So I'm elbow-deep into plotting this book. I say "elbow-deep" because it's messy, complicated, and I'm sure at some point I'll realize I've severed something vital. This is the metal fantasy thing I talked about a few entries back, and I think I'm hitting the points I want to with it, at least so far. I have the first draft of the plot done, and with that behind me, I did some great character work that will also make the plot better when I go over it again.
I've gotten so used to things crashing and burning or just fading away in the early stages, so it's a little weird to actually feel good about a plot again.
However, I'm dealing with a different issue with the main heroine. The story takes place in a world where just about everyone has draconic ancestry, many generations removed. (Yes, dragons were made to be able to breed with just about anything, and there are reasons both for why they can and why they did.) The heroine gets thrown into the whole mess because she's the only one who has the same very rare draconic bloodline as the main villain, and some people believe that makes her the only one who can defeat him.
Which sends me kicking and screaming into The Chosen One territory.
I'd like to state for the record that I'm bloody tired of The Chosen One. Not only have I seen it too much, I've used it too much. The first book I ever wrote relied heavily upon destiny to explain why the heroes had their unusual abilities; I had plans to actually explain that away in the second book. (Looking back on it, I have no idea why I ever thought there would be a second book.) The rewrite of that story did the same, only with an even larger Chosen Cast. There's something about someone starting the story with prophecy or something similar on their side that takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.
Though I do wish I hadn't had to write it so much to learn that.
I'm also tired of a similar variant, a hero with an incredibly unique ability that means they're the only one equipped to handle what the story throws at them. Yes, I did this all over the place in THE ACCIDENTAL WARLOCK, and it wasn't the first time an incarnation of Shiloh filled that role. But this leads to the same thing - a hero with a much greater chance to succeed not because of their own skill or knowledge, but because of something they were born with.
So, one of the things I'm working on is making sure I avoid these particular tropes. There are no prophecies in this book - Our Heroes have their own reasons for getting into all this trouble. Good reasons too, I think, since the villain is not exactly a nice individual. And while the heroine's bloodline is rare, it's not unique, and its powers don't manifest in the same way as the villain's. That power, while useful, is also not the key to solving the whole problem - no one person's bloodline is. It's more about this motley crew coming together to take care of a problem no one else was willing to solve.
While I don't deliberately aim for tropes (okay, most of the time, sometimes it's just too good not to), it seems like The Unchosen One serves much better here. And I'm good with that.