Erin, Dan and I were talking about what would have to be done to make Rosemary and Time younger. Dan, who has expressed an interest in adapting the book into a screenplay tells me that he'd work from my current version, and not a middle-grade reader. In his view, he likes the budding romance between Peter and Rosemary and, more importantly, it's far easier to cast 14-year-old characters than it is 11-year-olds.
So, we considered what we would have to do to take Rosemary and Time in the other direction, making it more explicitly a teen novel. The episodic structure of the story is the big stumbling block, but perhaps if we tackled other issues, we could succeed in spite of it. Make it a little less earnest, for one thing.
In Erin's view, what the story would have to become is much more of a journey quest. She pointed out that the physical setting of the Land of Fiction doesn't really come into play, and the characters leap into and out of scenarios as though they are exiting and entering rooms. But I've already established that the centre of the Land of Fiction is the goal. What if I put the centre at the top of a mountain peak, and made the journey more arduous.
The big thing that's missing from the story at present, if it's to be changed into a journey quest, is a Slough of Despond, or a Verticle Ascent of Despond. Or an Arctic Plateau of Despond, the Great Plain approach to Mordor that has our heroes crawling. In terms of relating back to Rosemary's character and fictional conventions, this is the place where the fates gang up on Rosemary and bring her to the edge of giving up.
This could work.
And how do we make the story darker? Dan supplied the answer: Kill Puck.
Ouch! I'm already envisioning him sacrificing himself by transforming into a giant fiery bird and flying straight into a Zeppelin...
I'll have to ask Cameron what he thinks. We'll be seeing him tomorrow.
The Young City Scorecard: