Up to this point, I haven't said a lot about my sequel to Queen of Time. It is not because I am not excited about it but because I haven't wanted to spoil too much of Queen of Time. Unfortunately for me, I just can't keep excitement under wraps. I will do my best to keep my spoilers to the minimum!
As some may have guessed from the title, my second book, Darling, is a Peter Pan retelling. To my knowledge, possibly apart from the disgustingly creative folks writing Once Upon A Time, no one has ever mixed an Arthurian legend with the story of Peter Pan. Of course, I haven't made it past halfway through season four of OUAT so maybe I have outdated information.
Peter Pan is one of the core books that got me started writing. Robin Hood was truly the first but Peter Pan was close on its heels. My issues always had to do with the fact that the story centers around the reality of growing up and in the end, Peter still doesn't grow up.
I knew in the plotting stage that writing Wendy was going to be a lot easier than writing Gwen but it wasn't until this last week of frantic writing (NaNoWriMo, anyone?) that I realized how much easier she is. Gwen is a by the rules type and Wendy can't stand the confinedness (is that a word?) of rules. Gwen was poor, Wendy is a bit posh. Gwen ran away from problems, Wendy punches them in the nose. Of course, these traits get poor Wendy into more trouble than Gwen ever was.
In the original story, Wendy doesn't like the idea of growing up but after being in Neverland, she begins to realize how much she really does want to do things like a grownup. This is shown a bit poignantly in the 2004 live action version of Peter Pan where Wendy finds herself attracted to Peter, an action that is decidedly grownup. I'm not going quite the same route but I do want to focus a bit more on Wendy's unwillingness to grow up. In Darling, Peter, on the other hand, would love nothing more than to grow up but he can't. Spoilers.... :)
Last week, I was a bit stressed as to my antagonist(s) stance in my novel and how I was going to puzzle piece all the characters together. I laid down for a nap and boom, I got half a dozen ideas that tied up a bunch of my loose ends. Let's just say, it's made writing this week a LOT easier. Hook is a complication that I haven't totally worked out but from what I've written out about him, he's going to be a big part of Wendy's journey to understanding who she is and what she needs to become. For any love triangle lovers out there, I am not doing what I have read multiple times now which is to create a love triangle between Pan, Hook, and Wendy. Seriously, can't we be a bit more original?? To the rest of readers who are super sick of love triangles; you're welcome!
This book will continue some of the time travel elements featured in Queen of Time and will tie in some of Gwen's story.
I'm so excited and nervous about building Neverland. It's going to be a crazy place with a bunch of strange elements to its nature. I have some of my old notes and drawings from when I originally started writing a Peter Pan retelling eight years ago and I really want to rework some of them and put them into Darling. It would be a nod to my younger writing self who would've never envisioned myself where I am today.
Off to get more writing done. It's so sad that when I take a break from writing, I inevitably blog or go write on some other platform. What can I say, even if I'm not that good, I am a writer!
- Anna Leigh