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Zero Day

November 1, 2010

So I’ll end Day 1 of NaNo with zero words on file, but I’m not worried – I’ve spent the last two days reading and making notes, and I have enough material now to get a chapter started.  That’s the bitch of writing historical fiction – until you know the history, you can’t do the fiction.  Fortunately, it turns out that in 1550 (entering the time frame of the Young Man drawing and portrait), Bronzino received a summons from the Medici to go to Pisa and paint a series of portraits of the Medici children, so I’ve decided that the Young Man is a member of the Duke’s court who, as a sign of respect, has personally brought the Ducal command to B. as he’s already done quite a bit of work for the Medici by this time, including a number of portraits of family members.  Of course, that visit may turn out to be bollocks that I’ll have to delete later – quite possible such things never happened; that artists were “the help” and were so summoned by a lowly page or a letter from a secretary – no time now to find out, gotta write a novel (or a study for one) in 30 days.  No night writer I, so up early tomorrow to put out some pages.  No blog entry either, if I’m to get any fiction done before work, so got to get today’s notes in here now.

Another exciting development – turns out that the portrait in question went through several iterations, as discovered through the wonders of x-ray technology, with YM being painted first clad in an “antique-looking” suit of armor, then in a flashy “red tunic or doublet,” then painted over one more time with the somber black outfit of the final portrait.  Now there is surely some fodder for fiction in the decisions that drove those changes… This is all from Brock’s book, which in turn references yet another which has eight pages on this portrait alone.  So back to the library soon.

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