Written here are ongoing notes and discussions of the book YAKOV'S RUN.
Journal Entry 012218 - Brainstorming section one of "The Heroes Journey" concept for the book YAKOV'S RUN.|
Possibilities and some historical background: Der Flechtemann the Legend (1018): What if in a time past when Holy Roman Emperor Henry II ruled much of Saxony, he was having trouble in the north with Prince Dirk III of Vlaardingen, one of the Belgium principalities. In order to put down what uprising may occur, King Henry II requested of Bishop Adalbold II of Utrecht and Duke Godfrey to form an army to march against Count Dirk III and his knights. Most of the many principalities paid fealty to King Henry II and so rebellion was weak in most places. That is, in most places except the northern "Dutch" principalities, to form his army, King Henry II requires of his most faithful Kings, those including Baldric of Liege, Gehard of Cambrai, and Archbishop Herbert of Cologne, as well as a few others, to meet him in the north on the confluence of the Waal and the Lek Rivers. This takes several months and when the battle is actually engaged at Viaardingen, King Henry II is soundly defeated. Back home, however, events are not going well either. Resistance, demonstration, and uprising against the sheriff contingents left in charge added to the clerical representatives requiring more tithes and indulgences than the peasants can abide. The soldiers had all gone with their knights to support their King. Though times were considered to be under control as the King and his fealty kings left, that did not turn out to be the case at home. Out of this a man rose up to face the challenge. He was referred to by peasant and landowners alike as "Der Flechtemann." His cause was to ensure the peasants were not preyed upon by those that would try to usurp their position at home for political power. And so the folk hero "Flechter" became the focus of right amongst the impoverished.
Note: der Flechtemann is a fictional character based loosely on several legends or myths of the 11th through the 15th centuries.
|This is simply a rethinking of the initial opening plot of the book YAKOV'S RUN. I have had to set this aside for a time, but am moving back to it now. It has been difficult in maintaining the character as the teller of the story instead of myself. I have been a technical manual writer in the past, and I continually find myself wanting to give a litany of facts. The original first chapter has been reduced in size. I will repost it for your perusal. Any comments about how a writer maintains character focus would help. Thank you.
Section 1 – Call to Adventure
The future hero is first given notice that his or her life is going to change. The story's exposition introduces the hero, and soon the hero's normal life is disrupted. Something changes; the hero faces a problem, obstacle, or challenge.
Sc 1.1 Transition (2017) -- What if Michael Simon, widowed and on a family search, travels to Germany in search of family roots.
Sc 1.2 Over there (2017) -- What if Michael experienced some humor as he flew from the United States to Germany. He lands in his final station exhausted and finds his hotel room.
Sc 1.3 First Research (2017) -- What if Michael Simon finds information first at a cathedral in Braunschweig and then in the University of Gottingen archives about his family line and a landhold from the past located outside Helmstedt, Germany.
Sc 1.4 Gottingen (2017) -- Based on Information from Frau Hoffman, he sets out to travel to the University of Gottingen where he finds references to the raising of Gottingen during the 14th century by the citizens of the town. He is very curious as to why this was done. He seeks further information about his family line and early land history. From his findings at the university the attendant librarian shows him a reference to a "der Flechtemann" in a ballad written in the 11th century from the area.
Sc 1.5 Connecting the Past (2017) -- However, he also finds a journal written by Julia, a sister of a Yakov, from the mid to late 14th century who lived in Magdeburg and was married to a wealthy merchant there. The journal is written in German. Michael, from his literary studies and writing at university has a sketchy knowledge of German. In going through the pages he finds further reference to Flechter and the famine and unrest in the area between the early to mid 14th century. Michael requests a copy of the pages of the journal. Permission is given and the copy is made in the Gottingen University library. His plan is to go to Helmstedt, to attempt to find any part of the original Symon landhold, but first he will go back to his lodging and put some time in reading the journal. And, from his findings at the university the attendant librarian shows him a reference to der Flechtemann in a ballad written in the 11th century from the area. Der Flechtemann intrigues him. And, the raising of Gottingen interests him.
