Met with my writing buddy on Thursday evening and spent the night rejoicing in the fact that she has finished her synopsis. Granted - it is six pages, single-spaced, but that's not the point. It's done. The first draft. Good grief - can you believe that there are first drafts for everything??? We had already started paring the first few pages a couple weeks ago.Got rid of a lot of inconsequential stuff. She was really happy, as was I for her. A veritable milestone in the gazillion milestones that encompasses writing.
She called the next day and told me that our evening session galvanized her. She spent hours writing more of the book.
I was happy to tell her that I spent my Friday working on the signs and shields of Heraldry for my characters. I've got seven that I have to do. I got two done. They're pretty complicated. There are pieces/parts to each shield that would drive a person to drink.
Things called charges on the shield itself (usuallh animal shapes signifying strength, cunning, speed, bravery), mantlings and helms sitting atop the shield (matched the family's cloak) , supporters that 'frame' the shield (animals or things like harps and such), mottos (speak of courage, strength, virtue). Even the shape of the shield had significance. In 'Blue' it represented the geographic region where the kingdom was. The color of the shield was important, too. Each ruling family had a Blazon, a written description of the family's Coat of Arms and what each part meant. Of course, many families have them today. Some are ancient and some are just made up as the family decides.
This is all part of the back story; the character development. It appears, to me, to be a two-headed monster. Necessary but terrifying.
I showed my buddy and she was amazed at the detail of each Coat of Arms. To create these, I've really got to know the kingdoms and their strengths and what they consider important for them. For instance, Gozon's from Ledder. They are quite proud of their land-locked sea so the shield is mostly blue. I also used a wolf as the charge to symbolize cunning.
It's an interesting ride and part of the blasted research that must be done. My readers will probably never see the shields of the characters, but I now have them in front of me and I know what they mean, so they help me create with fluidity and consistency.
Life is interesting.