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I'm leaving it off my writing filter for now, because I'm hoping maybe some fantasy readers (whether you write or not) might read the synopsis and be willing to give me some feedback. Be brutally honest! This year, I'm redoing my idea from last year, fleshing it out more, and working on an outline. I'm hoping to get a FULL first draft finished in November, to eventually clean up and ultimately publish. For really real. So, please feel free to give feedback now while the ideas are still rough. Let me know what sounds too cliché to even consider, what could potentially be cool if I pull it off, and what sounds awesome and you definitely want to see more of.

Synopsis

Magic was banned after The Dragon War, more than 1000 years ago. Prince Ravi of Judra wants a chance to restore magic to the world, but his mother – as well as every other leader of the known world – won't allow it. They fear the wrath of The Last Dragon, the one who banned magic, but the dragon hasn't been seen in centuries. Ravi decides to seek the dragon and either prove that she's long dead or ask for a chance to study the lost arts. To his surprise, he finds her very much alive. Draelia is willing to grant the prince's greatest desire...if Ravi will do the same for her. Ravi has a chance to live his dream, but is it worth the price?

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First off: Horrible synopsis? I've gone through several attempts. I want to tell enough to get across the storyline, but there's way more to it than just that as well. I worry that it sounds too trite. I dunno.



- Spoilers ahead! -

This year I'm adding a whole subplot about Ravi's priestess/librarian girlfriend, Linnea. Now instead of escaping the kingdom & facing the dragon together, she realizes that she needs to draw the guard away from Ravi, so they plan separate escapes. Linnea will leave the city with one trusted (female) guard via old mine shafts leading to long-forgotten underground tunnels.

Something, not sure what yet, will detain her from their rendezvous. While Linnea is 'lost', Ravi eventually meets with the dragon and must decide whether to accept her terms, which basically boil down to he's got to help her bring the dragons back. They'll wed and have two kids, an heir for each of them, and try out this alliance on a trial basis for 10 years. They'll raise the kids together, then she'll take them for another 10 years to go learn dragony stuff (he can have visitations), and then she has an ample alimony & child support payment. The gist, anyway.

So, he has to decide whether to accept her offer when Linnea's been supporting him for years and this is a shared vision between them. He talks the dragon into helping find Linnea & promising to teach her magic as well, and a deal is struck. Only Linnea shows up & it's basically, “Hey, asshole, I didn't need you to come save me. I'm here, as promised, ready to start our life together, and now I'm supposed to serve under your new wife and queen? Not cool.”

Ravi is someone who will gain magical ability because the dragon gives him a gift as part of their alliance. Also, he's more of a sorcerer in the sense that he has to study and learn how to use tools (components, magic words, whatever) to create magic. Linnea, on the other hand, has a natural ability that grows as magic begins returning to the world. She's dedicated to the goddess she's supposedly descended from, so she's always been “lucky”. That is the Goddess of Stars, one of the four major gods, who is also considered the goddess of wisdom. Linnea's always been lucky in her choices, has a helpful inner voice, lots of lucky 'coincidences', and then as they begin this quest, she's the one who piques the goddess's interest – which will also set off the eventual return of the gods & goddesses.

Linnea discovers a lost race of demi-gods underground, uses a delphic-oracle-ish cave ceremony to receive a guide out of the caves (contacting her goddess for the first time in 1000+ years), and her personal magic begins to come alive within her. Not sure what else she might face to meet back up with Ravi (working on that part of my outline now), but I also have a bounty on their heads, several countries/priesthoods that want to stop them, a forest full of lost magical creatures/monsters, lots of river/sea trade & cultures (as well as sea monsters), hidden fae, and another 'lost' magical race of shapeshifters, who have been keeping an eye on humans. I'm thinking a shapeshifter might be my antagonist, but I'm still working that out as well.

I have a whole mythology built up and several different cultures. They must pass out of their own country, through two more, and then uninhabited lands before reaching dragon territory. Lots of map to cover. Lots of potential foes & allies, both mundane and magical. I'm considering ending at the 10 yr mark when they have to reevaluate the alliance and decide to keep it up or be granted a magical gift and sent on their way. However, if there's enough possible action at thwarting them both before they get to her, I could just stop after the deal is struck. Or the first dragony sex scene with a setup for kids in book two. Lots of possibilities depending on what challenges to throw at them.

So I guess my questions are:

Does the new subplot add an interesting or cliché challenge/dimension?

Should the challenges/foes faced be primarily cultural/political for Ravi and magical for Linnea, or should each encounter an equal mix of both?

