From the Annals of Xerafeln Kindaer

From an untitled fantasy project in an untitled fantasy world (the same world as Fate and Second Chances).

            For more than two hundred years, Felicitiana Solonastarn-Kindaer Verrel has ruled Kel Carridal, the shining jewel of Valellen, the sacred city amidst the ancient trees, capital of the Elven Kingdom of Valyn in centuries long since passed.  It is a city, a nation that she wrested from the grip of fel powers such as the devil Grendalis and his minions, who had held the city for more than a thousand years.
            The fel powers would never forgive her for it.
            In the past centuries, the forces of Kel Carridal—drawn largely from the exiled elves of Kel Dannan, who lost their home to similar powers and civil strife within a decade of the recapturing of Kel Carridal—had crafted lasting peace, especially after they liberated the subterranean city of Tyr Evlanarnon from the same fel powers that had held Kel Carridal.  That was nearly a century ago.
            Fifty years ago, the Wraithien came.  Sentient undead, they poured from the blight that has since come to be known as the Spawn Lands, nestled in the heart of the continent, far to the southwest of Valellen and Jalanthe, far to the southeast of Port Valens and the Dravenwood.  The Spawn Lands have only grown since the first of the Wraithien emerged from it.  They overwhelmed the nearby settlements, forcing their way out of the Spawn Lands in every direction, laying waste wherever they went.  Some places withstood them—the Dravenwood thwarted them, halting their advance toward Port Valens; they never managed to press further north in that region, not much past the highway that wends east-west between Port Valens and Jalanthe.  Still, the road is a dangerous one; many travelers have been overrun by the Wraithien each year, disappearing into their camps and settlements…most never to be seen again.
            The furthest north that the Wraithien have managed to press is up across the northern mountain ranges, through the region northeast of Valellen.  Kel Terradoc fell not too many years ago and has since become a stronghold for the Wraithien in the north.
            In Kel Carridal, they’ve known of the Wraithien almost since their first appearance—citizens of Valellen were along with one of the first caravans to be attacked by the Wraithien.  Seven were killed, a bare handful returned home from that first fateful encounter.  Few who are captured—and only a bare few are captured, most usually die before the Wraithien can take them—ever return.  No one knows what becomes of them.  Queen Felicitiana, however, has urged caution; she is unwilling to commit her nation to a war when so much is still unknown about the Wraithien threat.
            Of course, the Wraithien have already declared their war.  Still, they do not range too closely to Kel Carridal proper—their noses have been bloodied one too many times for that.  In the years since their rise, despite her reluctance to wage all-out war against this new enemy, Felicitiana has authorized the creation of a standing militia.  This militia, largely consistent of elven rangers and the like, have been counter-raiding against the Wraithien, and this has largely discouraged encroachment.  The last handful of years have seen even more extensive counter-raiding, to the point of destruction of some Wraithien camps.
            What horrors they have seen.  By the gods, what horrors they have seen.

— From the Annals of Xerafeln Kindaer, brother to the Grey Lady, Queen Felicitiana of Valyn


Copyright 2007-2011 Erin Klitzke.

Musings on YA fiction and projects left unfinished

I’ve been writing fiction since I was ten years old–for fun, serious writing, not because I had to for school or any other reason.  Most of it has been crap.  Some of it’s been okay.  I haven’t reached a point where I have a manuscript ready to send off to agents or publishers…but that will come sooner rather than later, I’d suspect.

Today, in the midst of cleaning the house and weeding out in the garden, I came across a few of my writing magazines that I hadn’t finished reading–this happens often enough, that I’ll get one of them and not finish reading them to my satisfaction and then they get shuffled someplace in an effort to get my mother to stop complaining about how everyone’s stuff is everywhere cluttering up her house (not going to offer commentary on that one).  So, at some point today I sat down on the couch and thumbed through an article from the May/June 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest that had YA agents and editors talking about the category — how to break into it, what they’re looking for, that kind of thing.

It got me to thinking a bit.  I’ve always written younger protagonists (there are a few notable exceptions, including several of the major supporting cast members in Epsilon and The Last Colony–heck, Adam Windsor is a PoV character in The Last Colony and he’s in his fifties–as well as characters in Fate and Second Chances and its untitled sequel…though I’m not entirely sure elves and dragons count as “older protagonists”), characters ranging from their late teens through their twenties.  In some ways, my characters have aged with me and in others, they certainly have not.

Paranormal and speculative fiction have become huge in young adult fiction, and that subsegement of the genre have yielded works that have transcended the age category (see: Harry Potter and as much as I hate to mention it, Twilight–Vampires do not sparkle thank you very much!).  To carry this even further and away from the article I read, manga, Japanese graphic novels, tend to have speculative, paranormal, and fantastic elements to them as a matter of course.  Manga is extremely popular in the United States–and growing in popularity all the time.

Which brings me to what really got me thinking–the untitled sequel to my D&D-inspired Fate and Second Chances already has two very strong teenage protagonists in it–Alysta Riverden and Kaelen Verrel–and could quite possibly be transformed into a YA novel.  It’s something I’ll have to think about, because the story as it stands right now (in its very early stages–there’s only about 23500 words of ramble to it) is planned to be about as much about Alysta’s father, Talasin, as it is about Lysta and Kael.

But it’s entirely possible, and could be fun.  I’ll just have to do some homework on it, and some thinking.  But maybe.  Just maybe…

…after all, high adventure does well, too.