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Scribblings: Tying Up the Loose End

July 26, 2011

You ever have it happen that you think of an idea and then it gains speed rapidly like a snowball going downhill?  That’s what happened yesterday as I was driving home.  I was still thinking about the story I mentioned in this morning’s post, in particular I was thinking of the best part of it, which was the love triangle angle.  I was trying to figure out where/when to set it, whether it should be now or the ’30s or the 19th Century but then I thought:  why not make it a fantasy?  YES!  Strange as it may sound, fantasy (like the LOTR fantasy, not “urban fantasy” or whatever) is something I have not done before.  I don’t know why either because I read LOTR, I read Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain books, and I read the entire Discworld series, but I never thought of a fantasy idea before.  Very odd.

Anyway, so that got the ball rolling and while waiting for dinner to cook–and a little after that–I wrote down the first draft of the idea.  Then this morning I added a few things, so I think this represents a pretty good skeleton of the story.

So now in about 24 hours I’ve gone from being at a loose end to “Woo hoo, here we go again!”


(I’m using the old names for now, but I need to think of something more fantasy-y for them.  Then there’s all that other world-building stuff to figure out exactly what things are like.  Using the real world is much easier.)

Long, long time ago in a galaxy far away (or whatever) there’s Aggie and her teenaged sister Sylvia. Aggie is a good and proper young woman most of the time, although somewhat naive and emotional. Sylvia is a tomboy who enjoys riding horses and tramping through the woods. They’re pretty well-off on a nice estate with their parents.

But when we begin Sylvia wakes up to the house on fire. It’s being raided by the local priests and their minions, who think Sylvia’s mom is a witch. Their father tries to intervene but he’s cut down and then their mother executed. Aggie gets Sylvia out of there, where they flee into the woods.

A few weeks later they arrive at a new town, shabby and in poor spirits. They go into the marketplace to beg, but aren’t getting far. Then a wealthy merchant named Alejandro shows up. He invites the girls back to his home, where he puts them up in some spare rooms.

Aggie and Alejandro start spending a lot of time together. Sylvia would like to spend time with Alejandro as well, but she’s too young so that he doesn’t notice her in that way. But she does make friends with a young stable boy named Henri, who soon becomes her best friend, though she doesn’t think of him in a romantic way, much as he might want her to.

Aggie and Alejandro announce they’re getting married, which bums Sylvia out. She tries to put up with it for as long as she can, but the day of the wedding she can’t face a future of seeing Alejandro and Aggie together, so she decides she’d be better off back in the wild forest. As she’s running away, Henri intercepts her, trying to convince her to come back. She refuses and gives him a punch in the nose. He decides to come with her because of course he’s secretly in love with her despite that she’s still mooning over Al.

They survive in the wild forest for a few months and start to get much closer. Then it starts to get cold and she isn’t prepared for the conditions. She’s rescued by an old woman, who turns out to be a witch. She tells Sylvia that her mom really was a witch, part of a secret order who have preserved the secrets of magic from the old times. While Henri goes to work on the witch’s farm, Sylvia learns about potions and spells and whatnot. At nights, after the old woman goes to bed, Sylvia and Henri make out and start thinking about a life together.

Sylvia is feeling good and starting to forget about the pain of Aggie/Alejandro when the village and the old woman’s farm come under attack from vampires! The witch dies to save Sylvia and Henri. They escape into the forest, but before they can celebrate, Henri is taken by one of the vampires and dragged away.

Sylvia survives and hangs out in the woods for a while until she runs into a not-as-old witch who’s tracking the vampires who killed her mentor. Sylvia joins up with her and learns about hunting vampires. They find a nest of them somewhere and avenge the old witch, but Henri is nowhere to be found. Sylvia assumes that he was eaten by the vamps.

The witch introduces Sylvia to the rest of her coven and she joins up with them, becoming a freelance witch/vampire hunter. A few years go by until she’s near her old home. Maybe she stops by to pay a visit to the priests who killed her parents so that they could steal the estate’s wealth.  She finds out from the locals that Aggie is about to give birth to a second child. Sylvia decides to go home and reconnects with her sister. Even though she’s 18 or so now, Sylvia still feels like a lovesick girl when she meets Alejandro again.

The night the baby is born, Sylvia and Alejandro are waiting outside and end up kissing. A few days later, they screw in the forest. Sylvia makes an excuse later to get out of there and go back to being a freelance vampire killer/witch.

Over the next few years, Sylvia and Alejandro rendezvous on the sly without Aggie knowing about it. Sylvia and Alejandro go to some big city and have an especially romantic weekend. About five months after that, Sylvia realizes that she’s pregnant! She talks with her mentor witch about it, who says Sylvia should get rid of the baby (abortion or adoption–her choice!) because witches aren’t supposed to have kids or husbands or anything. That was what got Sylvia’s mom thrown out of the coven.

She arranges to meet Alejandro, hoping that he’ll have some better ideas. He suggests that she have the kid and then after a few months give it to him. He’ll act like he “found” the baby abandoned somewhere and give it to Aggie to raise. Sylvia could still see the kid as the aunt. Sylvia doesn’t want to go along with that. She tells him to screw off and then goes to hide out somewhere.

She has her daughter without incident and settles in to live as a hermit. But after a couple of years, her mentor witch shows up and says that a massive group of vampires attacked the place where Aggie and Alejandro lived and made off with just about everyone–including Aggie and Alejandro and their kids!

Sylvia makes the tough decision to leave her daughter with some priestesses or something and then goes off to track down the vampires, hoping she’s not so late that her family are dead or turned into vampires.

She finds their mountain fortress or whatever and then breaks inside. Inside she finds that the leader of the vampires is an undead Henri! He tries to convince her to become a vampire too so that they can be together forever, but she refuses. They fight and she summons some kind of really powerful magic to transform Henri back into a normal person. The cost of it is that for the moment at least Sylvia’s magic is drained so that she’s a normal person as well.

She frees Aggie and the others and takes Henri with her. Later she confesses to Aggie that she and Alejandro had an affair and produced a daughter. Aggie is angry but under the circumstances forgives her. Sylvia leaves them back at home, saying goodbye to Alejandro, who is going to try making things up to Aggie somehow.

Sylvia talks with her mentor about what she should do now. Her mentor says that Sylvia should do what she thinks is right. So she and Henri go to the temple or whatever and rescue her daughter. The three of them leave to go find somewhere new to live as a family.

Yay, a happyish ending!


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  1. I think this is good. Vampires are always super hot so the marketing on this will be bammo! (is that a word?) And you have the requisite love triangle there so that’s good and a female point of view. Are you going to write it first person present tense? That’s all the rage and I think that it’s all you really need to snag an agent with this formula behind you.

    • I should do it first person present tense because that’s what the original story was. It is kind of annoying to write, though because I’m so used to the other.

      • If you don’t write first person present tense I think it diminishes the appeal of your novel if you are planning to market YA (is what I meant). Suzanne Collins established the precedent with her dystopian masterpiece “The Hunger Games” which is being made into four movies to milk the …. whoops…. I mean make sure that all the details of her incredible books are accounted for in triplicate by the movies and an audience hungry for this original story.

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