**SPOILERS BELOW. If you have not read the story and want to be (hopefully) surprised, come back to this when you’re done.**
For me, this story really hit home the concept of reader expectations.
I always seem to start my tales with some sort of fantastical bent in mind, but this time, I dunno….something drove me toward not so much a twisty-turny ending, but one that hopefully was just as satisfying without needing to be a “trick” pulled on the reader.
With that in mind, my first reader finished it and said the ending just seemed off to her. After further discussion, I learned it was because she was expecting my typical style. Then she iterated that my ending wasn’t bad, just not what she expected. This is a good lesson when it comes time to publish…If I want to vary my styles so much, it may be worth thinking about alternate pen names.
Where inspiration is concerned, I read a wonderful poem called The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats. It’s one of his earliest, but the whole concept of faeries trying to shield the wonderful innocence of a child spoke to me. I combined that line of thought with a National Geographic article I read about a man who harvests psychotropic honey. Again, I love how these varied references meld together into some sort of delicious story stew.
I’m also very curious, dear reader, how you visualized the POV character? It was my goal to make him/her completely gender-neutral so the reader could visualize either a male or female. My wife imagined it being a boy, but she reasoned it wasn’t because of my writing; it was just her default view on the type of person that would carry a blade and scale cliffs, especially in an antiquated, tribal-type setting where men typically do that sort of work.
I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Here’s the general scratch file:
And the daily journal entries:
- Monday, November 6th
- Tuesday, November 7th
- Wednesday, November 8th
- Thursday, November 9th
- Friday, November 10th
- Saturday, November 11th
- Sunday, November 12th