[DWJ] News from the archive - The Spellcoats

Amy Harlib aharlib at earthlink.net
Thu May 19 13:29:33 EDT 2011

aharlib at earthlink.net
What Anna and everybody else has so far said - these tidbits are treasures!
Thanks so much,
Amy performing and loving DWJ, SF & F in NYC

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Using humor and a love of fantasy, "The Amazing Amy" Harlib connects with 
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-----Original Message----- 
From: A.M. Winslow
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 1:12 PM
To: dwj at suberic.net
Subject: Re: [DWJ] News from the archive - The Spellcoats

Just to reiterate --
Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting these.  I want to grab them and 
bundle them up and hug them. :)  Sadly, they are but electronic words.
But thank you.

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 published book.

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