Of Roses and Thorns

That's the title of the second book in my trilogy, The Huldufolk Chronicles. It has to have been at least a year since I last thought about it.

The push to return to it came unexpectedly while I was visiting my daughter in Ontario recently.  She and her husband have quite a library (they even make borrowers sign out the books!), and in it I found the five-book set of The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. Years ago when I was teaching, I read at least two of the books to my grade 5/6 class, and then I bought the set for my eldest grandson when he was 10. (He will be 17 in a couple of weeks.) Anyway, remembering how much I enjoyed the books, I decided to reread them. I finished the first 3 in the week I was there, which is quite a feat, considering that for three of those days I was babysitting two of my grandkids and dogsitting 3 labs. But I wanted to read the other two books, so I had to sign them out and bring them back to Campbell River with me.

For those of you unfamiliar with the books, I should tell you that they constitute a fantasy of the ongoing battle between the light and the dark (good and evil). The books were every bit as enjoyable as I remembered, but in addition to a good read, I found myself inspired to get back to my own fantasy, The Huldufolk Chronicles.

Here's the storyline in a nutshell.

This trilogy follows the adventures of fifteen-year-old Kole, his seventeen-year-old sister, Jorin, and their 25-year-old friend, Conny, as they embark on a quest to save their village. Banished for speaking out against the elders, Kole and Jorin find themselves alone and without resources in the forbidden forest and almost immediately are set upon by a wild boar. They are saved by the rebel, Conny, who teaches them survival skills and tells them of another world. As the three set out to find the portal to this world, they discover that their village and everyone in it—including their parents—are soon to be annihilated. The village and forest are nothing more than a game board on which the Elders who govern the village and the Lords of the two neighbouring kingdoms—all brothers from another world—play out their struggle for supreme power, and when the game is over and they return to that other world, Huldufolk, the forest, and the kingdom will be destroyed. Unless Kole, Jorin, and Conny can stop the game before then.

The first book, The Third Portal, is written, but at the back of my mind, I kept thinking that the plot needed beefing up, so I have spent the last few days rereading and tweaking. It's actually in better shape than I thought, so I'm now ready to outline the other two books, and begin the writing of the second. An agent told me that before publishers will consider a trilogy, they want to see:

               1) one completed novel

               2) detailed outlines for the other two books

               3) at least two polished chapters for the second book

So I still have a bit of work to do before I'm ready to submit. But the creative juices are flowing, and I already know some elements I want to include. As usual, I have derived part of my inspiration from photographs.

Of course there will be a castle.

And there are thorns (it says so right in the title).

And be very, very afraid, because there's magic, and there's no predicting the form it will take.

And there is warfare.

And treachery.

And, of course, roses.

It's all going to be very exciting. I can hardly wait to get it written.

Reader Comments (4)

I'm excited that you're returning to the trilogy! Can't wait 'til I get to read some of this. :-) (Love the book 2 title!)

June 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShari Green

I'm getting excited too! It's weird how I'd forgotten some of the plot twists as I was reading through the first book, and I was impressed with how I'd worked things out. Too funny.

June 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkristin butcher

Wow, Kristin. Having read some of your story, I'm excited that you're getting back to it. And what a great post!!! Love the outline, very appealing, and the story of how you got inspired to get going on your fantasy again. The photos are wonderful as well. What a creative soul you are!

Can't wait to see how this all unfolds, and I'm not your typical fantasy reader, but your writing is always so good.

June 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Stevan

Thanks, Diana. Upon rereading Book I, it was in better shape than I remembered (Absence makes the heart grow fonder?), and over the past couple of days I've been mentally working out the whys and hows of Book 2. I should be ready to begin any day now.

June 12, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkristin butcher

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