The "Unexpected Inspiration" Characters

Jun 19, 2015

Ideas for my current series- so many books!

The amount of book ideas I have planned is starting to get ridiculous. And I love it! It does, however, mean I'm starting to lose track of what I'm doing, so I'll use this post to keep track of my ideas.

"Unexpected Inspiration" Trilogy, Year 460AF
Colorweaver  (currently writing the 2nd draft)
Disaster strikes while Adair, a novice cartographer and Colorweaver, is in the process of working on the project that will advance him to full artist status. His map is stolen and when the thief seeks out more Weavers, Adair feels a tug from his creation to follow. This pull leads him to a carnival where he meets Blythe, a young warrior, standing guard over a stricken performer. It turns out that his thief is more than a mere robber and there's more at stake then just a stolen map. Wacky antics ensue as Adair attempts to get his art back and stop the thief before he hurts anyone else.
Sentinel (currently writing the 2nd draft)
Adair's quest was judged mostly a success and he is given the unexpected opportunity to become a master artist a decade early. Etri, a former thief and performer, steps up to serve as his bodyguard, little realizing that more will be asked of him than simply protecting his friend. The two struggle to find a balance between their responsibilities as Artisans, carnival performers, and Weavers, so that they can pass the Criterion test and gain their promotions to master and sentinel. Meanwhile Blythe finds herself having to face a long-repressed side of her heritage if she's willing to help them achieve that balance- and be their balance.
(Unnamed third book- I'll start this in November)
Now that Adair is a master, the trio is given their first assignment from the Artisan guild. Their task is to travel north to Montglace, Etri's former home, and uncover what has gone wrong with the Weaver-priests and their magic. While Adair is openly serving as a diplomat with Blythe as his bodyguard, Etri must use his shadow magic and thief training to serve as a spy. There's only one problem: Etri is a fugitive. Can he find the source of the elemental corruption before his presence is discovered?

Other novel outside the trilogy, happens at the same time
(Spellbinder as a possible title) - Year 460AF
During Adair's quest to stop the map's thief, he gained the help of a fire-dancer Weaver who ended up not being what ze appeared. Now possessing a tail that makes dancing nearly impossible and a tongue that makes vocalizing zir mind-manipulating magic even more difficult, Firedrake needs to find a way to turn back to a human. Firedrake's only lead is a home ze burned down a decade before and a father who may be able to tell Firedrake what ze is- if he can be found.

Two book sub-series, possibly later a trilogy
Shadowshaper - Year 465AF
After being unofficially adopted by Blythe during the events of Colorweaver, Gilly went off to live with a different carnival troupe. This troupe is unlike the rest: it's a cover for a band of guild-sanctioned thieves. With her shadow magic and her inability to make any type of sound, Gilly adjusts well to this new occupation. While she's hunting down art that was illegally gained by a dishonest art dealer, the dealer's teenage sister catches her in the act. Gilly gets away, but is intrigued by this girl whose weak voice is oddly captivating. She soon learns that while Chantrell is confined in her own home, she isn't as sick as she appears. Gilly is determined to find out the truth and set her new friend free.

Sciamachy - Years 467AF and 481AF
Chantrell has become Gilly's thieving partner; with her Weaving ability to produce any sound, Chell is the perfect distraction for Gilly's silent heists. It's during one of these encounters that Gilly notices a shadow that shouldn't be there.. Meanwhile Astra, a few miles away and sixteen years in the future, notices the same thing. Someone or something is trying to reach out to both her and Gilly using the shadow magic that the two young women share. Astra, however, has been secretly using light magic without the knowledge of her father/teacher- could this be what the mystery shadow senses?

Other books for different points in the series

(Unnamed novel) - Year 1AF?
(Only vague notes for this one. This book is about the founding of Concordia, the main country of the series. It involves a race of arcane humanoids who flee their home plane to make a new home for themselves among humans. The protagonist of this one is an imp who has to work against the fact that her kind is seen as a kind of vermin to the arcane race.)

(Unnamed novel) - Year 462AF
(Only vague notes for this one, too. It involves Talan, the imp-antagonist from Colorweaver, learning how to grow as a human with the help of a Colorweaver artist.)

Short stories within the series
(I'm hoping to release these as part of an anthology of short stories, or possibly put them up on a future website once I have the books published. Hey, a girl can dream!)

"A Sparkler's Glow" Year 459AF
(This story is finished.)
Just your typical "imp comically struggling to adjust to the confusing world of humans meets agender carnival performer with a penchant for fire and snark" love story. Talan is new to this plane and new to his human body with his only motive in life to feed from Weavers. When he meets Firedrake and discovers that he wants zir as a friend and not a meal, life suddenly becomes far more confusing.

(Unnamed short story) Year 481AF
(Currently writing the first draft of this one.)
Etri returns from one of his usual ventures into the plane of shadows only to discover that something went wrong when he plane-shifted. His family is where he left them, everything looks like the reality he left- but everyone he loves has a different memory of the past decade and a half than he does. It seems that one choice his alternate self failed to make almost twenty years ago has changed everything in this reality. His daughter may be to blame for why he is here instead of where he belongs.

The titles are all subject to change, but they're working as placeholders for now. I have no idea how I'm ever going to get to all of these when my current speed is something like 9 months to write a first draft! I suppose the more I write, the faster I'll get, and part of the reason for the slowness is that I'm also world-building at the same time. Once I have the world in place, I can devote more time to just writing.

...Okay, my characters are laughing at that idea and pointing out the fact that most of them aren't human. This means I need to not only world build the continent of the main world, but figure out stuff about their home planes. Dangit, guys! Weren't you all supposed to be human when I first started writing this thing? And I seem to remember this starting as one short story. How did a single short story turn into a huge series with spin off short stories? Not that I'm complaining, but sheesh.



Jun 1, 2015

Writing goals for June

  • First off, I’ve fallen out of the habit of daily writing. My goal is going to be to write every day. Even if it’s just something like 500 words, that’s still something and it’s still moving me forward. With two books in the rewrite stage and another three or four vaguely planned out, I need to move faster!
     
  • Setting a new method for myself when it comes to writing: if I feel inspired to write a scene, write the dang scene. Don’t put it off and just jot down notes. Even if the scene belongs much later in the book and it might not be relevant by the time I get there. Even if it belongs in a different book. That doesn’t matter- what matters is that I’m writing something that’s fun to write. I’m finding that I’m getting burnout (and going extra slowly) if I stick to the timeline of events. With this series, I need to have fun. For Pete’s sake, the series is called Unexpected Inspiration. I need to be inspired by the unexpected!
     
  • Going with this, if I’m suddenly struck by the urge to write something unrelated to what I have planned, go for it! I’ve already got one short story and someday I want an anthology. If this is where my inspiration takes me, then maybe I need to take a break from the current novel for a bit.
     
  • Figure out my imp subplot in terms of book 2. When do the characters find out that Sapphire is an imp? Where does Etri keep finding the defaced warnings about imps? Does Adair figure out that he now speaks their language? Does Adair ever find a way to stop wearing oven mitts? And most importantly: does he ever get that pie he wants? Can the lack of pies be caused by imps? Probably not, but they are responsible for the oven mitts. XD
     
  • Keep with my plan of hooping (hoop dancing) every day, as well. It gives me such a boost of confidence every time I nail a new trick, wakes me up so that I want to write, AND puts me in the heads of my carnival performer characters.

    ~Meri