Around the time my son was born, my wife gave me this fancy journal, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to write a fairy tale in it. Well it took a while for the idea to germinate and for the kid to get old enough for me to start putting all kinds of cool, dark stuff in his bedtime stories, but now we are in the thick of it.
So in between drafts 2 and 3 of novel #2, while I wait on feedback, I’m improvising this long children’s fantasy that pulls out all the tropes: a woodcutter’s son lost in a big steam punk city with a wizard and pirates and vampires and a circus and political treachery and war and every other cool thing I can think of to delight and tickle and frighten him.
I tell a new chapter most nights, and then write it down in summary the next day.
When I started, I figured I would jot down notes in the back of the book in pencil, and then write the first draft from the beginning of the book after the outline from the oral sessions was done. But the tale grew in the telling, as someone once said, and now what I have is a 3/4 full journal written from back to front. A peculiar little book indeed.
Even though the old tropes are all new to him, I’m trying to spin them in unique ways to keep it interesting for me, and now we’re both pretty excited to be approaching the climax.
I’ve asked him if we can make a real book out of it someday to share with other kids, and so far he says no, it’s just for us. I hope to change his mind about that, but if I can’t that’s okay too. He has agreed to at least read it to his own children someday.
Sounds like pretty good reach to me.