When I first started writing The Lerewood, I don’t think I meant for it to be anything but a story. The idea was simple—written in the style of a spooky legend being told around a campfire, the plot revolved around a dark creature that lived within the forest. She was judged for being evil, but in truth she was caring, and fair. She had been hardened by her harsh experiences with humanity. The town just outside the borders of her forest was cursed, and somehow, the creature was tied in with that.
But the more you start to write a story, as basic as your intentions may be, sometimes the story forms a mind of its own. Details come to life that you never expected. As a way to enrich the story, I personified the forest, giving it ‘life’.
Uallas whispered, "Thank you." Then, he reached into his pocket and took out a handful of brown seeds he had collected. He threw them, and they scattered over the parched dirt which moaned, knowing they would be forced to provide a nourishment they couldn’t provide to these small, innocent new additions to the Earth. Without water, without life, they would be forced to crack and open their ground up.
~Excerpt from Chapter 10
As I gave the forest lifelike qualities, the forest came to have power, too: the trees could absorb the evil souls of the townspeople that died within the forest, and as a result the trees would decay and rot. The forest acted as a barrier between Lerewood and the rest of humanity. By the end of the book, I realized I’d written somewhat of an allegory. The Lerewood was more than just a spooky legend. It had become symbolic and meaningful. The more I wrote, the more I wanted my readers to feel something or learn something by the end: an appreciation for nature and the powers they hold, and the lack of respect humanity has given it.
If you’d like to read more about my process of writing The Lerewood, check out my previous blog here in which I discuss some of the difficulties I had.
You can also tune in to my live chat on January 25 2018 at 12-1pm PST to hear more. Hope to speak with you soon!
~ Andrea Churchill
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