Sunny Days in England

By on February 25th, 2012

And after last night’s angsty whingeing, this morning I feel better. The sun is actually shining, which is seems a great rarity in the United Kingdom, and I feel hopeful again. Depression flows in and out on the tides of chemical imbalances and the rise and fall of biorhythms. Sunny days in England are things to treasure, as are happy days – the trick is to make the most of them.

So this morning I printed out my foundling manuscript in preparation for tearing it apart and hopefully putting it back together in a more presentable incarnation. I also did some work on my blog template and pages, but am still very hampered by the fact that Kaspersky antivirus will not let me ftp into any server, and the only solution is to uninstall it entirely while I work, which is insane (especially for someone so paranoid about firewalls and safety). Pah.

Things to do:

1. Rewrite the entire stiff beginning of the book.

2. Still not sure about the style. I’d wanted to retain a feeling of reading a fairytale while still writing plainly and clearly, without a lot of fuss and elaborate phrasing. It may be too plain, though. I’m too close to see it clearly.

3. Rewrite the female main character so that her arc through the story has more impact. She changes greatly during the story, but that is not reflected enough. Her brother is less changed, and I think he’s ok aside from some fleshing out.

The third point reminds me of something interesting that I read recently by Kristen from Pub Rants on the difference between middle grade and young adult. Rather than basing it strictly on age group, she said something that I thought was very nicely worded:

“In young adult, the teen protagonist faces an adult situation for the first time, and once having gone through it, can no longer see the world through a child’s lens. In middle grade, the young character faces an experience but once through it, although wiser, still sees the world through a child’s lens. There is no stepping across to the adult threshold.” Very nicely put, and you can see the podcast here.

In relation to the story that I am currently on, the older sister’s story would be YA, while the brother’s story would be middle grade. Maia becomes an adult and a warrior and finds that she can no longer fit into the narrow world of an upper-class Victorian girl. Tyler remains a very intelligent child but gains the confidence to embrace a wider world of school and friends, which he had previously been denied. Interesting, and problematic.

Anyway, I am off. The problem with sunny days in England is that you cannot trust them, as they are fragile things that wither and turn grey between one moment and the next. Another grey, rainy day is always waiting.

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