Sc 1.6 der Flechtemann (1307) - What if the essence of der Flechtemann returns in the minds of the people placed upon the mysterious identity of Hans Symon (the father of Yakov) and his resistance work? Hans is confronted at home with the absence of authority by the ruling nobility who have left lesser nobility and merchants in control of the fief, and who are away supporting Frederick II in Northern Italy. Frederick II preferring to rule the Holy Roman Empire from Italy, leaves the German people far to the north and to the surrogate rule of others. While the remaining nobility and merchants are being pressured by a seemingly corrupt Bishop in Magdeburg to force more taxes (indulgences), at this same time villagers are being assessed higher taxes to support the King. Populations in Germany have been growing rapidly. Village products are not keeping up with the demand of the population for food as well as trade and send money to the knights and nobility in the battle areas, let alone pay the fealty taxes to the king. As a result famine ravages the population. When the population sufficiently reduces in population to equalize the situation, it takes some time to grow the necessary crops. many families have eaten the seed grain necessary to plant the crops needed. Yakov's father is at wits end over being able to help his family survive. A resistance ensues and Yakov's father leaves to join. He becomes leader of a resistance large cell. In his work he is referred to as Flechter, a namesake reflecting the original myth around the 11 century der Flechtemann.
Sc 1.7 Comrades - What if while eating a meal in Helmstedt, Michael meets two new friends who agree to travel with him back to Helmstedt. They are two university graduates, one with a degree in History, the other with a degree in History, specifically Lower Saxony, the other in literature. Michael agrees to have the two join him.
Sc 1.8 Awakening -- (June 25, 1319) - What if Anna, and Yakov begin a normal day's work for the farm. They wake and have their separate thoughts before the younger children, Julia and Closgen, awake. It is early and Yakov is the first out for chores.
Sc 1.9 The First Day -- (June 25, 1319) - The story continues as we meet the younger children. We also see the family through the events of rising in the morning each beginning their day's activities. Anna teaches Closgen and Julia a small lesson about time.
Sc 1.10 Chores -- (Same Day) - What if Julia and Closgen fetch wood and water for the morning. They then help Anna to set for breakfast. Yakov joins them from his work with the animals when called by Anna and all sit for the morning meal.
Sc 1.11 Taxes and Land (Same Day) - What if we move from a Pastoral scene to an encounter with sheriff and his men arrive to reinforce eviction from the farm because there has been no tax or indulgence payments. Because the prince is absent with the king to the south, the bishop has decreed a more strict collecting of taxes or crops. Just coming out of a famine, farmers are struggling to get their new crops in the ground and raised. The population is reduced from the famine, but so are the crops because people ate their seed grain turing the troubled times and start up, even in a time of good, is very slow. The Symon parents having died, place the extreme weight of the farm on the children, the eldest of which is Anna at sixteen. Yakov, fourteen, finds he must go to Helmstedt to find work for a short time in order to try to save the farm.
Sc 1.12 Breaking Tensions (2017) - What if Michael and his new friends journey now to Helmstedt to view sights and do family research. they visit the original gate to the old city.
Sc 1.13 A Lonely Road (June 26, 1319); - What if Yakov, late in the day, walks to Helmstedt. Startled by deer, and other strange encounters. Yakov encounters two travelers on the same road. They are headed to Helmstedt also. He makes his acquaintance and they agree traveling together is safer. They enter the city to find a place to spend the night and eventually do so in a stables.
Sc 1.14 Mistaken Identity (2017) - What if Yakov begins his trip to Helmstedt. As he walks, he remembers his father and wonders about the circumstances surrounding his father's disappearance. Yakov hears a commotion and hides in the shadows of the trees along the road. Watching, unnoticed by the others, he witnesses the chase of a three men, one with a sack and another with a very long and shaggy beard, move quickly up the road towards Wolfenbuttel. Soon riders in the Count's livery arrive as if chasing the men. Yakov is mistakenly captured by the guard.
