editing,  fantasy,  nanowrimo,  pilgrim of the sky,  publication,  the gnome and the necromancer,  WIP,  writing

The Gnome and the Necromancer

With the month of November looming, it’s time to consider NaNoWriMo. Last year it was NaNoEdMo for me, as I was busy doing edits on Queen of None.  But this year,  I haven’t been writing much at all since I finished Indigo & Ink, and figured I could use November to focus. Edits on Pilgrim of the Sky aren’t due until early 2011, after all. Things have been… well, meh in a lot of ways, and I’m seriously in need of some writing therapy. Not to mention, it’s really fun being involved in something creative with a group of awesome friends.

So: enter The Gnome and the Necromancer. This is a departure for me. For one, it’s Urban Fantasy, and takes place in the modern day, here in our world, and not in a secondary world where the rules don’t apply. It’s also YA, the main character, Ruby, being all of fourteen. The other MC is a gnome, for lack of a better term, who is a professional kidnapper. He’s supposed to steal magical children and bring them to his side of the world, but he sort of slips up in Ruby’s case, and she ends up unleashing her powers inadvertently on our world.

Anyway, here’s the synopsis:

Ruby Benson is fourteen, and her life couldn’t be worse. Or so she thinks. When her cousin Calvin passes away in a tragic car accident at the age of sixteen, she accidentally brings back his soul from the Underworld: into her corgi. Her inadvertent magic spell triggers the Changeling Court, who realize–for the first time since her birth–that she was not taken as a baby, as she should have been.

Talfryn Windwake, the changeling gnome in charge of her case, gets sent back to Ruby’s side of the world to retrieve her. He expects the transition to go smoothly: after all, aside from not taking her when he should have fourteen years ago, he’s got a perfect record. But Ruby isn’t going down without a fight. As Talfryn struggles to redeem himself after his unforgivable error, Ruby must come to grips with her new abilities, and decide whether or not she wants to trade her old life for a new one… the life she should have had in the first place.

A bit more marketable? Perhaps. Nothing wrong with that, I don’t think. But it’s going to be both lighthearted and sad at times. Themes of death, loss, love, duty… you know, those sorts of things. And shorter. Hopefully no more than 65-70K, which should work well for the genre and the time!

Anyway: if you’re doing NaNoWiMo this year, feel free to friend me! You can find my page here!


  • John Stevens

    I think this idea has a lot of promise! The idea of a fourteen-year-old necromancer struggling to decide her future while fighting off the one who could have changed her life in the past is very compelling, and rich terrain for exploring the themes you’ve invoked. I would love to see how the poor corgi/cousin plays into this situation!

    I am toying with doing NaNoWriMo; I have tried a few times and never finished, but this year I have somewhat more time and energy to commit to the writing. Ideas I have a-plenty; it is a matter of making and sticking to the commitment.

    • Natania

      Thanks, John. The idea’s been dancing about my brain for a while, and just now sitting down to put it together more cohesively. And yes: Calvin, as corgi, is going to figure in a great deal. Sometimes funny, but ultimately quite tragic.

      And even if you don’t finish NaNo, you should give it a try. The year I first did it, 2008, it had a really big impact. I learned what I was capable of. And, turns out, that book–Pilgrim of the Sky was my first novel sale. Granted, it’s been edited within an inch of its life, but still. You never know.

      • John H. Stevens

        Natania and Kate: I’m looking forward to that creative kick in the pants! I just signed up for it and I’m doing some background work so that on the 1st I can just start putting words on the screen. I got inspired by my latest Apex blog post so it’s fantasy for me.

        And I look forward to seeing what happens with Calvin. I feel some odd affinity for the poor little guy.

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