Way back in November, I went on strike for the first time in my life. But I didn’t just spend the day watching TV. I already belong to my local community forum and an active church, so I could have gone out and volunteered. I know some better people than me that did.
But I decided to try something a bit different.
I used my own time (not leave, not time that I should’ve been using to look after my son as his nursery was open) to do something I enjoy- writing.
The result was a half hour screenplay “I can make you famous”, aimed at a YA audience raised on MI High, Merlin and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
I wrote it to test out my skills at dialogue, plot, and some of the rules I’m applying in the world of my novel. Rules? I better explain.
I realised a while back that while I loved the literary fiction book I was writing, I’d literally lost the plot.
Oren will end up with Charlotte, Titch will die, but getting from where I’d got to to that resolution needs more time and care than I felt able to give it when I was realising that the genre I really enjoy reading and writing is actually YA aimed at boys!
So I started a new novel, reaching about 20000 words after NaNoWriMo. My hero is a teenage boy who ends up time travelling. But it’s easy to have a hero who is really a wizard, who is the son of a god, a prince, who suddenly discovers they’ve got amazing sword skills and where a magic potion heals all injuries within 24 hours.
In my book world, I decided to have real world rules apply. My hero plays rugby so he can run and he’s tough, but if he gets hurt, he stays hurt. There’s consequences to decisions and actions. The only “magic” is the time travel. But the question is why do things happen the way they do? And if you had the chance to change things could you resist doing so?
Writing my screenplay gave me the chance to see if real world rules can work in a fantasy/ sci fi situation. I think they can. So back to the novel…