Sc 1.15 Common Ground (2017) -- What if Michael finds what may have been the original farm foundation and the oak tree? What if MIchael takes the day to meditate on what the farm and family must have been like.
Sc 1.16 More Trouble (June 30,1319; Next Day) - What if the sheriff's men return and revenge the problems of a few days before. The farm is severely damaged, the oxen are taken, Anna is injured, Closgen and Julia run to hide, but return late in the evening.
Sc 1.17 Decisions (July 1, 1319) - What if the next day A small band of people traveling north towards Braunschweig arrive. Anna is intrigued by what she hears. They talk of injustice by the Bishop to the poor. Anna spends some time with a young man from the group. They become friends and he stays for a time to help with the farm. Anna decides she will wait with the children to talk with Yakov on his return.
Sc 1.18 Helmstedt (June 28, 1319) - What if Yakov and his new companions enter Helmstedt seeking the possibility of work. Yakov and the others experience the wonders of Helmstedt. Yakov is awed by the streets and observes the different activities of the small village. Vendors, store fronts, and hawkers, he is amazed. Suddenly, the three remember their hunger and search out a way to get food. There is no money among them. The three split up each going their own way and agree to meet up later. Yakov, viewing events, finds interest in a street vendor displaying a game of chance. Yakov watches and learns. He helps a gentleman of the town by guessing a correct answer and the man gives him a penny for his help. Now for food and friendship. He enters a pub and buys some sausage and weak ale. He is ridiculed about his age, and his hair ruffled. A tuff tries to pick a fight with him, but another man steps between them. There is an altercation between Yakov and his friends against patrons of the bar. Guards come but Yakov and his friends run finding protection with a merchant in town, the gentleman he helped earlier.
Sc 1.19 Visitors and Resistance -- What if the resistance family returns to the Symon estate where Anna and the children are alone, Anna now learns of the resistance movement. The family leaves and Anna and the children stay, but they fear they will be associated with the resistance.The Sheriff arrives chasing the family who just left. Some fuss occurs as the soldiers arrive. She catches an officer's eye. A second soldier tries to have his way with Anna, but is caught by the sheriff. The sheriff believes the younger children are too young to remain with Anna on the farm and so takes them away. The soldiers leave and continue their hunt for the resistance members. The young resistance friend returns for the children convincing the band they could take the new ones in. Finding only Anna, he offers to take her with him. She goes but she is determined to somehow get back to Yakov.
Sc 1.20 Conscription -- What if Yakov is determined to get back to Anna and the children, so he leaves the merchant with his friends, tries to return to the farm but runs into a conscription gang for the Count of Brunswick working through Helmstedt. Yakov and his friends are taken as a recruit and transferred to Brunswick with others for training but escapes along the way. He returns to the farm and finds it deserted, He then begins a search for Anna and the children by returning to the village of Helmstedt.
Sc 1.21 Orphaned - What if Closgen and Julia are taken by the sheriff to the St. Ludger's Abbey in Helmstedt where they are given over to the care of the monks as orphans, personal protection, and education. During the early days of their delivery to the Abbey, the Abbot determines they could better be taken care of in the Abbey at Konigslutter. St. Ludger's is an older Abbey and the monks are becoming more distant to helping outside their walls.
|In section 1 above, I have defined this "Call to Adventure" for the book. The first two chapters will focus on a character from the present time researching his hobby, his family name. His wife has died (Cancer). At the end of the second chapter, I want to move backward in time to the 14th century and to our main character. This is tricky and not usually done in writing, but I would like to start with Michael finding a journal. He begins to read it. A morphing takes place and the story of Yakov begins. I know this is a film technique. I want to see if I can work it out through writing. Any ideas here would be helpful.