Monday, July 2, 2012

Suddenly: Plot.

There's a quote from John Francis Moore, the writer of the first comic book series I ever got hooked on. Unfortunately, I don't have the exact wording, but it goes something like this: "A good idea never goes to waste. It just shows up somewhere else."  And there's nothing quite finding a new use for an old idea to prove this true.

Shortly after finishing college, I started writing an urban fantasy series about college in a world where magic had come back to Earth, along with elves and dwarves and a feline humanoid race.  There was no real plot - it was just the lives of these people in college, going to classes magical and mundane and dealing with all the stuff that comes up in college life, with the additional factors of flying to class, magical duels, and dating outside one's species.  After writing about fifteen parts, I finally started posting it online.  What happened was a bit of a surprise.

People loved it.  Through a total of sixty-five parts, I got nothing but good reviews for these tales; I hadn't thought it was possible to post something on the internet and never get flamed.  More than a few people told me I should get the stories published.

I didn't really consider it, not at first.  For one thing, as I said, there was no plot.  College life was enough of a plot, as a friend of mine said, and when I tried to apply an actual storyline to the thing, it fell apart.  Also, if I'd had any thought of publishing the story, I never would have posted it online.  I did try querying a revised version to precisely one agent, but I didn't really believe in it; I half-assed the query letter and got the expected rejection.  I never expected to go back to the characters or setting, and was content to just let it be.

Until this past Friday.

Out of absolutely nowhere, I suddenly had the one idea I needed to give the series a plot and make it work as a novel.  I found the story mixed in among the college days.  I realized it was exactly what I needed to work on next.  I've been plotting, and have figured out most of what I need to actually write this thing.  And I can't wait to get started.

Part of why I'm thrilled to have figured this out now is that I've been big on the New Adult thing ever since I discovered it. While Skyborne features a late-teens protagonist, and could be considered one giant allegory for growing up if you squint, this story is different.  This is undoubtedly New Adult.  This is dealing with all the usual issues of moving out and learning to live on your own, all the joys and disasters of college, mixed in with the knowledge that magic is real and there are things from other worlds studying right along with you.  This is teleporting to China not only for a test but because Chinese food sounds good right now.

This is the main character introducing his girlfriend to his parents and hoping the spells hold so they won't realize she's a catgirl.

This is going to be fun.


  1. I love it when an idea takes shape. Sometimes all these things need is a little bit of time. I hope you have fun writing.

    1. Thank you. Five years seems like more than a little bit of time, but I'll take it. ^_^

  2. So great Mason! What I love about NA is that it's not just about "college" peeps. It's about coming into adulthood whether your a wizard or a mermaid. If you growing up from a merchild to a mermaid or a 18-year who's finally got to move out of his coven then that's NA, contemporary or what I have you! This project sounds great and I can't wait to here more :)

    1. Sure, you say that now, but odds are good I'll be babbling about it here until everyone's sick of it before they've even read it. ^_^ But yeah, the adulthood transition thing is part of what makes NA so interesting to me. Characters around that age just seem like they have more of a story to tell.