Siege of the Northland Extra

Here you will find some odds and sods of information about the ideas that went into bringing Siege of the Northland to life.

A Novel! Really?

Actually - to be a script, or not to be a script, was the first big question I tackled.

With no experience of writing either a script or a novel, my sole desire was to produce an action-packed adventure story with elements of the fantastical woven throughout. Because I saw this, in my mind’s eye, just like a movie, considering a script didn't seem such a bad idea. Also, surely, it would take less time!

Besides, I already had my heroine, who, I imagined, would happily travel (Outlander style) between two time zones; although I was thinking more specifically that the transference of time and place would be instigated by the reading of a book: in the vein of Neverending Story and The Princess Bride.

What I hadn’t reckoned on, because I didn’t know at this early stage of the game, was the style of writer that I was destined to become: a pantser – more elegantly known as intuitive. Simply put, you have a vision (of sorts) - together with a few key scenes - a quest - a location - a couple of really strong characters and… well, you just fill in the rest as you go!

And so, inexperience fed my frustration as I flitted backwards and forwards between the two: script? novel? script? novel? Result: disaster.

Clearly strong words ‘to self’ were needed: ‘if you’re going to do this properly, listen to your intuition which is now clearly telling you that a novel is required, accept it’s going to be a slog, there are no shortcuts, and get some professional advice.’

Needless to say, I didn’t listen, which resulted in a paper copy being discarded in a drawer somewhere. It was years later that an overpowering sense of ‘unfinished business’ between the two of us, led me to snatch it back from oblivion.

With the time travel element ditched, alongside the safe, 9 to 5 job, work began in earnest in late 2014.

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
-George Orwell

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