Thursday, 2 July 2009

When Peacocks Attack

Peacock - public domainAfter a brief and bracing spell attempting to research promising scams for Evil Genius, my top-of-the-stack unfinished fairy tale Lolly Black and the Broken King has come roaring back to life. A slogging bit of bum-on-seat work - intended solely to get my protagonist safely born, raised, and chucked into the deep end of the story - was yesterday violently interrupted by the Regent of Heaven’s ambassador and the worst peacock in the world. On the one hand, this leaves Lolly still only a toddler by the end of the second chapter; on the other, it somewhat paradoxically doubles the tempo or triples it.

Lolly Black is, as noted in a previous post, sort of a Snow White character, although the twisted SW plot is now morphing almost faster than I can keep track of it. I wonder how much will remain? The Cruel Mother has not yet gone over to the dark side and has acquired some alarmingly sympathetic sidelights, whereas Papa Placeholder has somehow become a sort of sunny-natured middle-aged Lessingham, gallant and witty and intoxicatingly heroic. The problem of how everything can possibly go to hell in a handbasket without his nipping the descent in the bud, is... one to which the peacock is now screeching some most interesting suggestions.

Yes, this yarn is clearly now officially turning into a novel, albeit probably a rather short one. Amusingly, this comes only a few days after Patricia Wrede reposted her classic Cinderella at the Rock Concert essay on her blog - which is all about the differences between the ways novelists and short story writers develop their ideas.

I appear to be in the process of unintentionally providing a point-by-point illustration of almost the whole of her argument. By way of another modified fairy-tale, even! Well, well, if all this is occurring under the influence of some sylvan enchantment, I shan’t be complaining, so long as the process keeps right on processing...