It (sorta) came out of nowhere. I’ve been wanting to rewrite this one story for a long time, but haven’t had an idea as to what I wanted it to be. The original was a first attempt at a new genre. As such, it lacked a lot. In the time since I wrote it, I’ve reread it several times, but couldn’t put my finger on what it was that needed to be different.
Turns out? Everything.
First, I switched the two main character’s genders.
Second, I tossed the entire plot into the shitcan.
Third, I started over and told a completely different story.
The original story had no character development. It was all about two characters going from point to point with shit happening, but nothing important. Now, there’s stuff going on, but the reader is in their heads and seeing what’s going on. And there’s lots going on.
As an aside – I’ve been playing with siblings lately. This story has siblings. My epic fantasy has siblings. My Samantha Kane novels have siblings. I like the interplay between my sibling characters, which is much different from my own interplay with my sibling. My brother is like 13 years older than me. Our interplay was him threatening my life if I touched his stuff. When I left California in ’99, his exact words were, “Oh. You were just getting interesting.”
Maybe I’m projecting into my characters the sibling relationship I wanted?
My sibling characters have a back and forth rhythm. A dialogue. Usually the other characters around them can’t break into that rhythm, or are often exacerbated by it. I can see it now that I’m writing about it, but I don’t think I think about it when I’m writing the stories. Probably. Does that make sense?
In this sword and sorcery story, two kids are orphaned. The eldest can’t take care of herself, let alone her younger brother, so she makes a difficult decision which separates them for over a decade. Looking at the options before her, she takes the worst one (in her opinion) for herself, little realizing just how difficult her brother’s new life would be for him. The conflict between them arises when her brother finally sets her straight.
One concept in this story (that I’m not going to elaborate on. much) is the way magic comes to humans, and the way they use it. One beta-reader mentioned that it was pretty unique, so I’m jazzed about that. But I’m not going to tell you right now – you’ll just have to read it for yourself…