Thursday, 6 May 2010

Coming Out of the Closet...

No, not like that. I found my old YA fantasy novel I was writing when I was about fifteen or sixteen. I thought I may have lost it after two computer transfers and throwing away all my hand-written notes. (Note to self: don't throw away writing notes, no matter how crap they seem at the time.)

I'm really happy I found it, along with some notes I'd typed up. I can't believe how much I had written (nearly 10,000 words - the longest piece of fiction I've ever written), and it wasn't half as bad as I expected it to be.

I spent about an hour cleaning up the first 4,000 words last night. I'm going to outline the rest of the story. I had a bit of a brain-wave in the pub at the weekend that fixed one of the problems I was facing with the plot.

I recon I could get at least 100,000-150,000 words out of this huge plot and history I'm making up in my head. I'm considering trying to plan a trilogy of 50,000 words each. Apparently 50,000 words is about 175-200 pages of a standard book. Does that sound right?

And I'm also going to try and illustrate it. I haven't done much art since A-Level, where I began developing my skills with pen and ink, finding it a comfortable and versatile medium to work with.

I adore John Tenniel's illustrations in Alice in Wonderland, and I think I'll aim for something similar (though I'm slightly more sketchy than Tenniel).

If anyone can recommend some good YA fantasy novels, please do. I think I need to read some more. I'm hoping that my story has some originality to it, but I think I should read more of what is out there already to get a better idea.


  1. Exciting times, Sophie!

    Mortlock, by Jon Mayhew may be worth a read...


  2. Quite a few of my friends rave about the series by David Eddings called "The Belgariad" or something like that. I own it but haven't read it. Most of the fantasy I read is ... well, only Geeorge RR Martin really.

  3. Sounds like an exciting project, Sophie. Something to sink your teeth into, for sure.

    Best of luck. No doubt you'll finish it before I'm done with mine, lol.


  4. Not sure I've seen many YA trilogies, but I would expect them to be shorter than standard doorstop fantasy trilogies which are more like 100-150K words per book!

    If you want to see what's going on with YA nowadays you can download Cory Doctorow's latest YA novel for free here :

  5. Hi, Sophie.

    I'm working on a fantasy novelling project myself.

    Some great fantasy books I can think about are the following (sorry if they're a bit obvious):

    The Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini (Eragon and so on)

    The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern (a.k.a. William Goldman; my favourite book of all time)

    Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (and the rest of the trilogy, Inkspill, which I've read, and Inkdeath, which I haven't)

    All of these are pretty popular these days and should be, because the writing is great (especially the classic style of The Princess Bride). Hope this helps some.

    Sounds like a huge project. Good luck to you!


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