The White Dove

Girl holding a candle. Cover of my book The White DoveArt by Laurel Long

 Houghton-Mifflin Company had this to say about The White Dove:

“The old ways are over, Tasha. You must now face the reality that those who wish only for comfort are not to be trusted.

"As they take refuge in ancient caves and dense forests, cross cold rapids, and travel by the dark of night, Tasha (known to her people as The White Dove)—together with the wanderer Ari, the kitchen boy Gil and the small child Raina---flee a repressive kingdom. Their journey holds many questions for Tasha. What are the papers they must steal from the Capital? Will they safely reach the Great North River crossing, and will Marko be waiting for them when they do? What secrets does Ari carry, and can Tasha and little Raina trust him?

(The White Dove) is a story of high adventure, set in a world removed from, but not unlike, our own. Exploring the bonds of family and the tyranny of aristocracy, the novel chronicles a girl’s constant struggle to act much braver than she feels

----Houghton Mifflin Company

Where I Got the Idea for The White Dove 

Person in a cave holding a light.Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

The idea for the story of The White Dove came from a vivid dream I had of a young woman trying to escape with a little girl. When an idea invades your writer-mind, the next thing you need to do is start to ask questions. And one of the best questions to ask is "why?" So after this dream I asked "why?" Why were they escaping? What were they fleeing? Where were they going?

Digging into my mind I started to find the answers, and I wrote the first chapter of The White Dove.

In the first chapter another character, the wanderer Ari, stepped onto the stage alongside my main character, Tasha and the little girl, Raina, that she was taking care of. I knew at once what Ari looked like. Our friend Clyde had a full head of white hair. Tall, athletic and dignified, he was the personification of my new character, Ari.   

If you are like me, you don't want to be kept hanging. You want to know how a story ends. So I tapped into my imagination again and wrote the last chapter to The White Dove.

Once I knew how the story began and how it ended I was able to write the middle.

The space between the first chapter and the last chapter of a book has been dubbed "The Messy Middle." Once you get into your story, you will see why. New characters elbow their way onto the stage, demanding their part of the narrative. Problems put your protagonist into tight spaces, and it's up to you to find a way out for them.

And not far into the middle you must find yourself face to face with the Villain, the antagonist, the bad guy, the character who does not want your main character to succeed. In The White Dove my antagonist marched proudly into my story in Chapter 2. With a flourish of his velvet cloak, he confronted Tasha, making an offer he did not think she could refuse. 

Watch my website for an announcement. The White Dove will soon be back in print.  

White Dove in flightPhoto by 卡晨 on Unsplash