Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Disjointed is a novel that started as my final year project when I was an undergrad. It was also the piece of creative writing that was responsible for me ending up doing a creative writing PhD that focused on the representations of sex, drugs and alcohol in YAF. Disjointed is a piece of YAF that looks at cannabis psychosis - not an on trend subject!!
Until recently it has resided in a bottom drawer which I always thought I would never revisit. However, whilst I am waiting for feedback from a publisher on Ham and Jam, another YA novel I have written, I thought I would look at it again and was quite surprised that it wasn't as desperate as I thought. When I first wrote it I did have some interest from a small publisher but they wanted me to change the psychotic voice to one that sounded like a hippy. Possibly arrogantly, I refused as that made a farce of the rest of the story.
Anyway I am thinking of rewriting it - which includes adding to it as at the moment it is too short. I want to make it darker as well. One of my main decisions is whether to change the setting. At the moment it is in middle England and I am wondering if I should move it to an inner city location - though is that a cliche and a little too predictable? Need to think on that one.
Coming back to a piece of old work can be daunting, in one way I find is like starting afresh and having pages of ideas to pick from but in another you try to have to pick up on the thoughts you had at the time of writing. You have to embark on that journey again. I found this quote recently in my PhD notes from Susan Sontag and I think it explains (not specifically) one of the aspects of writing for children really well, she says a novelist ‘...is someone who takes you on a journey. Through space. Through time. A novelist [who] leads the reader over a gap, makes something go where it was not' It is stepping into the experiential gap between perceived experienced adult writer and less experienced reader then inviting them to join and explore your story together. So I am going to pick up my Disjointed map and go for a trip whilst seeing if I can get any young adults to join me there!
I was looking for an appropriate song and came across this odd little song by Neil Diamond no less!