Monday, September 2, 2013

Flitter & Plank 2: A Pixie Problem is Written!

Today is the final day of my stay-home vacation. In that time I completed the writing of Flitter & Plank 2: A Pixie Problem (formerly called The Temptation of Flitter) and have done the early stages of editing on it. Today, I am sending it out to some proofreaders to get opinions and grammatical corrections.

The writing of this children's novel was a lot of fun. Like with the Adventures of Flitter & Plank, I wanted this to be a project that my daughters and I could work on together. Well, Kelsey was all for helping out, but Paige was more reserved. Unlike Kelsey, Paige doesn't like being the center of attention. She doesn't like how other kids or teachers react when they find out she's in a book, so she wanted to sit this one out. I was disappointed, but I respected her decision. However, once Kelsey and I started hammering out the plot, Paige just couldn't help but to jump back in. Woohoo! Or in Paige's words: "I guess you can say I'm back on board with Flitter & Plank 2."

Together we planned out the plot, which of their cousins were going to be in it (it was a negotiation... I wanted a few, they wanted all of them plus some), which colors the new fairy was going to be, what her name is, etc. When it was all said and done, I started writing. The ending is always open ended and when I got there I came up with a few ideas how how to cap the story off. I ran the ideas by Paige and Kelsey, and just like Paige and Kelsey, they wanted different endings. So we came up with a compromise and I finished it up.

A Pixie Problem has most of the characters from the Adventures of Flitter & Plank, though Mommy, Daddy, Grandma Sandy, Pineroot, and even Father Ferret are in smaller roles. I had to make these adjustments to fit in the new characters like Sunshine the Fairy, the villainous Dusk Queen, Plank's brothers Barkwood and Driftwood, and Driftwood's best friend Mushroom (remember that mushroom-looking dryad from the Adventures of Flitter & Plank? Yeah, I thought I'd give him a bigger role). Also making their Flitter & Plank debut is Paige & Kelsey's cousins Lucy and Austin. I wanted to add more, but with so many characters it was hard squeezing even these two in.

The book is much faster pace with a lot more action, it checks out at a solid 3rd grade reading level (like the first one), and it's hopefully still enjoyable by boys and girls, children and adults alike. I know it'll be primarily enjoyed by girls (hey, it has fairies in it) but there are a lot of dryad scenes, and adding Austin in is an attempt to please the few boy readers I may have.

I'm very proud of this book and am eager to get it into people's hands. We still need to draw some pictures, and I'm overworking my cover guy lately so I'll be trying to teach myself how to use photoshop, but I'll let everyone know when it's ready for purchase (as this one will be set up as an eBook). And to close out this entry, here's a conversation I had with Paige and Kelsey's 9-year old cousin Austin:

Me - "Hey, Austin! You're going to be in the next Flitter & Plank!"

He gets excited.

Austin - "Really?!"

Me - "Yeah, you're helping Paige and Kelsey take on pixies!"

Suddenly he's not as excited.

Austin - "Really? Pixies? You couldn't have me fighting Germans or something?"

Well, if I'm going out of my way to let Paige and Kelsey plan parts of this book, I thought I'd help my nephew Austin out as well. So when you see scenes of him fighting imaginary Nazis... now you know why :)