Hannah’s Island – location

A work in progress. A post apocalyptic novel of sorts, but set in somewhere between a dystopian and utopian world.

map of Hannah's Island

The location for this novel is significant. I wanted to set it on an island, an enclosed, somewhat isolated environment. I also realised that I needed some sort of conflict or I wouldn’t have a story to tell.

This stumped me for a week or so, but one day I had one of those lightbulb moments and decided that an unexpected visitor would upset the apple cart in an otherwise idyllic but basic, rural, closed community. I knew almost instantly how the newcomer would affect lives of those already there – but why has the visitor come?

While I was thinking about this I decided to draw a map of Hannah’s Island. I needed to know where everyone was going to live and their relative positions. I also researched how much land a small population would require for real self sufficiency. It will make life easier to have this reference to hand while writing.

Hannah’s Island – disaster strikes

A work in progress. A post apocalyptic novel of sorts, but set in somewhere between a dystopian and utopian world.

A wave breaking over a road

The first disaster I envisaged for this novel is rising sea levels (it didn’t take much imagining). I had come across a map of how various coastlines, and indeed whole countries, would change if the worst case scenario happened. Transport, communication, shipping (ports would have to be relocated), cities (many are on the coast) would all be lost. Life would change slowly and we would adapt. But our infrastructure has taken hundreds of years to evolve and the land masses would be different – and the available material resources.

With so much infrastructure beneath the sea would salvaging of metals become a potential income stream for an individual?
What happens when food has to be more locally sourced?
What happens if other disasters disrupt the rebuilding process?

Gender fluidity in creative writing

Flip book for children

A man writing women’s fiction?

I am a man writing women’s commercial fiction. I never set out to trespass into a genre that is usually written ‘by women’ and ‘for women’, it just happened.

When I was a child we had flip books that showed us how bizarre gender stereotyping is. They don’t exist now in the same simplistic format, I presume because the gender specific portrayals they were based on are no longer acceptable. But if your based the characters on a man baking a cake, a female firefighter, a male nurse and a businesswoman, maybe it would still work – or maybe not.

I am just setting out the plot of a new novel, set around one hundred years in the future and the protagonist is not only female, but a teenager – as is the second most prominent character. This novel has a working title of Hannah’s Island. I plan to post the way the idea grows each week – without giving away the plot I hope.

Does everyone, except autobiographers, write outside their own personal experience?