NaNoWriMo 2019 in Review and a Look Ahead to 2020

NaNoWriMo ended almost a month and a half ago, but as many of you veterans and Twitter watchers know, the mad writing sprints are just the beginning of penning a novel. If you missed my last post about prepping for NaNoWriMo check it out here. Today I’m going to talk about what I’ve created so far and give a little preview of where I’m planning to take Mage Blood in 2020.

Let me start by saying I have high hopes for 2020. I am planning to release the fourth novel in the Lion-Blade Saga by the end of the year if all goes well with editing and publishing. While the Lion-Blade Saga is my major series, I am excited to branch out to tell more stories in the coming years. Between the back and forth of editing and waiting on proofs to come in the mail, I will be continuing to work on Mage Blood. My sincere hope is to finish at the very least, a rough draft of the first volume in what I hope will be a trilogy this year. For NaNoWriMo 2020, I’m hoping to jump into a draft of the second volume. Somewhere in all of this I also plan to start into Lion-Blade Saga number five once we’ve finalized book four.

These are lofty goals and I’ll do everything in my power to rise to these challenges in 2020, but that’s enough of the New Year’s Resolution part of the post. It’s time to talk about Mage Blood. Some of this might not be finalized or survive the editing process down the line, but here’s where the story has taken me so far.

Mage Blood takes place on a world name Sang. Our story takes place in the continent of Trepays where two major powers, Tennabres and Hinode vie for power hailing from the west and east of the continent. To the south is the third power Corsaros which is staunchly neutral in Tennabres and Hinode’s endless war.

The core of the war between Tennabres and Hinode is their beliefs about the purpose of magic. Tennabres believes that mages exist to serve the rest of mankind as slaves while Hinode believes that mages should rule over those without the power of magic. Corsaros takes no active role in this conflict, but its pirate lords and merchant barons always find a way to make a profit from the fighting.

Our story begins in the northernmost province of Tennabres, the island of Stanhope. Stanhope is known for two things, its massive fishing and whaling industry and its brutal winters. Stanhope is desperately poor. Its people struggle just to feed themselves. The only way to keep the bellies of the people full is to use magic to enrich the soil with mana in massive greenhouses owned by the noble families.

The principal characters of our story are Alexandre and Marius. Alexandre’s parents died when their whaling ship sunk in the frozen sea. Marius was abandoned by his family when they could no longer afford to feed another child. These two abandoned children found each other and stuck together to try and survive the cold and the hunger that covers the province.

When the winter cold nearly claims their lives, Alexandre and Marius discover that they can create flames from their fingertips. Using this newfound magic, they manage to survive the cold, but are discovered by the city guard who sells them to a mage auction house.

The young mages are purchased by Lady Catherine, the wife of Lord Stanhope, the rule of the island that bears his family name. She takes the children to work in her magic fueled greenhouse to work and force the land to bear crops.

Alexandre and Marius both prove to have incredible potential for magic and are trained by the Stanhope’s chief mage, Gaius. Gaius teaches them how spells are created by weaving together prismatic threads of mana from each of the seven colors of light. Weaving together different combinations of colors can produce thousands of different spells and each day the young mages learn more and more magic.

After training with Gaius for a few years, Alexandre and Marius show great promise in learning battle magic. Battle magic is an even greater asset to the nobles of Tennabres than even the ability to make food grow from barren ground. The nobles of Tennabres use battle mages to assert their power over the other noble houses through tournaments. The houses with the strongest fighters receive greater political power. The house with the strongest mages, rules over the rest of the nation as the Premier house.

Alexandre takes to the magic training very quickly and becomes a powerful mage in just a few years under Gaius’ tutelage. Marius is not as gifted as Alexandre in learning spells or controlling his power, but his capacity to channel mana is nearly limitless. Marius discovers a dark power that allows him to completely drain the mana from the world around him creating dead spaces called rends when he uses this power.

As the young mages grow, they eventually rise to become the new champions of house Stanhope and represent their noble house in the tournament to decide who will rule as the Premier house.

That’s as far as NaNoWriMo took me last year. I’m continuing to work on Mage Blood nearly every day to see where Alexandre and Marius will end up on their journey through the world of Sang.

I hope you enjoyed this little preview of my latest project. Check back later for more updates on Mage Blood and Lion-Blade Saga book four, the Waking!

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