“If there was a better way to go, then it would find me.” -Fiona Apple
I started writing a novel on Twitter because I have a young baby at home and it’s hard to find time to officially “write.” But I noticed that I have time to sit in the nursery and play with him and send text messages to my friends. So if I have time to text, I have time to tweet, and if I have time to tweet, I could be writing a novel on Twitter. Voila, The Place Below was born.
And like so many artistic works, The Place Below was born with problems. None of them are insurmountable, exactly, but each new story is a learning experience. (If viewed through the proper cardboard tube, everything is a potential learning experience.)
(Get caught up from the beginning.)
Huddled under the building’s overhang, Irvin took a furtive drag from his cigarette. The wind was cold and, as usual, he’d forgotten his coat. “You look like a little urchin out here,” Clarice had said the last time she had bumped into him smoking, on her way back from Starbucks.
“Now, it seems, there is an orthodoxy: Fantasy for younger readers must have no toxic taint of psychological depth or moral subtlety, and be driven forward mechanically by plot, not by the natures and passions of their young protagonists. The story must allow of only one interpretation: Good Fights Evil and Wins the War, thus remaining ethically simplistic to the point of infantility. YA fantasies cannot use metaphor. Fish cannot swim in water. No, sorry, that is from another edict. YA readers expect fantasies to contain nothing they have not already read in other fantasies. We the Publisher know what the readers expect. We are God? No, but we know what we’re going to give them, and they needn’t expect anything else. Well, so, there’s a separation of “genre” from “literature,” performed with a Texas chainsaw.”
-From the essay Petty Expectations by Ursula K. LeGuin. Click here to read the rest.