Friday, 20 December 2013

Scott Westerfield, more Animals in Stories, Editing, and a Secret Photograph of the JD Field Writing Process

What's your favourite Potter animal? What would be your Patronus? Or your Daemon? What's your favourite Scott Westerfield animal?

I've talked about the appeal of animals in kids books before. It's interesting that it doesn't seem to cross over to YA books that I've seen. There's something about the play of imagination necessary to see the world through the eyes of an animal that maybe stops as we grow up.

Westerfield is my latest discovery. I've just read leviathan.



It's BRILLIANT. Recommended to everybody. It's a re-imagining of the events at the start of the First World War, seen through the eyes of a teenage girl and a teenage boy who get caught up in events. It's fast-paced and action packed, but that's not the best bit.

The best bit is that the Germans have armies of gigantic, walking war machines, while the British have fabricated animals by blending their DNA together. There are enormous, armoured elephantines, and ferocious wolf-tigers. There are jellyfish filled with helium that float into the sky. Best of all is a whale as big as a village, that produces hydrogen in its guts, and floats through the sky like a gigantic airship. This is the best thing ever.

If you've read The Water Book you'll understand why. If you haven't, then read the Water Book. It's free at BARNES AND NOBLE. That's got a whale, and imaginatively depicted animals, as well.

Fortunately Westerfield's work is such compulsive reading that it won't be keeping from my editing for much longer. I've printed Levels 4 onto 70 A3 pages.


Here it is, with the corner of my new noticeboard. The corner has a note about the stories I'm going to write AFTER Levels... I'm currently on page 35 of the edit, scrawling arrows all over everything, and crossing stuff out. Crossing tons out. Lucky I've got plenty more to add, so when it finally gets to you you're not going to feel short changed...
  

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