So whilst the first draft work on Gods of the Old Frontier continues, I’m also starting to edit Refugee.
Refugee (or more likely ‘Refugees’ – I’m still undecided) is the tale of a family who become refugees in a fantasy world following the destruction of our own. It’s post-apocalyptic with fantasy imagery. It has a lot of twee fantasy stereotypes in it, mainly because this was born out of a challenge to see if I could write elves, fae and unicorns (almost no-one writes serious unicorn fiction any more!) and make it gritty. I think the pitch to myself was ‘Post-Apocalyptic fantasy with unicrons’.
The result is an almost nihilistic human drama along the lines of The Road, and you know… I think it works as a novel.
I’m now loading it into Scrivener to prepare it for editing. I reckon this will probably need a lot of rewriting in places. I also have a particularly harrowing sexual assault on which the plot pivots and I want to make sure that scene, above all else, is pitch perfect.
My usual writing style is blood, guts and awkward sex (I blame years of reading Clive Barker) but that’s not going to work here, so there’s a real challenge. I decided that possibly the best place to look for inspiration in doing this correctly is YA and I’ve been recommended a bunch of YA books to see how they handle the subject.
Even though there’s a young central protagonist, I’m still unsure whether Refugee would suit being a YA book. A lot of friends are working in YA at the moment, but I’m not sure the genre suits my usual style (It seems, just how Star Wars movies have at least one person losing an arm per movie, so I have someone being cut in two in every book). Styles can change but I’m not sure whether I particularly want to, or more importantly, whether it would suit the book. Still, I’m keeping an open mind on this as I begin editing.