Working Title: Kervinie’s Story
Genre: Fantasy Mystery
Status: First Draft
Blurb: A thirty-five year old Apprentice at the Academy of Truth finds her Master dead after he is killed by illegal red magic during his attempt to determine the truth of a decree that could change the current succession. Meanwhile, a young stable boy is recruited to find a mysterious artifact and keep it out of the hands of the murderous new Queen. His prize if he succeeds: becoming king himself. As the unrest surrounding the succession continues, both Kervinie, the Apprentice, and Valen, the stableboy must avoid detection to fulfill their objections. And at a fatal meeting at the Academy of Darkness, they find their paths are intertwined.
Kervinie: a 35-year-old female Apprentice at the Academy of White Magic (Truth). Shortly before his death, her Master, Zinoforo secretly made her a Journeyman, which is illegal at all schools besides the Black School. After he dies, she intends to find out who killed him, but she can only do so by exercising her Journeyman powers. And after she is apprenticed to a new Master, Bentanio, she finds it very difficult to pursue her goals.
Valen: a teen-age stable boy who has been slandered by the surname Nenotz, the Unnamed. He is a bastard and an orphan, and knows nothing of his past until a strange grey-cloaked wizard tells him he is the King’s son of his previous marriage, and is destined to become King if they can prove the evil Queen guilty of killing her husband.
Jero: Jero is another teen-age stable boy, and is Valen’s best friend. He agrees to help his friend find the mysterious unicorn horn that the grey mage says will grant the Queen magical power. They need to keep it out of the Queen’s hands.
Deacron: the Headmaster of the White School and the mentor of Valen and Jero, he is ultimately concerned that the truth come out and that Good win over Evil.
Bentanio: Bentanio is urged by a shadowy, evil mage to take Kervinie as his Apprentice to keep her from investigating her Master’s death. The evil mage promises him the one thing he’s always wanted: the Stone of Foretelling, which would allow him some ability to use Black Magic. The evil mage also threatens to strip Bentanio of all his magical powers if Bentanio doesn’t do as he asks.
Struggles I’m having with this project:
I have been using Holly Lisle’s class, How To Think Sideways, to develop this novel. I’ve gone off track a few times, but I’ve tried to stay as close as possible to her actual lessons. One of the lessons took me a really long time because I misunderstood the real point of the lesson, and I had to struggle to make it work. Now, I’ve moved on and am having a lot of success.
What I’ve learned from this project:
No matter what I think I’m “supposed” to do, I need to remember not to lose momentum in the middle of a first draft. When I lose momentum, I risk not finishing the story. I also tend to lose interest, and then it takes awhile to remember why I loved the story so much. Usually, a quick read through will do the trick, but it still takes awhile for the story to settle in again.
I also learned that even if I have two main plots that converge, there really is one that matters slightly more than the other, only one that the story is *really* about. That was an interesting discovery for me.