Writing Projects

Shadows and Light

(Title Subject to Change. . .seriously. As in. . .every week.)

Shadows and Light is the project I've been putting most of my energy into recently. It is the newer of my two WIPs, and also more complicated.
At first, Shadows and Light was primarily written from the perspective of a villain who was fated from birth to be a a criminal (Mara). A few months ago, however, I decided to add the opposing POV of the heroic antagonist (Ace) in order to better showcase their opposite character arcs and better illustrate the story's theme.
An excerpt and the latest synopsis are below.

Synopsis
"Suspicion often creates what it suspects." - C. S. Lewis
Mara was born condemned. In a world where every child has a magical birthmark which foretells their future, she is destined to murder. Mara wants to defeat her Destiny and prove to everyone around her that she is not evil, but no one has ever escaped their Destiny before.
Ace, Mara's twin brother, is the other side of the Destiny coin. He's been foretold to save lives - to be a hero. The pressure to act like a hero when he hasn't even completed his Mage training is immense, but Ace tells himself that one day he'll be perfect, and it all will be worth it.
Life changes dramatically for Mara when she meets Tempe, a disguised Sorceress running from and elite magical law enforcement agency called the Mage League. Mara's relationship with Ace is disintegrating as his ego gets bigger along with his position in the Mage League, and when an argument goes too far and Ace nearly uses his magical skills on Mara, Tempe starts illegally teaching Mara magic.
Ace's life spirals out of control when Ace, with the pressure on him increasing after a failure with deadly consequences, reveals that he thinks the same thing of Mara as everyone else: she can't escape her Destiny, and she is naturally evil.
Hurt and betrayed by her own twin, Mara runs away from home with Tempe, determined to master magic and force people to give her their respect. But she and Tempe are only two women against the views of an entire nation. Will the opinion of the masses win in the end, or can one young woman prove the world wrong?
Aiming to become the hero everyone expects him to be, Ace takes charge of his own team and swears to bring Mara to justice. But with Mara's hurt backed by Tempe's power, and Ace's team taking their personal fights onto the battlefield, it is looking like Ace is only Destined to be a gigantic failure.
The outcome of the sibling struggle could come down to the toss of a Destiny-engraved coin, but the question is - which side of Destiny will win?

Excerpt
Astounded, Mara didn't even realize that she had harnessed magic before it had slammed Ace back into the wall of lockers with a resounding clang. Ace slid down the dented blue metal to the tiled floor, and looked dazedly up at her, trying to process what had just happened.
The flare of red magic was accompanied by a blast of molten fury. Mara's vulnerable sense of hurt was quickly incinerated in the heat.
"You know what?" Mara said, leaning down over her twin and jabbing her finger at his nose. "Fine! You really want me to be your evil little sister that badly? Then I guess I'll be your villain! And I swear to you, Ace, that you will regret every word you've said to me today. When you're begging for my mercy just remember - you started this."
Ace's surprised hazel eyes watched her as she whirled and stormed down the hallway, the crowds of students parting before her like receding tides.
Outside in the sharp fall air, fiery red leaves tumbled down from their heights, and a tear gave warmth to Mara's blood-drop birthmark.

Shadows & Light Collage. All pictures/quotes from Pinterest.

Progress:
  • October 31st, 2014 - outline and pre-draft planning complete.
  • November 30th, 2015 - finished rough draft and won NaNoWriMo.
  • April 2015 - began planning Ace's character arc.
  • June 2015 - finished plotting Ace's arc and merged it in the plot with Mara's, finished sorting out chronology
  • July 1st, 2015 - began writing draft 2
I've got a storyboard on Pinterest for this story idea if you want to check it out, and a post with a lot of information about the project here. Of course, if you want to see all the posts related to this project all you have to do is click the label for Shadows & Light over on the sidebar.

Taken 

Taken's concept began in 2012, but was not seriously worked on until October 2013 when National Novel Writing Month inspired me. It is the first original story idea I worked into a novel and is my secondary WIP.
Mood Collage - all quotes and pictures found on Pinterest.
The synopsis I wrote for my NaNo page is below, along with an excerpt.

Synopsis
Tyv, a fifteen year-old thief, leads a risky life. He lives in the part of town abandoned years ago after victims of a plague were quarantined there to die. He steals from wealthy foreign merchants daily just to eat. If he was caught by the Town Guard, he would join the list of orphans Taken by the inept ruling Council for an unknown purpose. His half-mad best friend, Nitri, is the tyrant of the slums, and over the years the two have made plenty of enemies. But at least Tyv knows how to handle his life.
Now he must face something he doesn’t know how to overcome. Erober, the destitute country he lives in, has invaded Kampen, a defensive but tough nation with abundant wealth, in a desperate bid for needed finances. Tyv and Nitri get pressed into the Invasion force and shipped away to Kampen, leaving their only other friend, Ambyr, behind in Erober. With a neighboring bloodthirsty nation planning its own takeover of the increasingly weakened Erober, Tyv knows it is only a matter of time before Erober’s soil is saturated with blood. He had promised he would never let Ambyr come to harm, and he is determined to keep that promise even from across a sea.
The only way to keep her safe is to bring what remains of Erober’s soldiers back home before Erober is invaded itself. But both the Kampene and Eroberen generals are bent on finishing their war. How can Tyv persuade them to lay down their swords before it is too late?
Excerpt
The guards held their spears up to Tyv and Nitri’s necks.
“Why are you here?” Commander Frysch asked, his voice low and considering.
“We wanted to talk to you, but our lieutenant has a grudge and didn't forward our request," Tyv said. "So we had to take matters into our own hands.”
“Talk about what?” The commander asked, stalking forward with his hands behind his back.
Tyv swallowed as he realized how hollow and pitiful his request sounded.
“I want you to end the invasion,” he said.
Plot and Character Collage - all pictures and quotes from Pinterest.
Progress: 

  • November 2013 - completed half the rough draft and won NaNoWriMo.
  • Spring 2014 - completed the rough draft and began edits
  • Winter 2014 - finished first round of edits

I have several blog posts related to this project (just click the label Taken in the sidebar) and several Pinterest boards if you're interested in learning more about this little baby of mine. It's in the throws of edits right now but I hope to eventually publish it!

4 comments:

  1. I really like your novel ideas here, I find the "fated to be evil" one super interesting. Really nice work! I hope to see these on bookshelves someday. :)

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    1. That is my personal favorite as well. ^_^ Although I'll admit to Nitri being my baby as far as characters go.

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  2. O.O Wow these sound aaaaawesssoooooome. I've always struggled with synopsis's (fiesty little things) but your are great! :D

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad they caught someone's interest!

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