I've had little time to work on The Holy Lance this week, but I have managed to squeeze in some progress both conceptually (I'm going to write the entire novel in the present tense in spite of the fact that it spans a full millennium) and concretely (the first draft of chapter 1 is done). The screenplay moves pretty quickly across the centuries, a movement I may slow down in the novel, particularly after recounting the fictional birth of the lost heir of Peter the Great. The child was born, but, as Robert Massie notes in his biography, that child was lost to history. That serendipitous fact, and my willingness to ascribe gender and heir status to the child, is a key plot element in The Holy Lance. Establishing the import of that moment in early 18th century Latvia to a 21st century plot may take more than the shorter medium of a screenplay would allow. Progress is progress. Four screenplay scenes are now a single chapter in a novel. It's not momentum, but it is a solid start.