I want to take a moment and discuss my approach for writing Maega.
The original premise was a “Coming of Age – Young Adult” story. Boring and overdone, but it was a starting point. I had a Princess that Would Be Queen. I started her as a spoiled brat with a self-entitlement mentality, and my story would pull the rug out from under her and let her learn how to truly be a leader for her people starting all the way at the bottom. After coming to grips with the fact that I’m not good enough yet as a writer to properly create a spoiled brat that we want to read about, I made a few tweaks. She got a bit more agreeable, but now what she lacked wasn’t moral character so much as time. She is getting made queen way ahead of schedule, and she doesn’t feel ready for this.
Still wanted to pull out the rug, but now just losing her kingdom wouldn’t be enough. Since she’s a bit reluctant, losing the monarchy (while certainly devastating on some level) may end up being a strange relief. I needed to take more from her, and I needed to add enough so that losing the monarchy is unacceptable. She has to fight to get it back.
This brought me around to magic. If I made her a spell-slinger of some sort (and a frightfully powerful one at that), and then took her magic away, she’s really gotta figure things out from the ground up. And thinking about magic… What if magic is hereditary? What if her mother had the magics too, which makes taking her away doubly painful: We lose the only person relate-able to this much magical power, and we now face becoming queen before we’re ready. Sizzling.
This got me toying around with magic: I wanted something where males and females leveraged magic in different ways. Females were true spell-slinger wizardy types… The males I decided were item crafters… And Mom overthrew wicked male item-creator government to install an army of women spell-slingers. Let’s say that’s how she’s losing her throne now… The exiled men have returned, and mom isn’t around to protect them. This completely negates mom’s work.
Oh.. And one more thing. Since I now have two halves of magic, I feel the need to add a second main character, a new POV with his own storyline. Let’s have a male join the story to show his struggle. For fun, let’s make him the half-brother of our Princess… Except he’s not poised to inherit anything. For more fun, rather than sharing the queen as a mother, they share the same father… A father who happened to be part of the now exiled prior regime. This adds all kinds of new layers to explore. And as I pursue each of their stories, I want to show them each on a mirrored path, but where one learns and grows, the other slips into ruin.
This is the baseline of how I came up with the story.
What are your thoughts? Too cliche?
How did you start your stories?
Novel Word Count: 12,006