I is for… Industrialisation

Here we are at I in this A-Z blog challenge for which I have focused on different aspects of my children’s fantasy adventure novel, ‘Prophecy of Innocence’. First up I must apologise for the numerous punctuation and typo errors in the last post. I do know how to use apostrophes correctly, not that you’d have been able to tell from my H post!

So anyway, I for Industrialisation.  What possible link to industrialisation can a children’s fantasy adventure novel have? I hear you ask.

Ah well here’s one of those weird, crazy, inexplicable things which make this whole idea sometimes seems completely unfeasible and like a bad nightmare gone loopy but bear with me. I’ll try to explain this without any spoilers via the blurb I drafted some time ago.

Below the surface of the human world the tiny inhabitants of Trelflande are in mortal danger. The ancient and peaceful underground world of the elflings is under attack from the “Oomans” above them – ‘Oomans’ who are trying to improve their own world and build their empire. As they flee their homeland, destruction and devastation follow the elflings at every turn and soon they find their race facing the threat of extinction.

To save their world, one intrepid band of elflings set off on an uncertain and treacherous quest to discover the identity of the mysterious  ‘innocents’  mentioned in The Prophecy.  But what they unearth is a world more dangerous, more perilous and more hostile than they ever believed possible.

Can the elflings find the enigmatic Innocents, fulfil The Prophecy and restore Trelflande to its former glory before time runs out?

 Take a closer look beneath the surface. Maybe, just maybe, you will find out…

So why set the story all that time ago? Why not set it now? The landscape continues to be torn up after all so this could easily have been set in modern times. Well, put quite simply this is a trilogy and the main story arc spans three centuries so by the time the third book comes along we will reach the modern day. In fact it was Book 3 which started the whole idea but once I began outlining I realised that this wasn’t where the story started so I tracked back and ended up two hundred and fifty years ago.  I think perhaps a little like if you read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe before you read The Magician’s Nephew. They work independently perfectly well but The Magician’s Nephew gets to the heart of a lot of the second, more popular book. I originally could have written just Book 3 but then I found myself wandering around the depths of this world and wanting to write its history and so Book 1 and Book 2 were born. With the events of Books 1 and 2, Book 3 makes more sense. They are not crucial but I want to create a certain depth so this is what has evolved. 

The first book of Prophecy is set in the 18th Century at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in Britain but the historical context is only important to the parts of the story set in the human world.  The elfling’s behaviour and customs are not indicative of that time in particular as the elflings themselves are an ancient race. Time has changed them very little, that is until they face the threat from human progress. It is the story of the elflings which is primary, the Industrial Revolution is a secondary aspect though it is the core of the main dilemma faced by the protagonists.

There is also an underlying theme to the book which concerns itself with lost innocence and lost simplicity. I think Industrialisation was the starting point of this process and I hope the book, although a story about an imaginary race, will highlight that.

For anyone thinking setting a  fantasy adventure novel with a heavy historical background is slightly nuts, well perhaps it is. Though as someone who studied history to undergraduate degree level I think it was inevitable there would always be a historical slant to my writing. Dystopian, futuristic fantasy has been done to death. Steam-punk,  as a sub category of fantasy, seems to be going the same way. Has anyone written, essentially, a fairy story set in the past? Not that I was consciously trying to be different, but I would like to think I have something a little bit more unique to what’s around even if it is too quirky for traditional publishers to touch with a barge pole.    

The whole idea started with the thought of a  world run by over-intelligent babies. That was it. Sometimes I do wonder how I got to where I am.  And if I ever had to draw a mind map of its evolution it may look something like Spaghetti Junction. On speed. 


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Filed under Plot Development, Writing

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