This is the part where I ignore all those other writers who say not to talk about what you're working on. :P I figured that, after ending last week's entry with the premise for what I'm hoping will be my next book, I might as well talk about it, especially since I spent so much time this year wondering if I was ever going to have a next book.
The basic premise for this book actually comes from an old "Pinky and the Brain" bit, wherein Pinky responds to "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" with "I think so, Brain, but who wants to see Snow White and the Seven Samurai?" I heard this many years ago, and as much as it stuck with me, it took me a long time to develop it into something I wanted to write - I first started talking about doing this more than three years ago. I totally thought I had it figured out back then. (Spoiler alert: I did not have it figured out back then.)
To make one thing clear: this will not actually feature any samurai. What I'm doing is taking the fairy tale trappings of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and applying the plot structure known as The Magnificent Seven Samurai. I do, of course, have to bend things to make the two fit together - it's less "assemble the crew to save the village" and more "learn who you truly are and return with those who trained you to save your home kingdom from a dragon."
Yes, of course there's a dragon. What kind of writer do you think I am?
There's also the magic mirror, because you don't do a Snow White story without one, and an evil stepmother, which I almost wish didn't work because I did good character stuff with Snow's mother and having to kill her off makes me sad. Snow herself is determined to step up and do what must be done and would never just wait around for her prince; much of the story is her journey and how she deals with the blood curse put on her before she was even born. I've never liked the idea of the passive princess, and she's got some real surprises ahead of her.
The poison apple won't be a thing, though. The stepmother in this story does not fuck around with little tricks like that. Not when she's enacting a decades-long revenge plot.
It's been interesting to work with magic in this plot, as it's different from what I've done before. I tend to like well-defined magic systems, but fairy tales keep magic mysterious and hard to nail down, so I'm aiming for that. The people Snow works with are those who try to figure magic out and make it work for them, many of whom were affected by magic themselves. I can't help comparing them to a fairy tale version of the X-Men, and I'm okay with that.
So, yeah, that's where I'm going with this thing. I'm still combining the two versions of the plot I've worked on over the past few years, but it's going well so far. There's a lot of work ahead of me, but really, what else is new? I'm just glad to have a plot that's working out and characters I want to write. (Including the one who turns into a bear.) I'm hoping to continue making progress on this and start writing it next year.
Next entry: 2017 year in review.