So far, the absolute hardest thing I've found about adapting an LMM fanfic to an original novel is NOT removing all LMM references.

It's making sure the story isn't too treacly.

I've been working on adapting Meggie of Green Gables for months now, and it is not going as swimmingly as I expected. I was glancing over some of the chapters just the other day, and wincing. "What a dear little place," Peter says at one point of [not] Lavender Lodge.

This is the 1930s, and Peter is 18 years old. If an 18 year old boy in a small farming village really talked like that, in the 1930s, he would be so beat up by all the other boys.

On the other hand, I don't want to turn it all gritty and dark and bleak. I want to keep the spirit of hopefulness and fun and light, without turning it into a Pollyanna book.

If anyone has any books along the lines of James Herriot, Miss Read, DE Stevenson, etc, to recommend, please let me know! I could use some more examples of light-but-real historical novels for my own reading, to put me in the proper mindset.
2 Responses
  1. I completely understand. I've thought about adapting Comfort and Joy, but even though it's set nowhere near PEI, the LMM and Jane Austen references are all over the place. I just don't know if the essence of the story would be anywhere near the same.

    I wish I had something to recommend for inspiration and guidance.

  2. Louise Bates Says:

    I did add a line or two where Peter realizes he's talking like a book, and needs Bran there to slap the back of his head, because that's what Bran does to keep his brother from turning into an impossible prig. So I might be able to work with what I've got. I just never knew how perilously close LMM skated to being overly syrupy until I started to rewrite this. SHE pulls it off, because she was a genius, but it's not as easy for mere mortals.