"We are so much more than skin and bone."
What inspired you to write Gingerune? When did you first know you had to write it?
This dual question by Elizabeth Rose and Bree (bah! sisters!) is probably the most puzzling of all the questions for me - not because you asked it, but because I'm really not sure. I know that it was Beowulf which first inspired me to write Adamantine, and several books like Knight's Fee and The Worm Ouroboros which inspired me to write Plenilune, but I was not reading anything when the light came on for Gingerune, so it does not have a book which genius gave it birth. Or perhaps it does...
Gingerune started out as something wholly other, as Barth says. It was medieval and fantastic, with the beginnings of a political struggle at the centre of things. The political struggle (much to my chagrin) seems to have clung on through the transmutation process; so have other things, I suppose, such as the affair and the Rammerowt and Ginger's pedigree. But the shift from a cloud-capped Germanic landscape to a white-washed Mediterranean vista was a jolt. The dashed problem is, I don't remember why I had to make that shift. I have a vague memory of knowing why once, but it's been too long now. Once the decision has been made, the decision-making process seems to become so thoroughly irrelevant that my brain chucks it. I do apologize for that. I remember the shift being important, so you'll just have to be content with that and assume (ill-advisedly) that I'm doing these things for the best.
here lies the whole world after one // peculiar mode; a buried sun,
stars and immensities of sky // and cities here discarded lie.
the prince who owned them, having gone, // left them as things not needed on
his journey; yet with hope that he, // purged by aeonian poverty
in lenten lands, hereafter can // resume the robes he wore as man
As for knowing when I had to write it, thank you, Bree, for not holding my feet to the fire and expecting a specific date. I think the best date I can give you is that it was part-way through Plenilune, when I realized that a character from Adamantine was going to make a cameo appearance in the second novel, that the character was going to get its own story and that story was going to be Gingerune. Up until that moment, the original Gingerune was a poorly baked story which I was sure I would never actually write. I was correct: that first form of Gingerune will probably never be written, and having died and come alive again I think it will do much better in its resurrected form. So I suppose you can take away two things: the books that inspired Gingerune were Adamantine and Plenilune, and I know I have to write it because it is now ready to be written. As Lessingham's martlet said, "Time is." Simple as that.
Do you have a clear outline for Gingerune written out which you are using as you write this first draft, or are you just 'writing it'?
Funny you should ask that. I'm gearing up to deliver a creative writing seminar with Abigail at the Home School Resource Center (Joy, I think it might be a bit of a commute if you wanted to attend), so I've been thinking about the mechanics of writing - which is something I try not to do if I can possibly help it. I do remember writing an outline for The Shadow Things, which ended up keeping me on track, but also gave me a very skeletal creation when I was done. Outlines work for some writers, but typically not for me. Gingerune has a rough outline in my head - but it looks less like an outline, perhaps, and more like a "murder board," with things here and there connected to other things here and there, and so and so, and such and such, and Wimseycal snatches of prose and poetry which have dubious connection to my themes. I do keep track of things with sticky-notes on my walls in a shape resembling a royal European family tree, but that's the best I can do at an outline. Not only am I not one to be put in a box, I am entirely the wrong shape for the box, it would seem... I am 'just writing it,' which gives you a wholly false impression of the difficulty level of this beast.
"Oh, confound it all!" Sophie yelled.
howl's moving castle