Shipbuilding and Subconscious Answers

Got much of the ship built last night. Discovered that deep-water sailing ships have about a 4:1 length/width ratio or more, that the length/height ratio is anywhere from 4:1 up to 16:1 or better, but that in smallish wooden sailing ships is much closer to 4-5:1

Also discovered that I’m going to have to throw out a lot of sailing terminology. Starboard — comes from the Viking steerboard, which was always on the right side of the Viking longship. Tonks don’t come from a world that had Vikings. Mizzenmasts and genoas and topgallant sails — all from the age of European wind sailing. Tonks didn’t have Europeans, either.

Discovered that for the size ship I need to rescue the number of people I want to rescue, there’s no way anybody was rowing anything. Which means upping the number of windmen.

I did front, top and side views on the ship, but still have to do the detailed deck plans. Finding out your ship doesn’t have a kitchen is never a good thing.

Discovered that my hero’s little sister was kidnapped by slavers — finding her is his compelling reason for leaving the nomadic Tonk life when he was sixteen to live on ships. Didn’t know that until I woke up this morning.

My subconscious has so far been much less forthcoming on what I’m going to do with Hawkspar and the bitch inside her head.

Back to work. I have a ton of things to do, and some of them I have to figure out before I can write any more. But I don’t want to have to count today as a second rethink day. If I can add two thousand words to yesterday’s one-thousand-word count, though, I’ll have only lost one rethink day.

So. Onward, markers, rulers, and tons of reference books in hand. (I’ll scan the Tonk wolf-ship pages when I get them done, and post them on the site. I think they’re kind of cool. I probably have a few things in there that will make real boatmen shriek, but if I’m lucky, I’ve done good enough research that there won’t be many.)

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

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