From Casanova to Cleo

Well, this is frustrating, but it does happen when you write a book. Sometimes you go down one path in your research before discovering that it’s a dead end.

Then you have a choice: You can somehow finagle it into your book and hope that it works. Journalists do that a lot, because they don’t like admitting (to themselves) that they wasted time searching in the wrong place.

Or you cut your losses, say ‘Oh well’, and keep searching for the perfect and sublime.

That’s what I just decided to do, after much agonizing. As you know from several previous posts, I was reading into the life of Casanova as one of my characters for a particular chapter. He led a fascinating life, but it just doesn’t work in my specific context, at least not perfectly.

I considered replacing him with Mata Hari. (In general, I want more female lives in the book.) Also not a perfect fit.

Now I’m onto Cleopatra.

Con: She’s an “ancient”, as are the protagonists in the book (Hannibal, Fabius and Scipio). So there may be too much of that.

Pro: People love her, she’s fascinating, she’s female, and…. she fits!!!

If you’re trying to figure out what these people have in common and why I need one of them in my book, I’ve dropped a veiled hint here. Feel free to guess.

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