Last year SGM revealed “The North Star“- the first ever epic fantasy story ever to be set in Sunderland. Centring around the story of Sophie Scott, a young girl from Thorney Close, the saga covered her sudden appointment as a legendary Northumbrian hero called “The North Star”- who endowed with supernatural powers, finds herself in a race to save the North East from a series of monsters known as Redcaps and their leader, the dark wizard Glanfeoil.

The story holds a completely unique premise by its ability to blend fantasy tropes in to a realist urban setting which strives to establish a broader commentary about the life, society and politics of Sunderland and North East England as a whole. The description “fantasy” might mislead that it is in fact it is also a story about family, crime, corruption and anti-social behaviour.

Across 2021, SGM published about half of the draft version of the story here on our website, choosing to go “chapter by chapter” to gauge feedback. However, due to a perceived lack of interest, momentum and audience, it was shelved at the start of 2022 and went back to the drawing board. These first rough chapters are now known as the “concept” edition of the story, which we have deemed on introspection to be a) rushed b) poorly structured and c) not very fluid plot wise d) have continuity problems and e) suffered from a diagnosis of “making it up as you go along”.

Now, after some hard work, SGM are proud to announce the North Star is set to return bigger and better than ever. Whilst the core of the story and its characters remain the same, we have recalibrated the plot to create a fluid and functional storyline from start to finish, firmly setting out where we start and where we are going. We have also adjusted the positioning of some characters for the purpose of plot purposes. Again, this is not a U-turn or 180, but rather it is the process of refining a “draft” into the real product, or polishing a rough diamond.

For example, whilst the “concept” Sophie Scott protagonist was 20 years old and worked at the Dun Cow, the new version’s age is downgraded to 18 and is being placed at Sixth Form, with the pub minimized to a part time job than the centre stage. This change was done because we deemed the original setting to blunt her personal and character development. Although her personal struggles are part of the story, we wanted to give her hopes and dreams, than someone who had “no future”.

The concept version also could not logically explain the background of her friendship with British-Chinese girl Millie Chen, who were total opposites in every aspect of life and society yet best friends! In doing so, we also introduce a new school setting into the story, the fictional St. Genesius Catholic School and Sixth Form, a parody of St. Aidan’s and St. Anthony’s (with St. Genesius being the real saint of comedians, a satirical name). This minimizes, but does not remove the role of the famous Dun Cow pub from the story, which of course still carries the third protagonist, the straight-talking Micky White.

In addition, we are proud to introduce the Sunderland legend Goya into the character roster as Sophie’s next door neighbour, who will be literally called “Joe Goya“. But for the rest? You’ll just have to wait and see. We promise you the greatest Sunderland tale ever written, a rollercoaster journey that will represent our city forever and give us hope for the future.

By SGM

SGM

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