Wednesday, August 09, 2006


So, I've been ambushed by a brand new novel.

I've been mulling over the concept that for some reason, the Christian market seems to be more open to fantasy in YA than adult. I'm not sure what they expect fantasy-loving youth to read when they get older, but that seems to be beside the point at this time. The reality remains. Though a lot of my stories seem to be about younger adults, they aren't really YA in theme. But what makes a book YA? Yeah, that's what I've been mulling.

We were camping for a few days, see. And the very first night I lay awake in the camper for a couple of hours. I don't usually have trouble sleeping and the camper is just as comfortable as my bed at home. It's even cooler up in the mountains than at home. No reason at all to be awake, but occasionally there is a night like that.

When the idea crawled in, I knew sleep was going to be awhile in coming. What if, I wondered, what if I could write a YA fantasy in a chick-lit style? Throw in a first person narrator, journal style, a bit of humor...I can do that. What if this was the story for the girl named Krin? But what would Krin be doing?

What if Krin woke up one morning to find a trio of fairies circling her head? What if her family and the townspeople thought they were angels, but she knew they weren't. Not only were they not angels, they were bunnies. Fairy bunnies. What if...

I did get back to sleep eventually. In the morning, I hauled out my trusty spiral-bound notebook and began scribbling my thoughts into it. Then I had a moment of gratitude that I'd brought along the entire 2 year novel course and began working through the assignments with this new idea, ignominiously shoving poor Jhonal and the Puppet Prince off into a corner again (where unfortunately he has been residing since March. I was going to catch up on this vacation. Honest.)

When I had a dozen or so pages scrawled in, I fired up the laptop and typed them in. I had to use the battery time judiciously; it only lasts so long so I couldn't waste it on thinking time. But I also know that given a few days I can rarely read my own handwriting so it's dangerous to leave handwritten notes for too long.

When I got home I pulled out Holly Lisle's Create a Character Clinic which you may recall I won in a draw a couple months ago. Perfect for working with Krin. She and I have been through the first section on the hierarchy of need and she is developing nicely. We'll go through some of the other sections on our next camping trip.

Next week we're running an outline marathon at Forward Motion. I'd intended to have the Puppet Prince worldbuilding done by then so I could outline it. Then it would be ready to write anytime the urge became too great. The real plan was to revise Quest to be Queen between now and Nano and then write PP for Nano. But I've been seriously hankering for a run of first draft again. I haven't first drafted since November but have rewritten two novels in the meanwhile. I NEED first draft to keep me sane.

So all of a sudden I'm planning to start writing this new novel for Forward Motion's one week Labor of Love challenge starting August 28. See, because it is a YA I'm aiming at about 60K for it, which should be doable by the middle of October or so. In other words, I could go straight into Nano with PP at that stage.

Unfortunately, that puts Quest to be Queen's revision on the back burner again. But it will come around again I know. I like that story a lot.

Meanwhile I have the finishing touches to put on the recipe forum and Maripat's novel to crit. Why should there ever be a dull moment?

Me and Krin can whup them all. WooHoo!!


fiorinda said...

You should read "The Blue Girl" by Charles de Lint. It is very much in the style you are talking about. But he is not a christian, so I think you could do a much better job :)Christian girls need this kind of book(as she woefully remembers someone named Sarisa she hasn't visited in a while)

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks, I'll look that one up. Sarisa will be waiting for you when the twins go off to school! :P

Random Walk Writer said...

Fairy plot bunnies! I love it!

But I have to wait even longer for Quest? (/me blubbers)

Have fun with it. And maybe next time zip up the tent so the plot bunnies can't crawl in with you.