12 Days (without Birmingham) is an online novel to be written and published one day at a time from Christmas day 2010 until the 12th day of Christmas, 5th of January. It is not a reworking of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, nor is it an exploration of the popular song the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Not one word of the narrative will be written down — as draft, notes, or any other form — until Christmas day. However, the preliminary working up of ideas, people and places will happen before then.
All I’m giving away for now is that it is set in a Warwickshire where there is no Birmingham. Where Birmingham currently is, is a large mountain. Mount England, to be exact. This has naturally had a moderate effect on history up to the Industrial Revolution 1, but its effect after the beginning — a much slower beginning — of the industrial revolution is far greater.
If you’re reading this, please do take the time to have a read each day, at least until you get bored, and to post your comments. This is particularly important because I intend to modify the story as it develops based on the comments I get. That isn’t the same as taking requests. Your comments probably won’t appear (lest they influence other people’s comments), but I will read all of them.
Please do enjoy!
Chapters Published so far
“Quickly now”, said Lomax to Bart, “are your people able to do it, and is your man able to accomplish it?” The bells were ringing out from the tower of St Lawrence’s for Christmas morning, and the wind was whipping the fallen snow into little eddies around their feet. Lomax had hurried out of the(…)
Far away, in the foothills to the east of the Mountain, the first light of dawn mingled with the torchlight and gas light of a collection of brick buildings, huts, tents and temporary structures. It was an abandoned gun emplacement, once mounting 21 cannon for defence of the Great East Road north, in expectation of(…)
Just at that moment a door opened behind him, and the street flooded with light. Derek’s left arm dropped like a stone, and he swiftly thrust the raised knife back inside his coat. Fiedel, unaware of what had almost befallen him, went on, turning the corner into the High Street, which was lit by gas(…)
Masonry came crashing around his head as Michael flailed, grasping at air. Somehow he knew that what was below him was not deep snow, which might save him, but the hard stone which the parapet he had stood on had kept free of all but the slightest dusting. His stomach gave a lurch — would(…)
As Alexis screamed, two silhouetted figures reached the door of the hut. Michael stabbed down on the little lever on the block of wood with wires attached that Alexis had given him. He had no idea what it might do — if anything at all — but, unable to even stand without difficulty, and with(…)
The message that Seline sent to Huw was short and simple: “I am coming.” As soon as she was able, she shooed the last customers out of the tap-room, and then did a sweep of the parlours and the salon. “Go and drink at home for once,” she told them, and handed bottles to favoured(…)
The wind whipped round Gordon’s face. It bit at the space on his wrists between his sleeves and his gloves. His arms ached. His heart pounded. He felt more than saw that the rope around his waist was slack, not taut. That meant that — if Alexis were not still falling — then they were(…)
Chapter eight of the online novel “12 Days” being written and published, chapter by chapter, over the twelve days of Christmas, shaped by the comments of readers. Are Alexis and Gordon drowning? Will Professor Fiedel ever recover? What has happened to Michael? Is there really a Spirit of the Mountain? All this and more is revealed in Chapter Eight.
Will Professor Fiedel escape the clutches of Lomax? Will the robbers succeed in their carefully planned ambush? What will happen on the mountain, what will happen inside it, and how will the villagers eat Sunday lunch if the inn is closed? Chapter nine of 12 Days, the online novel written and published one day at a time over the twelve days of Christmas, shaped by reader comments, reveals all.
Robbers gather to attack the village, Angharad conceives a terrible vengeance that may put every life at risk, Fiedel solves the problem of the heliographoscope, but is all this too late to save anyone? Find out in Chapter Ten of 12 Days, the online novel published chapter by chapter over the twelve days of Christmas, as it approaches its thrilling climax.
Professor Fiedel glanced desperately around the mill loft. Lomax stood, smiling, sword point hovering around Sedan’s neck. Bart was scrabbling on the floor for the knife. Fiedel’s entire body was limp. In the spasm of fear, all of the life had flowed out of his arms and legs. He only had the strength — only(…)
Will the village escape Black Hand Nigel? Will Lomax win the day? Will Brian win the hand of Claudine? What will become of Derek? All answers are revealed in the thrilling climax to 12 Days. http://12days.martinturner.org.uk
- For example, Alfred the Great famously deceiving the Danes that he can see their ships in the North Sea, by cunningly showing their leaders 1/4 size ships on the Red Avon, which is the Avon near Rugby, as well as Julius Caesar proclaiming himself conqueror of the end of the world from the lower peak, now known locally as ‘The Ugly Sister’, and most famous of all, Robin Hill and his band of followers harrying the Sheriff of Nottingham from the foothills, as legend tells us ↩