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Story Ideas

By Jane McKie

Opening words/images:

Nothing made me steal a painted swan pedalo.

Nothing compelled me to steer close to the ruined West Pier.

Nothing capsized me, forcing me to hug a sheer metal strut.

Nothing made me want to live inside the perished ribs.


Narrated from a first person point of view, the novel would tell the story of a battle (played out in and around Brighton) between the forces for good, led by the ruined West Pier, versus the forces for evil, led by the devil, a frequent visitor to Devil’s Dyke.  Ever since the devil tried to flood the churches of the Weald of Sussex by digging the eponymous dyke & was thwarted by stubbing his toe on a rock known as the Goldstone (now in Hove Park), the devil has revisited the area and taken potshots at its protector.

The West Pier, as a consequence, has suffered arson attacks (by demons, the devil’s avatars in human form -- Ray Taylor and Reg Lamb?), periodic collapse into the sea, etc. But it is championed by the spirits (not ghosts, more animated projections) of people who performed there in its heyday -- bandstand musicians, vaudevillians, costumed fairies -- as well as by the narrator, a contemporary YA who gets drawn into the battle because of their ability to communicate with the projections of the pier.

This page was amended on 09/04/2014
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