[DWJ] News from the archive - The Spellcoats

estairm at yahoo.com estairm at yahoo.com
Fri May 20 05:01:12 EDT 2011

Cool!  Thanks for this extra richness!

From: Hannah Green <hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk>
To: "dwj at suberic.net" <dwj at suberic.net>
Sent: Fri, May 20, 2011 3:33:58 AM
Subject: Re: [DWJ] News from the archive - The Spellcoats

Esther, there's nothing in the early draft about the Undying Ones that doesn't 
get revealed eventually in the published story, it's just you get more 
information early on in the story.

Yesterday afternoon, I discovered another partial early draft, again consisting 
of the first few chapters.  This one is very different from the published book, 
with different characters - it features a family of six siblings, the children 
of a lord of Dalemark.  It is described as a story 'from the early history of 
Dalemark', but the protagonist identifies the land as Dalemark, and his father 
as a lord of Dalemark, which suggests the setting is not as far back in the 
history of Dalemark as the setting of 'The Spellcoats'.

This draft does feature the father and two brothers going off to war against the 
'New Men', people who have come to Dalemark from across the sea.  The 
protagonist is unable to go, because he has a problem with his back, a birth 
defect, and his father does not think he will be able to fight.  He is left 
behind with his two sisters and younger brother.  They carry out the fire 
ceremony for the One, which results in him turning gold, but they are 
interrupted by a young girl who has fled the New Men, and they are soon after 
forced to leave their own home by a band of New Men who attack the village.  The 
children and surviving villagers flee into the forest, and the story breaks off 
shortly after they have an encounter with the Piper, which is similar in many 
details to the children's first meeting with Tanamil in 'The Spellcoats'.

If you merge some of the details from this partial draft with details from the 
one I mentioned yesterday, you start to see how Diana came up with the story 
that was eventually published.

Hannah Green
Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Design Works, William Street, Felling, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE10 0JP
Tel. 01914952707
hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk<mailto:hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk>

Website: www.sevenstories.org.uk<http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/>
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