The Revised Tubal Cain

The man was tall and thin and dressed in black.  Black boots, black jeans, black shirt, black hair, black leather jacket.  Black sunglasses.  If the man had ever heard that some other colour was the new black, he clearly hadn’t been convinced.  He grinned, bright and white and mutinous against all the black. Clint was probably, he thought, the least violent man that he himself knew, but looking at that grin, he couldn’t escape a twitching urge to punch its owner in the face. It was that sort of a grin.

That’s how, in the most recent version of the manuscript to float through my brain, I introduce the reader to the character of Tubal Cain – the worst fairy in the world. Seven lines, and they probably could and probably eventually will, be better.

Welcome Tubal Cain, in his tweaked and evolved version, as rendered, as ever, by PS Brooks.

Tubal Cain, the fairy, wearing shades

Tubal Cain, proving that there are also 50 Shades of Black.

Tubal Cain they fairy, without shades.

The trademark scowl he wears in the Fairy Kingdom at the general flutteriness of things.

Tubal Cain the fairy, in leather jacket, grinning.

Tubal Cain…grinning, having just arrived in the human world, where all the best toys are.

It’s a continuing revelation to me how people can take what you write, and breathe the life of their own imagination into it. I’m finding it inspiring, seeing these characters coming to life – Peony for instance, developed through the visual process and will now undergo a fruitful re-write when I come to focus on Happily Ever After.


This of course is the delicious irony of the thing. I had character profiles for the Happily Ever After characters available for Patrick before I had any to give him for Wonderful, despite it being Wonderful that I’m starting with. So there’s a thrumming itch of fairy-based inspiration at the back of my brain right now. But I’m starting to understand how this works. In the next few days, Hark, one of my Wonderful characters, will be visually arriving, and the thrum will rev into the work that I’m doing now.


And how’s that going? Well, I have 15,000 words that I’m sort of happy with. They’ll need a buffing towards the end, but I’ve solved a fairly major plotting issue early in the book (at least to my own satisfaction). Oh and to prologue or not to prologue? As it turns out, not to prologue – felt like I was unnecessarily slowing my opening, which d (did I mention my wife likes to be known only as d?) actually hates because if anything it’s too fast, and a bit multi-scenic, but which I think lends itself to the perfect “pre-credits” sequence. I’ve added the new prologue in as a flashback a little later. I’ve been wanting to write all day, but have instead been focusing on preparing for tomorrow – annual accounts day. Positively shudderworthy.  I know from the feel in my head that the urge to write is still there, but am perfectly aware that what I write now will need rewriting tomorrow. Still, the point surely of a draft is to instil the discpline and do it, for all you have to re-do it when you’re more properly conscious. So here goes.

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