?

Log in

No account? Create an account
c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Thoughts on Fairyland
Fairyland
catvalente
The funny thing about writing Fairyland is that it really is a palimpsest.

I'm writing a new novel on the back of the old one. Bits of the old one show through--I'm stuck with what I set up in Palimpsest the book. I can't change the opening paragraph of Fairyland, for example. If I were starting from scratch I might prefer a more gradual beginning, rather than removing the protagonist from her home within a few lines. I might try to set up her home life more. But when writing the adult novel, I wanted as much information about why this book meant as much to that protagonist as it did, and both are portal fantasies. So now I have this beginning I established as the beginning before I knew I would end up writing the whole book. And that is the beginning. I am a continuity hound, after all.

Ditto the title. I picked a gargantuan, ornate title in part to pastiche the ornate titles of a certain kind of book. And now that's what it is. It's not a title that one would pick for a YA (or middle grade, I suppose this is floats somewhere between, really) novel published today. It is really a lot to type out, and getting it to fit in the graphics was hilarious. But it's what I established. I have to work within that.

And that's fascinating for me. Usually when I sit down to write a novel I have free reign of anything I want. The first few chapters winnow down choices, but I haven't often worked in these kinds of bounds--where the restrictions are ones I set up, two years ago when I was a different me writing Palimpsest. I've worked writing comedy SF video games for small children, which is another set of bounds completely. But dealing with a continuity I set up never thinking I'd have to deal with it? Half awesome, half facepalm.

But I am discovering how much I like writing for younger readers. That's not something I ever thought I'd say.



  • 1
Think of the title as a sail... it has to be big and billowy to catch the breeze. :)

I always liked those big and billowy titles. It makes me sad that they've largely gone out of fashion.

I'm excitedly imagining jewelry based on it now. A puzzle ring pendant with a jeweled key running through it.

Oh, I do hope people get inspired. I'd be THRILLED.

Well, you know I will be :3

(Deleted comment)
But I am discovering how much I like writing for younger readers. That's not something I ever thought I'd say.

It surprises me not at all.

Nor me. Now that I'm older and considering kids, I'm finding a lot of pleasure rereading my old favorites. It's kind of like revisiting old friends. Although i don't know you personally, I imagine many creative authors would find a similar pleasure in writing YA works and revisiting the worlds that they probably created in their minds as children.

Indeed. There's a great deal of kinship between (particularly the older) young reader fantasy and the folklore you draw a lot of your other work out of.

And I personally would love to see all 14-or-however-many-there-were of the September books written and published in large print with color plate illustrated editions to put on the shelf beside the original Oz books. Because that would be a beautiful thing. (no, I'm not expecting this to happen, but it would be terribly cool.)

I haven't yet read the excerpt (exhausted, insomniac and busy liek waoh today), but I honestly think your writing would be particularly suited to younger readers. I'd love to see you write a picture book someday, even.

Funny you should say that...got a ping from a picture book publisher last week, will be working on it this week.

*laughs!* WOW.

Um... ah... I think that you should also write a series of YA books that make the NY Times bestseller list?

*waits to see what that does*

I will have to refer back to my copy of Palimpsest when I get home tonight, since I don't recall all the particulars, but is it truly necessary to fit exactly? If Fairyland is referred to only via the conduit of the characters you could make a case for the fact that their recollections are not quite accurate. An easy continuity "out" that would keep both books as canon.

However, if you're enjoying the challenge of living within the pre-established constraints then go for it anyway. I had found a certain pleasure in the challenge of working within arbitrary and unnecessary constraints in my past life as a software developer.

Well, there's direct quotes. Once the book is further along it won't be as much of an issue.

Writing for a young audience is HARD. I tried it once, on a whim, and realized I simply couldn't do it. Maybe after another few rounds of practice, but it takes a certain mind-set that I can't wrap my head around.

[And good luck with the picture-book query!]

The opening of the new work is lovely. And blogged about it today so my three readers (grin) will know about it. Actually, I think it's kind of cool that you had any structure at all to start with, rather than just a throwaway line or two. Years from now people will just assume The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was written as part of the process of writing Palimpsest... (double-grin)

You're making Mondays worth waiting for.

Dr. Phil

"it's been established."

Usually I don't watch American Dad, but there's this hilarious episode where the mom and the alien( .. .right) decide to pretend to be other people, a professor and his wife. She wants him to be a prof of economics and he wants to be a prof of something else. She tells the new friends they made as these pretend people that he's a prof of econ ("It's been established," she smugly says to him) and then it's this hilariously awful downward spiral of them telling the new friends more and more awful things about these characters they made up, constantly chanting, "It's been established."

My household says it when we started something we didn't intend to start and now are stuck with it. It was the first thing that popped into my brain when I read this. ;p

I would consider borrowing children to have someone to read your work aloud to.

Although, I suppose my cats would do.

I printed a copy out for my coworker's children. I'll live vicariously through her reading.

I love this kind of insight into the creative process :)

  • 1