Literally Reruns, Short Fiction

Literally Reruns – The Night Game by Jennie Boyes

Life as interpreted through the eyes of a child is a tricky thing for an adult writer to pull off gracefully. We can remember believing certain things as children, but not why. The most challenging aspects are understanding adults; parents tell children that grown ups know what they are doing, even though they know that is usually not the case.

Jennie Boyes’ The Night Game beautifully shows what happens when such a misinterpretation leads to a horrific result.

Q: The village and its inhabitants are set in a world of their own. It may be Earth, it may not be. Your stories excel at what I see now commonly referred to as “World Building.” Do you consciously construct the settings or do they evolve apace with the storyline?

Q: I know this is an awful question, but what do you think ever became of Fridel?

***

Jennie’s answers:

Q: The village and its inhabitants are set in a world of their own. It may be Earth, it may not be. Your stories excel at what I see now commonly referred to as “World Building.” Do you consciously construct the settings or do they evolve apace with the storyline?

Hi Leila! Wow, thank you again for picking The Night Game for a re-run, and for your lovely feedback and questions.

I’m not very methodical when it comes to world building, and this is something I’d like to get better at. I usually start with a setting or image in my head and then begin writing rather than planning so I can get a better sense of place and character.

The Night Game was inspired by history. I’d been reading up on 13th to 15th century European attitudes towards witchcraft, and how this changed from a distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ magic to all magic just being bad. There were various superstitions and rituals to try and protect against evil magic, and specific charms to ward off particular fiends such as the mare. I wondered what it would be like for a child to grow up in this environment where adults believed in monsters and magic. The setting, characters and story developed simultaneously as I wrote, though I did add a few more details during editing.

Q: I know this is an awful question, but what do you think ever became of Fridel?

Ah, that’s a tricky one. The optimist in me wants to think that Fridel grew up, realised he’d caused the deaths of two innocent people, and then tried to be a kind and charitable person thereafter. The realist in me thinks that he continued to believe he did the right thing and grew up with a pig-headed sense of righteousness borne from a genuine fear of being vulnerable. I don’t think he joined the church – he might not have been educated or ambitious enough for that – but he probably stirred up trouble for his own gain and was feared by his neighbours.

Leila Allison

***

The Night Game

4 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – The Night Game by Jennie Boyes”

  1. Hi folks,
    Your usual brilliant choice and insightful questions Leila.

    Jennie – I am a huge fan of your stories and I would highly recommend every one of them.
    You are an intelligent, interesting and inventive writer.
    Your stories compliment you!
    Hugh

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.