Sunday, 23 February 2014

Questing on the Wind: Fantasy Novel Ideas

Growing out of the return of Game of Thrones and what I'm starting to call Waterstonesgate because they've made a very stupid mistake (see here, http://fozmeadows.tumblr.com/post/77118501498/with-the-upcoming-fourth-season-of-a-game-of); one I hope they'll take steps to rectify as quickly as possible, my mind has turned to the fantasy series I want to write. I thought I'd throw the basic pitches up on here  (for my fantasy books at least).

A lot of these ideas have grown out of something I've always wondered about, what happens to the heroes of the grand series once the monster or god is defeated and they've gone back to their 'ordinary world'? Despite what so many series tell us, most of the heroes are barely qualified to rule (as really killing a dragon or whatever, doesn't prepare you for statecraft). The idea of fallout is fascinating to me, something I'd love to capture is the way things fall apart as the consequence of one action (actually this is a pretty big part of Fatal Thirst).

The novels are still pretty rough and need a lot of work (I'll need to get to grips with that). I find ideas easy, everything else is a lot tougher.

The Ogre: Probably the only one that stands alone, the Ogre is the story of Thalric, a thane who rose to
power after slaying an ogre (shockingly). As he recounts a (heavily edited) version of his feat, the reader will, hopefully, get the sense that something is terribly wrong. The darkness and horror should grow throughout the book until someone finally calls his bluff.



In the Garden of Snakes: The high concept for this is 'West Wing meets High Fantasy'. Taking place after a conquest, the novel focuses on the tensions between the newly installed rulers as they adjust to their new position and the natives. What I want to avoid is black and white morality but I also want to steer clear of the 'grimdark blokes in cloaks' idea to present something more realistic. Of course there'll be problems and issues and not everything will be happy, happy, joy, joy (or I'd not be calling it 'In the Garden of Snakes').

Crown of Clouds: An Asian fantasy game, based on the idea that the Mandate of Heaven has been granted
to a family who's authority has been established by the stilling of storms and bringing the peace to grow food (a full belly being more conducive to peace than all the fine words in the world). As time has gone on the imperial family has developed a tradition; the children are taken away at birth and grow up as peasants. They only learn their true identities once the old Emperor has died and it is time for them to return to the Imperial city.

The actual novel takes place at this point, but there's a problem. The Emperor's widow has decided that one of her children in particular will inherit the throne. The protagonists must avoid assassins, soldiers and revolutionaries as well as the attentions of the dragons that caused the storms so long ago.

The Tribute of Ghosts: A few years ago I started creating a roleplaying setting called Carraddine. The idea was to make a steampunk style city modeled on Venice but with influences from Perdido Street Station and Rats and Gargoyles as well. As time's gone on I've wanted to set a novel there.

The novel would follow a gang of thieves who are hired for the most dangerous job in the city - to enter the forbidden island of the mad king Tilesco and recover the book he used to summon his otherworldy lovers. Of course once they have the book... that's when things get really interesting.

The King's Shadow: Another 'after the monster is slain' novel. Tyric was a farm boy with a drop of royal blood in his veins. He was recruited to defeat his family's ancient enemy, a Draugr lord woken by an
unfortunate accident which breached his barrow. After that the clans had no choice but to unite and make Tyric king...

But there's a problem, for all his ancestry Tyric is no king, his advisers are manipulating him and the Draugr might not be as gone as they seem.