Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Drowning has begun

Earlier this year I won a grant [scroll down from this link to the item] from Powys' Chance to Create to write a novel for older children called The Drowning.

One of the grant conditions was the production of a blog to document the writing of the novel. Now I have begun to write it this is a fine time to start.

What is The Drowning?

The story is set in Borth, Taliesin, and West Powys in the not-too-distant future when sea level rise threatens low-lying dwellings and the smooth running of society.

It is a mystery story - what happened when a boy died one stormy evening on the moors north of Nant-y-Moch?

It is a story of the love-hate relationship between two very different boys from contrasting backgrounds forced to get on together in order to survive, and how the arrival of a girl affects this.

It mixes in and updates Welsh legends - specifically the origin of Taliesin and a reinterpretation of his character and this story, and the story of Cantre'r Gwaelod which, besides having obvious resonance with climate change-related sea level rise and weather events, is situated in this same area.

There are other elements as well, and one challenge of writing a blog about a work in progress is to not reveal the plot and spoil it for future readers!


I have so far:
  • researched all of the mythological elements I wish to use
  • walked in most of the areas where the story is set - but will need to revisit some during the writing
  • done some research on the flora and fauna - need to do a little more
  • conducted most of the research on the science of climate change and sea level rise; sources include articles in the New Scientist; Ranyl Rhydwen, a lecturer on climate science at CAT; a study of the Dyfi Valley coastline (near Borth) by a German researcher/Ceredigion Council; and Bill Thompson of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • need to in particular find out more about the Eastern Greenland coast and the behaviour of melting ice sheets there
  • I have worked on the characters, learnt some Welsh, and plotted the novel out on scene (index) cards)
  • begun to write it (a week ago) - 2000 words completed. Projected length: 40,000 words, maybe less, mixed media format

More to follow. Offers of help (research information) welcome.

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