I’ve decided to release the first novel I wrote, in move, under Creative Commons.
It’s going to be serialised over here, appearing one chunk every weekday, posts going live at noon (starting tomorrow). When the whole thing’s up, I’ll release it as an epub as well.
in move came about simply because as a teenager I never read anything that felt remotely like my experience of life. So I decided to write it myself. It is, most pointedly, not a coming-of-age story where boys are tested, lose their innocence and become men. Instead it’s a relationship story, about the complex friendship between four people and how it is shaken by threat of change.
I’ve never taken “write what you know” too literally, but for this story I did a lot of that. It’s set in 1993 at a single-sex boy’s school in Lower Hutt, and the four friends in their final year of school join the school’s basketball team. But it isn’t autobiographical; lots of bits and pieces are grabbed from life, for sure, but the main characters and their stories are entirely original creations.
I first started scribbling character notes and ideas while I was the same age as the main characters. I worked away on it, on and off, for a few years after leaving school (particularly in the early days of the JAAM writing group), and eventually completed a first draft. A bit later I went back to it and stripped it back by almost half the length, and then finally, after going to and returning from the UK, I pulled a final edit and tried to do something with it. It received nice-ish “thanks for your first novel” rejections; lit publishers suggested it was really YA fiction, while YA publishers hinted that it was paced and framed too much like “adult” lit for their lists. Either way it never sparked enough enthusiasm for any publisher to want to take a financial risk on it, and, you know, fair enough!
But I do think it’s a good story, and I have a lot of affection for it. Maybe some of you will enjoy reading it too?
Follow along over here: http://inmove1993.blogspot.co.nz/