[DWJ] News from the archive - The Spellcoats
estairm at yahoo.com
estairm at yahoo.com
Thu May 19 12:33:59 EDT 2011
I'm so glad you have and are sharing these with us!
As to the clues about the Undying Ones, are there any in the fragment that
DIDN'T make it into the published book?
From: Hannah Green <hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk>
To: "dwj at suberic.net" <dwj at suberic.net>
Sent: Thu, May 19, 2011 4:30:08 AM
Subject: [DWJ] News from the archive - The Spellcoats
I've started into cataloguing Diana's drafts for her published works, beginning
with the Dalemark series, and have found some interesting early material
relating to The Spellcoats.
The archive contains a complete manuscript draft of The Spellcoats which is
substantially the same as the published book in terms of plot and
characterisation, although there are some differences in the structure and
ordering of some passages, and of course differences in description where
passages have been refined in the rewriting process.
However, alongside this complete manuscript is a fragment of what appears to be
an early attempt at the story. This fragment places the focus on Hern as the
protagonist, rather than Tanaqui - the opening reads "Hern loved the River. He
did not know how much, until it was decreed he should not go near it." There is
no war against the Heathen which takes Closta and Gull away from home; indeed,
Gull does not appear at all - the family consists of Closta (he starts out as
Closti, but mid-way through the fragment becomes Closta), Robin, Hern, Tanaqui
and Duck. Rather, when cows and children begin dying from the River fever,
Closta is blamed and is eventually arrested and imprisoned in the schoolhouse.
The children find themselves besieged by the villagers in their own house, and
the story breaks off, after 3 chapters, with the children wondering how they are
going to rescue their father. The fragment is only 18 pages long, which
suggests Diana decided fairly quickly that she didn't like the direction the
story was taking and started again. It also contains a few more clues as to the
identity and role of the Undying Ones than is found in the early chapters of the
A fascinating insight into Diana's creative process and, I'm sure, the first of
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