So, let's start with the bad news, shall we? Unfortunately I didn't make the shortlist for the Fantasy Faction Anthology competition, which I spoke about here. It's okay, really. I was up against around 1700 entries, only 30 of which were picked for the shortlist (which will now be whittled down to a final six).
The good thing is I chose the 'entry plus' option, which nets me a full critique of my story and writing style in general. So, onwards and upwards! When the critique arrives towards the end of this year, I can use it to redraft 'The Keeper of Tales' once again and start hunting for a market to submit it to. All part of being a writer.
Meanwhile, it's now around a month until my self-imposed deadline, by which I should have the first draft of 'Lucian' finished. I have around 25,000 words to go bringing me up to a total of around 110,000. This is a little on the long side for a Young Adult bracket debut novel, but that's what the redraft is for. I actually have a lot to talk about with regards to what's left to do, and how I'll go about doing it. For now, Angela Goff requested a little more information with regards to the plot, so let's start to that.
As I said in a previous entry, Lucian is about a seventeen year old boy called David Gardener living in the west of Ireland, who has since birth been able to see 'beyond the veil'. Any recently dead, any denizens of the other worlds, seem to flock to him like a beacon in the darkness. They haunt David no matter where he goes, and when he sees them they cause him pain so excruciating that he often collapses just from their presence. They are, in his belief, responsible for his life falling apart, the loss of any friends or jobs. As an orphan he has nobody to turn to, so David turns to suicide.
But he's pulled from the brink of suicide by the enigmatic Lucian Ducant, who seems to know all about what Lucian calls his gift. Not only that, but Lucian says that he knows where David comes from - a parallel Earth. Initially mistrustful of Lucian, David eventually gives the man the benefit of the doubt. If he follows Lucian he'll have answers - he'll know where he comes from, know why he was born with the ability to see the dead, perhaps even find his family. He might finally be accepted for what, for who, he is.
But what are Lucian's motives? Is he really helping David selflessly? Lucian is hiding something from him, this much he is certain of. The truth soon becomes apparent that Lucian was always meant to bring David back to that world; that David has a purpose, a destiny that is revealed to him over the course of the novel. Something dark just lurks beyond the veil, 'its hour come round at last'. David must learn to trust Lucian if he is to survive a destiny as cruel as it is hidden from him, against an enemy that cannot be easily defeated.
I'm unwilling to give much more of the plot away, so chew into that. There's more to it, of course; just what the enemy is, and its link to the history of that world and the changes that brought it so far from what is familiar to us; David's love interest, whose destiny is intrinsically linked with his. The novel was initially supposed to take place over the course of October, leading up to Samhain (the Pagan holiday, the origins of Halloween, when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest and the dead, and other things, can more easily pass through), but over the course of writing it I've come to believe that a span of two weeks would be better. So, the final two weeks of October. Tis' the time of the year, after all...funny how things work out, isn't it?
This entry has probably gone on long enough. I have a lot more to talk about; next couple of entries will be about my trip to England (and how inspiring a certain city turned out to be) and, closer to November, 'NaNoWriMo' - National Novel Writing Month. Until then, thanks for reading folks. Let me know what you think of Lucian in the comments below, share on Facebook and Twitter if you have enjoyed, and keep reading. I honestly can't wait to finish - I've known the ending for a long time, so getting it down on paper will be an incredible feeling to say the least.