This week I was going to start on a new story idea in earnest. I’ve begun gathering information, I have books on hold at the library for research purposes, I have websites bookmarked, I have some doodles and a few fragmentary elements jotted down. The whole process started over a year ago, maybe two, when I tagged some websites and wrote down a couple of ideas, but then it all sat, unlooked at, on my computer for a long time.
I dusted things off a week or so ago and started the wheels in motion again. I’ve been excited to sit down with books all around me, websites at my disposal, a pen and notebook in hand and begin the dreaming stage – when I sit and stare, read through various tomes, look up rosters of ancient names, and let things coalesce into the story that tugged at me, waiting to take form in the first place.
But then everything screeched to a halt. Why? Because a young adult fiction book that I had put on hold a few weeks ago finally came in at the library, and, like a fool, I began reading in on Sunday. I couldn’t put it down and all of my wonderful plans for starting my new story in earnest flew out the window on faerie wings – specifically on wings of the Faeries of Dreamdark.
The book in question is Laini Taylor’s Blackbringer, the first of now two books featuring the Faeries of Dreamdark.
Laini Taylor has one of those minds that can pull forgotten bits of lore from far flung places and twine them together with her own imagination to make something wonderful and deeply satisfying. The world she creates is solid and remarkable and her characters are unforgettable.
Blackbringer is the story of faerie lass, Magpie Windwitch, and her clan of crow friends. She is a bit remarkable, as faeries go, because she travels the world where most faeries stay in their forests. She also hunts devils, something that faeries used to do, but have forgotten all about. But she and her crow friends have learned something about the old days – the days of the devil wars – by traveling with her parents who find the lost, forgotten temples and read through their ancient libraries.
But not all devils are alike, it seems. When Magpie and her feathered friends come across evidence of some new kind of devil, unwittingly set loose from its prison, it’s nothing like they’ve ever encountered before. And Magpie must find the ones who trapped it all those millennia ago – if they even still exist – to see if it can be trapped again before this very old, very powerful force proves to be the unraveling of the world.
I’ve put the second Faeries of Dreamdark book, Silksinger, on hold at the library. I can’t wait for it to come in, and when it does, there’ll be another few days that my own story will be put on hold so that I can once again enter Magpie Windwitch’s adventurous world, and hopefully learn a thing or two about how to write a remarkable story.