I mentioned that the biggest step I’m taking in this is changing the names, which is also the main thing that has people concerned. I’m not going to throw them all at you at once, but I’m going to ease into it and hope that it won’t be too much of a shock to your system. I want to show you that these are real characters and not simple name changes. I hope to establish this in the first book in such a way that when I change the names in the second, you’ll still feel very familiar with these characters and won’t even mind that they are different – because they aren’t. They’re the same.
The first one that I am going to reveal to you is Wendy’s re-imagining. Her name is Wren. (See, that’s not so different.)
To me, the star of the show in Neverland was not my Wendy, even though the story was told mostly through her discovery. The stars were absolutely the lost boys, and of course Pan. To be honest, I never liked the way I chose to portray Wendy, even though I tried to fix her a few times, but she always seemed a little empty in the beginning. Still, my version followed closely along some of the lines that were placed for her in the original book. She was very submissive to Peter in a ‘good wife and mother’ sort of way, and never really questioned anything he did until she realized that he did not love her like she loved him. Even though I intend to keep her as a largely non-violent character, I want her to seem a bit stronger. I want to build her up without the ‘crazy girl in an asylum’ image and let you understand what she has gone through, why she loves the world of Nevermor and also him. Identifying her reasons for these things is going to give more depth to the original story, which is what I always strive to do in the first place.
Without further ado, you may meet her.
Wren is a fifteen-year-old orphan at Miss Nora’s Home for Children along with her two brothers, Henry(12) and Maxwell(4). They have been here for a few years after their parents had to give them up because they couldn’t afford to feed them after Max was born. Our timeline is England in the 1800s, so Wren’s life is not easy. In fact, she and Henry find themselves working in factories throughout the days, and otherwise she has to perform chores around the orphanage to earn her keep. She fears the day that Max will have to do it too, but he’s only four, and much too young for now. Henry is drifting away from her as he gets older, and she doesn’t want to see that happen to Max. She wants to preserve his childhood but that is hard to do. All the while, she wishes for someone to come and adopt them – it is very important to her that they all stay together – but it hasn’t happened yet.
Wren’s head is filled with ideas of how they might be able to escape and live on their own, but nothing seems like it will work. They are still just children, and they are lucky to be in the home. If not, they would be on the street. The factories are terrible, but they don’t seem so bad compared to complete destitution.
Eventually, Wren begins to have dreams of a beautiful place beyond the ocean. She is convinced that she is really going there in her sleep. When Wren returns, she begins to tell her brothers about this place as if they can all go there to escape their lives and be together without worry.
Wren desires a life in Nevermor, but gets a little more than she bargained for when she is kidnapped and taken there against her will.
Her adventure begins.
Wren looks the same as you’d expect – classically pretty with curly blond hair and blue eyes. However you pictured her before, that stays the same, except that she’s a little younger.
She has the same traits that you are already aware of. She’s meek and kind, patient and forgiving, but she also has a defiant side and she can stand up for herself when she needs to. She is fiercely protective of her brothers and always tries to put them before herself. She is exclusively non-violent, and often gets discouraged that the others’ natural response is to kill their enemies. She constantly struggles with how dangerous and violent of a place Nevermor is, and wonders whether or not it is really better than the life she escaped from, but she is also enchanted by it. She is a sensitive and emotional person who gets frustrated when the others never seem to be able to understand her feelings, but they all hold her highly and respond to her fear and distress. She is the most mature character and somehow can’t put aside her notions of fear and consequences long enough to be truly happy. She is a young woman but also a child, caught just on the verge of being able to grow up.
Summary of changes:
Her name is Wren now, but pretty much the only thing I changed about her is the backstory. Otherwise, you should be able to see how she develops the feelings and opinions that she has in Forsaken Dreamscape, and I feel like this new book is going to be very important for her character, even if the others are not really affected.
I have done away with the ‘mother’ implications, since I made them all older in this one. Now, Wren is simply the only female among this group of boys and they react to her more delicate nature, even if they don’t really understand her.
Wren. Say it a few times to yourself. (It has taken me a few days to get used to the new names as well. That’s why I want to go slow so your mind doesn’t explode.)
So, how are you feeling about all this so far? Any thoughts?