At the moment a certain battle in my work in progress is taking up a great deal of my time and energy.
It’s not my favourite type of scene to write, partly because I know that some of my characters won’t make it out the other end in one piece… When you’re trying to be faithful to the history, there isn’t much choice.
Five years ago, I remember facing the gargantuan task of writing my version of the battle of Bosworth – the battle that led to the death of King Richard III – the focus of both my books, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man (as well, of course, as the two charity anthologies Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved... ) For weeks beforehand I was dreading it – partly being uncertain how to handle the battle itself, partly simply dreading the deaths of, not only Richard himself, but several loyal gentlemen who fought by his side. When it came, it turned out to be surprisingly easy to do – in terms of putting the words on paper, as they seemed to flow once I started – if not so much dealing with the emotions involved. Although the latter was greatly helped by the way I ultimately chose to present the battle – largely observed from afar, rather than from within the chaos of the fighting itself.
This time I have to take a different approach. The deaths will remain, of course – it’s a battle after all – and circumstances mean that the fighting cannot be observed from a distance. I have to be right in the middle of everything.
It will be quite a challenge, and yes, I’m dreading it. I’ve become very fond of all these characters over the past two years and more that I’ve been writing them. There will be a certain amount of emotional turmoil as I write – and I suspect that will also make it on to the page. It has to, of course, for the feelings of the characters themselves to be believable. But the fighting itself? How believable can I make that? I guess I’ll have to wait and see…
Meanwhile, sometimes it’s nice to witness the other end of a life, and today I was very pleased to see this book pop up on my timeline: The Autumn Baron. https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08NZW5MZB/
It’s a novella from Michèle Schindler, who has helped me a great deal with info about her leading man – or in this case, boy – who also of course crops up in my books when he’s rather older.
Enter Francis, Baron (later Viscount) Lovell… ⚔️📚
Great friend and loyal supporter of King Richard, he also of course kept Richard’s memory alive after 1485 – and proved to be a veritable thorn in the side of the usurper, Henry Tudor. I know I’m not the only person to wish to cheer him on…
Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by the king, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK).
Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:
My Twitter handle and Matthew Wansford’s