We recently went on holiday in Cornwall. Whilst there, my eldest asked if I could tell her a quick story before bedtime. Wracking my brains I quickly came up with a story, told it to her and ended it on a cliff hanger. This was not appreciated.
Realising that I better capture the story up to the point of where I got it, I found that verbal storytelling is very light on the details compared to written story telling. What had been a less than three minute story turned into a 1800 words or so chapter … with no end in sight.
I passed over my iPhone (since that was what I was writing it on) and she sat and devoured the whole thing again, handing the phone back to me with an ‘awesome, what happens next?’
Looking around for a shovel to dig myself out of the hole I was in, I realised that I was going to have to write another chapter. Which I did. Another 1800 words or so in a couple of hours on a iPhone does lead to some basic grammar and typo but this chapter too was devoured.
I am now on chapter 3. Being back at home and catching up on work means that I’m less able to write as fast as I might, but at least I have Scrivener to cut and paste my notes into.
Fortunately, I already had a world in mind, for which I had developed a short background as a ‘rainy day’ story. So now, Nagar: The Nanowiz has been born and she and her sister Arik are on the run from the vengeful Vantags and heading to The City.
Hopefully this will see a short(ish) novel being written. It does raise some questions however.
1) What do you call the market for children around 7-10 years old?
2) How long is the average novel for such children?
As ever, although I’m writing this for my daughter, I still have an eye on getting it published as well.