A Lonely Courage Behind Enemy Lines

Gill, Maria
George, James
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Master of Creative Writing
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Auckland University of Technology

To Catch A White Mouse is the draft of a novel targeting young adults (13-16-year-old readers). It is a historical tale written in modern day language about a strong female character set mostly in Europe during WWII. I chose the novel style over biography and creative non-fiction, as it would appeal more to young adult readers. It also enabled me to include fictional elements such as dialogue and draw out suspense in scenes. The thesis is the creative component required for the 2020 Master of Creative Writing degree. It is a third-person point-of-view with a single protagonist. Nancy Wake was a brave woman who was very action orientated, not revealing much of her feelings but always seeking to make connections with the people she met. The accompanying exegesis A Lonely Courage Behind Enemy Lines examines why female point of view experiences in a war setting were rare until recently. It explores the different approaches authors took when writing Nancy Wake’s story. Ten authors had already written about Wake, possibly due to her being a classical war hero, not being morally ambiguous, and she survived the war, whilst many other spies did not. The exegesis also explains the choices I’ve made while writing the story for a young adult audience, and the process I used to make the book different to others on the market.

Nancy Wake , World War II , Women's war stories , True story
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