Thursday, October 11, 2012

On the Boat

  For the last week, in between dental appointments, shopping, finalized edits and other chores, I've been researching "stuff" for my next book. Some of the topics were Hy-Brasil, Japanese yari, Apache wickiups, and pre-historic boats. My usual mode is to narrow down the possibilities via the Internet, then track down more extensive reading materials via libraries and bookstores.

Now about the boats. When you read--or hear--the word canoe, what do you visualize? I bet it's one of those boats you can rent at the lake on summer vacation.
Prior to my initial research, that’s what I thought, too. Specifically, I was considering the use of a dugout canoe for my story. Maybe eight to ten feet long…capable of carrying three or four people. Then I spent some time looking at prehistoric boats and discovered I vastly underestimated our ancestors’ boat building capabilities.

A dugout boat depends on the size of the tree used. Some boats fashioned from ONE tree are capable of carrying sixty people. Whoa! That’s a big boat.

Back to the planning board, right? Since my fantasy world has giant Sequoia type trees, if appears my characters (at least the boat builders) could build any size boat I could possibly dream up, complete with sails, oars, or other necessities.

Which just shows that even minimal research can change and rearrange the wonderful possibilities in storytelling. Now…I’m off to board the boat!


1 comment:

  1. Those were big trees, Anny. Travel by boat is so ancient and incredibly impressive when you consider the distances and the dangers.