Monday, June 14, 2010

Putting Down the Pen on Another Pan

Last night I finished writing
Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between.

For those who do not already know:
This novel is an interquel.
That means it's a sequel to one work, but a prequel to another. You see, there's a major gap between Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (really part of the novel The Little White Bird) and Peter and Wendy (aka Peter Pan.) In PPiKG, Pan's "origin story" by Barrie, he is an eternal infant living among the birds and fairies in the famous London park. But the next time we see him, he's a young boy fighting pirates in the Neverland. One could just chalk it up to Barrie changing his focus for the character. Sure, that's true. Yet reference is made in Peter and Wendy as to the first adventure having happened. That means story-wise, we have a major chunk missing. How did the little boy who wouldn't grow grow up to being a boy? And how did he get to the Neverland? Thus, I've pored through Barrie's works again and devised that very story. Those and some other ponderous elements are made clear.

I must, of course, read through it all again and make any necessary revisions. And I've got a few very minor details (such as which birds specifically) to fill in... but otherwise it's a completed book. It clocks in (currently) at 53,533 words. Naturally that will change. It's a short novel, but then, so are Barrie's.

Before I unleash it, I am going to have (at least) three people take a gander at it first. Not just anyone, either. Andrea Jones (Hook & Jill) will be delving into it for me. Since she's quite versed in Barrie's world it can only behoove me to get her opinion. Her obsession has the very helpful advantage of a feminine perspective as well as masterfully manipulating Barrie without sacrificing any of his integrity and themes. My faithful reader Anon will also have a read. Anon rivals my own obsession with Pan and Barrie and also matches my insistance on the meticulous details. Anon has been anxious to read this tale since I mentioned it. And of course, Bart.

I really am curious what they will think of it. I'm hoping it doesn't seem completely off the mark to them. Not that I doubt the work. I am very pleased with it. I just wonder if since I've been dealing with and living with it for so long that I'm more readily accepting of some of the ideas, characters and events in it. After all, I am more than touching a subject that is both delicate and difficult - namely the wherefore of how Peter, grew up, so to speak. There's the chance that at first experiencing this adventure it could seem too outlandish. But I do feel it remains true to Barrie's universe while expanding it just that much further.

At this point, then, I am not entirely sure of this novel's fate. But I will be sure to keep you posted.

*Yes, that's the cover I've devised for it. The photo is of a walkway gate in Kensington Gardens. Bart took the picture when we visited London and the "world" of Sir J.M. Barrie.

1 comment:

Anon said...

What an honor it is to be present at the "birth" of a new Pan! XD I never thought I would live to see the day!

Before I, ahem, "protest too much," let me just thank you for this wonderful opportunity, and say what I can before reading the book:

Having read Peter Pan's NeverWorld I know what your Peter Pan is like, and while some things struck me as odd at first, there was a truth underlying everything that shouted out to me and drowned any voices of dissent I heard. (As I told you, I stayed up late just to finish it that first time, and have read it several times since!)

While that's no guarantee that I'll feel the same way about this venture, I have no reason to doubt that I will love it! ^_^ The worst reaction I expect to give you is "I didn't like it having read it once, but it's intriguing enough for me to read it again," in which case I expect it to "grow" on me upon multiple readings (which there will be, I'm sure of that! ;) ).

But as I said, I expect that to be the LOWEST opinion I can have--I expect it to be far more likely that I will love it, as I loved Peter Pan's NeverWorld, and that like the latter I will consider "Betwixt-and-Between" to be a crucial missing piece in the Chronicle of Peter Pan. ^_^ At any rate, it is an honor just to be among the first three to read it!

Again, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of what you do!