Date of Award
Ever since time and the world began, dwarves have always fought cranes. Ever since ships set out on the northern sea, great sea monsters have risen to prey upon them. Such are the basics of life in medieval and Renaissance Scandinavia, Iceland, Scotland and Greenland, as detailed by Olaus Magnus' Description of the Northern Peoples (1555), its sea monster-heavy map, the Carta Marina (1539), and Abraham Ortelius' later map of Iceland, Islandia (1590).
I first learned of Olaus and Ortelius in the summer of 2013, and while drawing my own version of their sea monster maps a thought hit me: write a book series, with teenage characters similar to those in How to Train Your Dragon, but set it amongst the lands described by Olaus, in a frozen world badgered by the sea monsters of OrteIius. I flipped the paper over and wrote the title: N, a symbol for all that a northern world of legend embodies.
The aim of this project was to plan an epic fantasy adventure novel based upon the teachings and maps of Olaus and Ortelius, as well as the real history, culture, mythology and cryptozoology of Scandinavia, Iceland, Scotland and Greenland, and discover how to adapt these sources into my fictional text. The research I have done concerning these 95 separate "concepts" as I call them, five of which I have written within scenes, has beautifully bolstered by idea of how such items are adapted, and mapping out the chapter plots and arcs of my four characters has provided endless growth in both my idea of them and of myself. Drawing five of the sea monsters and including the sample chapter allowed me to truly judge the overall scope. This project not only taught me about novel writing, but how I can make N the best novel it can be.
Thomson, Adrian Jay, "N: A Sea Monster of a Research Project" (2019). Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects. 424.
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