. It’s build from some descriptions of the temple complex in Tenochtitlan and a few poor sketches I’ve seen and it’s built using some facts but more importantly, it’s useful as a reference to help me stay consistent when I return to a place I’ve described before.

The Countdown Begins

On Sunday the 1st of July, the first scene of the New Fire will appear on this site.  Before then, I’ll be posting a map that appears at the start of the book.  Jean has already complained that the book needs a streetmap of Tenochtitlan.  I don’t think it is necessary and it runs the risk of forcing me into (additional) conflict with one or more scholars of Mesoamerican history.  No, I’m content with the mental maps that readers will assemble from the descriptions.