NaNoWriMo – The Editing of Grail Maiden
So I’ve finished the first draft of Grail Maiden. What now? There are acres of advice out there for writers, and almost without exception, it insists that the best thing you can do for a manuscript once the first draft is complete is to stash it away for at least a month, before you begin the editing process. No less a figurehead of the writing world than Stephen King has spoken emphatically on this subject, so who am I to disagree and go my own wilful way?
OK, so it’s not quite a month since I finished Grail Maiden, my children’s fantasy/alternate reality novel for children, set in a Wales that is still pagan in its ways, for Christianity has never been born into this alternate Earth. But it is over a month since I wrote the Prologue, so I thought I would take advantage of the breathing space from my labours afforded by the Christmas holiday, and make a start on editing my ouevre. – and getting it in front of an audience.
The Prologue of Grail Maiden is a retelling by Derwen the Bard of the ancient story of Blodeuedd (pronounced Blod-eye-eth), the woman made from flowers to be the wife of Prince Llew. It is crucial to the beginning of my story, for it presages the need Derwen will discover for himself, to form a young woman from the flowers of Spring. Only she can free the Merlin, trapped in magical sleep in a cave for over two hundred years.
But his release brings down trouble on the land, for the woman who trapped him also stole the Spear of Grievous Wounding. In a bid to delay his retribution, she uses the spear on the King, and the land begins to fall into ruin and civil war. Forewarned, the village where Princess Aelwen lives has already begun preparations to survive the lean times to come, but she must learn many Bardic skills to help them.
Grail Maiden Book 1 shows how she begins her Bardic training, and the difficulties the villagers must overcome in the first few weeks of their King’s illness. Book 2 will continue the story, including that of the Maiden of Flowers and her struggle to become the woman she wants to be. In it, Aelwen will begin her Grail Quest Journey, accompanied by her brother, Prince Macsen.
Can she help her people survive these difficult times? Can she and her brother find the Grail before the land becomes deeply involved in civil war between his sons? What is her flower sister’s ultimate destiny, and what can she do to achieve it?
These questions may be answered in Book 2, or there may need to be a third book to conclude the story. Only time (and my writing it down) will tell. One thing’s for sure – it will be a fascinating ride! Do, please, come along with me. You can begin by reading the Prologue – Blodeuedd’s Story – here.