“The Ward Prince”: quite a process

In May 2005, I’ve decided to take up the challenge of writing a first draft of a novel in 30 days (much in the vein of National Novel Writing Month) based on a writing prompt I found online: Write a fairy tale about a psychotic prince, an ill-tempered princes and a talking animal. I dived into this challenge with a relish and pounded out a full-length manuscript by the end of that month. The first draft of the novel was set in a land “once upon a time,” with the prince and princess constantly fighting, and a sorcerer that was turned into a talking duck. I thought it was a pretty quirky take on fairy tale cliches. However, I felt that the first manuscript was not original enough, and that there was something missing. Then I figured I had to update it, make it more contemporary. I decided to put the manuscript aside and let it simmer for a while, in the hopes that some inspiration would hit me for a rewrite.

Guess what? That time came around two years ago, in 2008. It dawned upon me that I should take that quirky fairy tale to the next level: set it in a contemporary mental hospital. Why? Because fairy tales are known to simplify this complex concept called life when it comes to love, and romantic and family relationships. I wanted to still turn the traditional fairy tale on its head, and a way to do that was to make the characters more three dimensional. I wanted to give my protagonists, Morgan and Donovan, their own sets of problems and demons who happen to fall in love as patients in a mental hospital. I’ve spent a good deal of 2008 brainstorming ideas for the rewrite.

From June 2009 to June 2010, I rewrote the manuscript from scratch. The result? The Ward Prince, a 263-page manuscript that is being edited. However, I wanted to share a little bit of The Ward Prince because, well, I’m proud of it. 🙂

I posted the first chapter of the novel on my blog, in the “Pages” section of my blog. Feel free to comment. Thanks.

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