And along came Jones...
Tropes and stereotypes and all the assorted apparent pitfalls of genre writing have featured in the past couple of weeks as I've wrestled with concepts and ideas to let the story progress in Chasse's Song.
Finding Chasse a 'male' mentor within the story's confines is part of what caused the writing to slow dramatically and for me to be only at around 80,000 words of the draft. He has been partly trained by his father and dragonwarriors, but the forced escape from the village to save his sister and the baby dragon interrupted his development as a warrior and put the story in a situation where a new mentor had to be found. Fortunately, this past week, we found a stranger in the mountains who wasn't originally cast for this novel and he will be Chasse's significant mentor hereafter. He comes with his own back story and reason for wanting to help three siblings and a baby dragon. He puts a couple more jigsaw pieces into the wider puzzle Eric originally shared with Tam in Book One.
I've also been tampering with mindspeak/mindmeld as Tam and Harmi establish their dragon/wizard relationship in line with the lore of the world in which they exist. Add to this relationship the capacity now for Tamesan to 'inherit' the magical ability of all wizards and dragons who preceded Harmi - Claryssa and her ancestors - and for both Harmi and Tam to face learning how to apply their inherited knowledge. Mindspeak between dragon and wizard can extend to them also having the capacity to listen into other minds and to speak with those minds. This opens a host of possibilities and problems with the storytelling. Tam's younger brother, Jaysin, is an adept - a mind capable of understanding and learning magic. However, our protagonist for this part of the story- Chasse - does not have a magical capacity like his siblings and finds the mindspeaking/mindreading intrusive.
I spent some time editing and then re-editing sections where Tam communicates with Chasse - at first allowing him to learn the skill, then denying him the ability to see how that would affect events, and finally deciding to let him participate as a receiver and conveyor when it involves Harmi, Tam or Jaysin, but not with anyone non-magical ie characters who cannot be the catalyst for mindspeak. Logical magic - hmmmm. But we do demand it.
Thus I'm closing in on the end chapters of the first draft. Chasse will undergo harsh training at the hands of his new mentor, Tam's transition to wizard will mature with interesting results, Harmi will learn to fly and begin taming her knowledge, Jaysin will continue to learn his own brand of magic from books. The characters will come down from the mountains and see the kingdom and great city for the first time. I'm envisaging I have about 15000 words to go or approximately 4-5 chapters to reach the end and launch point into the third book.
Writing is my passion. Ideas, opinions, beliefs, experiences expressed through language - through words and images - pervade and create my life. Writing is my voice, my soul, my self. My dream is one day writing will sustain my life...