Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

It's been a while since I've posted, and I've decided to return to Thursdays to a) preserve the alliteration and b) post on a day that is hopefully less insane.  Cue the hysterical laughter now ...

I had a very vivid dream a little over a week ago, and I've been playing with it and developing it as a possible future novel - though I have so many ideas in my folder that it may never see the reality of keystrokes.  However, the foundation of this concept is perhaps the oldest fantasy trope in the book:  the Chosen One, whom the Dark Lord (trope #2) wants to destroy because of their power / prophecized role / etc.

Of course, I've taken that and twisted it about, working with it to go in a different direction.  My Chosen One has fully accepted the mantle of her role.  In this case, the "chosen" aspect is the possession of a rare form of magic ... and, of course, the villain is the only other person who can wield it.  He's trained, she's not.  Ideally, he'd rather convert her than kill her, which means there are people on her own side that feel it would be better to remove that possibility - forcibly.

So the basic plotline is that our main character decides to stage her capture with the goal of learning from the villain and then escaping.  Obviously, this is shaping up to be a character-driven sort of story, so besides the cliche of the motive-less Dark Lord being just terrible, he needs to be fleshed out.  Part of what I've developed in my head is how he became a conqueror, and that inciting incident plays into his philosophy and the goals he's set that seem tyrannical and wrong to our heroes.  Somewhat ironically, part of what he's doing is removing the traditional fantasy system of noble inheritance ...

All this explanation is a roundabout approach to my concerns.  If I were to pitch this book to agents, how many would get past the cliche setup to the more original elements?  How many would it be a "do not pass go" no matter how well written the book is?

I've had the same worries pondering a rewrite of some old concepts.  Yeah, this is a great story, I've thought, but it opens up with an assassin ...

Clearly, these kinds of books get sold, but ... how do they do it?

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