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I’m in the process, the very early process, of working on a new book project I’ve called “The Forester and the Mage”.

I’m currently playing through Fable 3, a little (a lot) behind the gaming curve. I’m playing a very goody-two-shoes princess and last night I got to the part where our heroine wakes on a distant shore having survived a ship wreak and the only way to go is through a dark cave. I won’t give any spoilers away for anyone yet to play/still playing Fable 3 but after fighting my way through to the other side (as I daren’t go to bed without finishing that section), I had had another idea for my current project. Yet another idea!

You may have noticed it in the navigation menu on the right that I have a new project in the works, having put “Sons of Lur” to bed. “Sons of Lur” was my first attempt at “world building” and some of this may make an appearance some day. However, I am currently working on a project imaginatively dubbed “The Forester and the Mage” or “TFatM” for short.

The Lent Challenge – Out of Season Nanowrimo

For Lent, most people give something up – a bad habit, certain foods – or take something on such as lent classes/sessions contemplating a particular section of the bible or attempting to be prayerful. However, I’ve taken on a nanowrimo-style challenge: write the first draft of a novel.

It’s unlikely to be the full draft, but I hope that by the end of Lent I will have done a significant amount of groundwork towards this project’s book and be in a position to hand a partial or whole manuscript to my beta readers by one of the upcoming FnH fests. And it’s not that I’m pushing a daily word count or even tracking my word count as I have done for Nanowrimo. I simply intend to make the time to complete this project, having had some encouraging feedback on ideas from one of my beta reader buddies. And now that I’ve announced to the Junior Choir members that this is what I’m doing, I have another reason to give this a try. Nothing is worse than admitting to mini-choristers you can’t do something!

The Project – The Forester and the Mage

The two main characters of this book is a Forester and a Mage (see what I did there?), brought together by a number of events, tied up in plot destiny and kicked at the main villain of the book with the aim of saving the day, the world, the universe and everything. Or in a roundabouts, thereabouts way.

The Foresters are a branch of the law, existing in rural areas, who operate out of a number of “Towers” or strongholds through the country. They maintain the peace, uphold the law and investigate crimes to deliver those culprits to the local law courts. Each region has an overseeing Forester who is known as a Warden, who are stationed in particular Towers and who are appointed by the Huntmaster on behalf of the King. As a sign of their post, they ride a white steed and bear a ring with the symbol of the Forester’s guild.

They work closely with the Scouts guild, many of their Junior Foresters and Foresters being drawn from the upper ranks of this guild, along with physicians, blacksmiths, archers and soldiers and town militia. My thoughts on their hierarchy be something similar to a police force, with beat officers on the ground, the associated support network, and a number of high ranking decision makers who are on the ground, but also report to the head of the whole system.

Kathleen Cooper* is the Warden of Denaster*, an ex-Scouts local guild head who is considered young for the position. She’s caused a stir by her way of thinking, changing how her Tower operates from being the luxurious home of the Warden to a stronghold and a working community, returning it to a more medieval style of living. I’m still pulling together her character, but I’ve currently pictured her as a duty-bound, honourable soul who likes things to be done by the book. A closed person, who keeps her feelings bottled up, with pain in her past. She has a bit of a temper when her feelings finally get too much and she’s all about doing the right thing.

Robert Longstride* a slave Kathleen rescues from a dubious Alchemist with no memory of his life before. I don’t want to go into too much detail to his story, but in my head he’s understandably confused, but is an open, friendly person who makes friends easily once he starts to get over the pain and confusion he is experiencing in the beginning.

Inspiration – Ingredients for Inspiration Soup

I admit Fools and Heroes is providing a lot of inspiration for this project, but I wouldn’t call this a Fools and Heroes novel, given that some of the defining elements of the Fools and Heroes setting (e.g. Seven Light gods and Six Dark gods aka the 13) are not present here.

I’m also finding the majority of my writing music from some film OSTs, celtic compliations, harp music and some bagpipes. Folk music is also jumbled in there, but currently hasn’t really been touched upon due to the opening scenes I’ve been working on. I think the Eagle OST has been on repeat since it arrived on Saturday.

Additional inspiration is being drawn from a number of fantasy/historical films, a number of fiction books in my library, my interest in castles and medieval/celtic history as well as memories of holidays in Scotland and Wales.

*Names may change during the course of the project.

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