Books: The Thousand Mile Lake 1 - introduction
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So far in books I have been blogging my latest project Love in the Time of Black Magic. A recent event has suddenly brought another project back into action though: The Thousand Mile Lake, a fantasy novella for younger readers. Preliminary points:
It's completely finished
It's a novella - 40 000 words or about 120 pages of a small paperback
The evolution of the project is quite interesting. I had never thought about "teen fiction" and would never dumb down or selectively write for younger readers in their teens - as opposed to early readers which is a whole different field. I have a regular private class of English language students who are very talented and creative and we always like to play Dungeons and Dragons the original table top role-playing game.
They are three girls who recently turned thirteen and the adventures and stories of the game evolve out of the classes and are written up by me. One time I wrote an adventure based around a strong female character called Hana Hallswift, her tragic death and her return from the grave. The game/story struck such a note with the girls that they literally couldn't stop going on about it for months. Also, you play through the story during the game so a lot of it came from the students themselves and their own characters were the protagonists.
So, I realised that I had a story that genuinely appealed to younger readers and had been 'tested', so to speak, by an audience. I made the decision to write it up as a novel - and did that.
Stylistically it ended up being challenging. It's all from the point of view of a single character and you only experience what she does, in the present, and as a reader know nothing outside of what the character knows. I had Tom read through this one too and he found it quite different. What brought it out of the cupboard again was this:
The class has been on a break lately as the girls had been applying to good schools and sitting various tests. They also went off on camps for the summer. I wasn't able to get the final draft to them before we had the break so I e-mailed it out. Then we were out of touch for a bit. Finally, just last week, it was time to start the classes again and we all met up. My student told me that she had been waiting in an airport to go to the USA and saw a free business centre. She used it to print out all 57 pages of the draft and read it during her trip over.
She approves. So I think i'll get it proof read and start to sent it off or maybe self-publish.
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