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One thing I love about writing is visualising a scene in my head and trying to capture it in words. The author’s job is to get the reader to forget where they are and what’s going on around them, and absorb them fully in the events and characters on the page. With writing mythology, that challenge is even harder: to make someone forget they’re on the train or in bed and transport them to ancient Greece is one thing; to get them to accept that your character is facing a man-eating, one-eyed giant, or a seven headed dragon with poisonous breath and the ability to grow new heads, is another.

Recently, I’ve been writing about Geryon, a winged giant who lives on a lonely island at the farthest edge of the known world. He also happens to be a Siamese triplet, with three heads, three conjoined bodies, six arms and six legs. Heracles is sent to steal his cattle, but to get them he first has to defeat Geryon in combat. It makes for an interesting fight scene! What’s even harder is making sure the reader doesn’t get confused about which limb is doing what, and which head is shouting, which is biting, and which is being punched by Heracles.

On the subject of visualisation, I saw this video today on a US weather channel (watch from about 30 seconds in). I remember the days of Michael Fish standing in front of a board and placing magnetic clouds and suns (though mostly clouds) around different parts of the UK. This is a very different form of weather reporting, one which enables you to imagine the true effect of a big hurricane. I bet the people in this town won’t be sitting this one out!


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