Friday, January 19, 2007

Fiction Friday: The Honeythief

Let me start off this project with a thing I’ve been working at in fits and starts for almost a year now. It’s a young adult novel, about 90,000 words, and it’s called—for now—The Honeythief.

And it’s a high-to-middling fantasy, which surprised the hell out of me; I’ve always enjoyed works with fantastical or surreal elements, and they’ve cropped up in my own fiction before, but I never thought I’d be writing, you know, swordfights and stuff.

But this idea, this idea, just slithered into my head, years ago, and it just would not stop scratching until I set it down on paper. So I did, starting in an unlined Moleskine sketchbook—it was the only paper I had on me when the opening lines jumped, unbidden, into my mind. That start—the first 15,000 words of the book—is probably the only thing of any scope that I’ve ever written primarily in longhand (I got my first typewriter at ten, and I’ve been a two-finger banger ever since). And even now, when I get stuck on the book I’ll go back to the notebook to work it out in pen and ink.

The Honeythief hinges on a fairly drastic conceit—one that’s implicit in the text, and mightn’t show up in the back-of the book blurb, but would come up in the opening paragraphs of any review or synopsis. I really don’t want to get into here, though. I’m not trying to be coy or precious; I just think it’s the responsibility of the work to explain itself. Maybe later we can talk about whether it succeeds in doing so.

Onward and upward.

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