Today is 21st October, CE, or for the more old-fashioned, Anno Domini.
Our years are counted from someone long ago’s approximation of the date Jesus Christ was born.
(Tom Holland’s interesting novel “Olympiad” traces modern dating back via the birth of Jesus and the founding of Rome to the legendary first Olympic Games, and writes the story of the build-up to that event.)
On my fictional continent of Ragaris, it would be not AD, or CE, but AL. “AL” means “After Landing”, because on Ragaris they date time from the arrival on their shores of a party of foreigners (Irish, I believe –the Irish were great sailors in the Dark Ages) who introduced them to Christianity.
My story (ignoring the issue of Julian and Gregorian calendars) begins on 1st October 570 AL. This is not of course the same as 570 AD – the events probably take place somewhere in our twelfth or thirteenth century.
But 21st October, on the other hand…
The story “We Do Not Kill Children” has a fairly short and precise timeline. It starts (1st October) with a murder trial, and ends (15th November) with an execution. There is an epilogue at Christmas.
During the novel, the characters are widely dispersed through the country, so I had to make a careful chart of what was happening when.
21st October 570 AL is a pretty dramatic day according to this chart, on which two important plot events take place.
The day before, character A, who has been living in hiding, has been exposed, captured and threatened with future torture. The small hours of 21st October are when he kills a few people, interrogates a prisoner, and effects his escape with a mysterious companion.
Later that day, many miles away, a long-delayed letter is finally delivered to the capital city. One of the villain’s lackeys tries to intercept it, but is foiled by two children.
I managed to arrange the story’s climax for Hallowe’en.
Last year (2015) I had a lot of fun following my novel in “real time”, in this way. This year I’m too busy.
Anyway… kindly readers… you’ve reached this far in the post, and now the horrible truth dawns.
You’ve basically been reading an ADVERT.
(Book planned to come out on 14th November, the day before the story ends…)
Love from the PPI and Self-Promoting Blogger