Which would you prefer reading about: established magical races such as dragons, fae, & gods or made-up races like the Arnirii (shapeshifters, high/low Arnirii depending upon bloodlines & abilities) & Darii (underground cave 'giants' – tall, bendy, blind, spiritual, warriors)?

Should the focus primarily be the escape/quest to find the dragon and the founding of the new kingdom, or would you also want to see the 10 yrs of living with the dragon as queen & learning magic?

Anything in particular that you'd like to read more of?

Anything in particular that I should steer clear of?

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
angelofmysoul
Oct. 31st, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
How do the dragons work? Does she really need the alimony/support financially? I guess that's my big thing I see. I'm going to assume that when the children are born, you will then work on Linnea's quest or will you work back and forth between them as kind of forlorn lovers which could then really piss off the dragon. Unless she's just needing the carnal thing.

I think a blend of all could be the key. If the Dragons were the hierarchy of the Magical races... then with their return, maybe the others could be located since she's searching for the Goddess's anyway. :)
ahavah
Oct. 31st, 2012 12:54 pm (UTC)
This got long. My apologies! It's also early, so I hope it's coherent.

I actually plan on having Linnea return before there are any kids. My biggest problem is that I'm not sure which route I should take to detain her. Ravi will be on a time limit for accepting the terms of the alliance (his sister is coming to drag him home unless he has the dragon on his side, and other people - not sure who just yet - will want to stop this alliance), and then he'll have to fortify his new little city and head out to save Linnea. Only I want Linnea to save herself and be pissed to get back and realized he's up and married the dragon.

As for the dragon herself, she's the last one living, although there are rumors of one more hibernating up in glacier land. She doesn't feel or in any way believe those rumors. Basically, all dragons were killed during the great Dragon War (long and huge) or died out shortly thereafter. Draelia was too young at the time, although she stepped up and helped to end the war. She banned humans from ever practicing magic again though, and all of the towns near the big battlefield were decimated. She took more territory, including this vast 'dragon graveyard' area.

She's super pissed about humans killing off all the dragons (and at the fae & Darii for not coming to their aid) -- BUT she can read Ravi and decides to allow him to pursue his dream of magic & greatness. She does this for a few reasons, but mainly because she's just been infinitely, grief-strickenly lonely for 1000 years. She's also curious as to whether such power will indeed corrupt him like the mage who started the dragon war or if good men can remain good and do great things in the world.

But mainly, she's lonely and she wants to bring dragons back.

The alliance is a trial version for 10 years, while they get to know one another and Draelia decides if they'll make it a permanent alliance or not. If they make it permanent, Draelia wants to see to it that they really have a close, symbiotic relationship and no danger of the humans forgetting their place again.

To do that, she wants their heirs to be siblings. They'll live as a human family for the first 10 years, a dragon family for the second 10 yrs and come of human majority at age 20. Every six years, they'll offer tribute to the dragon: food, gold/treasure, and a child who the dragon will either raise up as an attendant or a magician's apprentice. This will keep them intimately connected, keep a continued chance at magic for approved people, keep her & her royal children with a household befitting their station (important politics with humans), go towards leasing the land his kingdom is on - and, the part which she doesn't tell him, is that it will also provide fresh mates of her choosing for her progeny. Ravi wants magic and a magical bloodline, but she doesn't want to create magical humans as much as she wants to create more dragons, so that's going to require a stringent breeding plan and lots of magic on her part. But that stuff is probably ultimately for a later book. :)

Also, dragons mate for life, so she's hoping that if she agrees to give him a happy lifetime with Linnea after their 10 yrs is over, maybe he'll want to come back to the family after her death. She can offer to extend his life, giving him a long human life and then a long life with his dragon family...but that offer won't come until she decides whether he's worth it or not when they renew their terms. But her hope is to get as many kids out of him as possible, either by a true mating or by having the two heirs quickly and then maybe having a few more before their 10 yrs is up. With mates for them worked into the long-term plan.

So...probably more teal deer than you wanted, but hopefully that clarifies a few things about the dragon and overall main arc. Let me know what you think!
angelofmysoul
Nov. 1st, 2012 10:33 pm (UTC)
I like it!
That makes a little more sense. :) Go for it!
ahavah
Nov. 2nd, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
Re: I like it!
Thank you! I'm glad to hear it! Please feel free to share what your favorite or least favorite concepts are. I'm still not 100% sure where to send Linnea or who my main antagonist should be.
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