Monday, October 06, 2008

The ... Seven

Depending on how charitible towards myself I'm feeling, that ... might be Significant, might be Startling, but also could be Silly or, more drastically, Stupid.

Regardless, that Seven refers to my current crop of ideas for my next novel project. Because I'm taking an online writers' workshop next week (this is NOT the WFC; a whole different deal), I'd ideally like to have one chosen by that time so I can use the worldbuilding exercises to specifically work on said novel. (... does that make any sense at all?) Right now, I'm just letting the choices percolate on my brain.

Anyhow, here for amusement are rough summaries, with a few scattered thoughts as to pros, cons and other. I am actually leaning (though not strongly leaning) towards one in particular.

Throw an ice-queen song-sorceress and a dissolute prince-heir together into a faux marriage that to everyone else has to look perfectly genuine, add an unfriendly kingdom, its sundry spies and one honest general, and stir in a vicious sect of mage-assassins … oh, and a song-mage named Staven who seems to continually get tasked with the impossible job of keeping the quarreling couple down to earth. Give them a few nasty secrets to spice up the pot and – stir.
Thoughts: This is a rewrite of serial stories I did about a decade ago. I’d say I got between half and two thirds through the overarching plot in my serial, so I have a pretty solid idea of what the plot does. It will require a lot of reading and thought to decide what elements to keep, what to revise, and what to completely toss.

A prominent mage dies under mysterious circumstances after petitioning for the rights of familiars, and her own familiar takes on the case with the mage's former apprentice at her side. Unfortunately, the suspect list is long and tangled, and the authorities are in no mood either to see the answer found, or to cooperate with a lesser being.
Thoughts: I’ve attempted a few fantasy mysteries; this would be my first attempt at novel length.

A world where the progression of seasons determines politics, individual alignment – everything. Absentminded mage-scholar Evairyn Malkor and hard-bitten archer Keldrys Whitehand are thrown together when a king demands that the two infiltrate the Sunburst Empire (summer) to retrieve the emperor’s secret weapon. Unfortunately, the mysterious Raven Queen also has her interests in this weapon – which will turn out to be, not an item, but Evairyn’s daughter, who she believed had been stillborn.
Thoughts: I have to admit, this is sort of stock fantasy, and I just got done writing a novel where the character’s interaction with her child was a driving force. But on the other hand, I really know Evvie, and it would be fun to work with her. Also, it’s a really neat, overarching world concept.

A story of a shapeshifter who is trying to find a new home for her people – they sleep dormant in a necklace she wears around her neck. She and a poet travel through Ovid’s Metamorphoses, narrowly avoiding zealots who believe her an abomination and scientists who want to put her in a zoo. Lots of mini-romantic subplots, though at the end we find out that the best of the menfolk were the same one, pursuing her as a shapeshifter himself. Hit upon the most interesting transformations (to me); do the others in passing.
Thoughts: I adore Greek mythology. It is one of my unholy obsessions. This would take a lot of research and some thoughtful outlining to pull off.

It used to be a common occurrence that criminals would steal corpses and hold them for ransom. A cross between Egyptian and Grecian world and mythos, where losing the coin under the tongue before the underworld journey dooms one to the far side of the river Styx. The (late) heroine tries to find a way to escape, aided by others who have been trapped in this limbo but only need a motivating leader to try again. Meanwhile, her corpse is abducted by three graverobbers, and upset little sister Meritaen commits suicide and takes the perilous journey to the underworld to plead her case … while her former SO, a secretary of some kind who was later engaged to marry a high-ranking noble, put his position in jeopardy trying to rescue her corpse.
Thought: I have to admit, a story focused on manuevering around the afterlife – it appeals.

A young woman is left the old, enchanted family house and a mountain of debts. Desperate for money, she must accept rent from her uncles, four cantankerous old sorcerers. Enter: one angry apprentice jipped by the men, a sultry and seductive sorceress, the MC’s literary agent, and a town full of cheerfully superstitious folk who feed the fairies with regularity. MC writes greeting cards and romance novels, but accidentally finds herself contracted for a fanasy novel when she shows up late to a pitch and tries to explain what her uncles have just put her through.Thoughts: This one really needs a plot, but I’m going for “comedy of errors” here.
Title: An Inundation of Uncles

Anaea Carlisle has lived her entire life on an isolated space station. She has been told it is a refuge from civilization in ruins, destroyed when the Derithe attacked humanity with a disease known as Y-Poisoning. Because it affects only males, the station’s entire population is female. On salvage, a young man is rescued who seems to know things that contradict what Anaea has always been told. Fascinated, she follows his story and flees the station to find that some alternatives are worse than the secret kept. Humanity has fractured into two civilizations, one where survivors of Y-Poisoning – only the most testosterone-ridden men – took over; another where men too marginal to be affected have been shoved aside into a political female world.
Thoughts: This is actually an extrapolation of a short story I wrote. I was told multiple times when I had it critiqued and by at least two editors when I submitted that it would make an excellent premise for a novel. If I did this, the 6,700 word short story would probably be lengthened and expanded into the first 20,000 words or so of the novel. After that I have NO idea what happens.

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