'Where the children’s story is simply the right form for what the author has to say, then of course readers who want to hear that, will read the story or re-read it, at any age… I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story. The good ones last.What do I mean by that?' CS Lewis
Literary fantasy or 'speculative' narrative fiction appeals to readers aged 8 to 80, and hits the erogenous zones of our imaginations. Think of the all-time best sellers - The Hobbit by Tolkien, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, J.K Rowling's Harry Potter books.
Yes, there are conventions, some call them ‘rules’, to this bold genre which delves into our subconscious and dabbles in magic. But I am going to show you how once you tick all the boxes, you can create a Neverland that is quite unique to you. In fact you won't be able to help it.
Plotting a novel is a major blind spot and the bogeyman for many writers, which is why The Ninety Day Novel ® course ensures you focus on creating material so that you’re not sidetracked by spreadsheets or overwhelmed with the scale of the project.
But this genre needs extra up front military-style planning.
This course will lead you through what you need to do before you start writing, making sure you've packed for the journey
There are books on how stories work from Joseph Campbell to Christopher Vogler, and more recently John Yorke's book ‘Into The Woods’ which looks at why we write stories, and why we need them. This latter is a very good grounding, well written and looks at stories on page and on screen, but it allows only one small final chapter to why and covers a few options in a cursory fashion with short summary paragraphs. He doesn’t go far enough 'into the woods', to my mind.
But John Yorke was right to think about why we need stories. If we understand why we write them, and why we need to read them then we can begin to take the machine apart and re-assemble it with the joy of a kid putting a train set together.
I’m here to put a firework up the backside of everything we think we know about why we need stories, why we need them very badly indeed, and why we write them.
The major difference for writing in this genre is the source material is you. You're going to delve into your deepest desires - and fears.
You see this time, you’re writing this book for yourself.
Once you get down to that deepest level, everything will fall into place, and we will start a fire which will illuminate the shadows of a long-lost childhood landscape so that you can see again. With wonderment.