I promised that this year I’d talk a bit more about what’s going on with Unrooted, so I’m keeping to that. After trying again to get an agent last fall and coming up short (just barely), I did some soul searching and realized that I think I need to tackle this project from scratch again.
It’s a bit daunting, I’m not going to lie, but I also think it’s the right decision. I was consistently getting feedback from agents that something just didn’t click or that they weren’t sure how to market it. This made me realize that the version I was working with was the one I had first drafted back when I still thought it was a YA book. Essentially, I’ve been trying to stuff a more mature project into a younger skin that didn’t fit it anymore. I think the best thing to do is it stop trying to force things into the existing draft and just start from scratch again.
Of course, I’ll be keeping most of my worldbuilding, the exception being the languages. Since I’ve grown and learned so much, I am capable of making conlangs now, so I’m developing several to use for Iridia. All my characters are staying, with some name changes, but I’m giving them room to breathe and develop in a new way.
I’ve also decided to try writing this in third person. I’ve been reading a lot more adult fantasy in the past year, and it’s more common to use this POV in this category. Not only that, but there’s a good reason in-world for switching it up this way.
With that said, here’s a snippet from the beginning of the new rough draft I’m working on. It will probably take me a long time to write it considering the intensity of my workload this semester, but I’m looking forward to cracking away at it. Enjoy this bit, and I’ll share more here and there as I draft!
Three drops of blood fell on the snow.
This is the way the story always begins. Sometimes
it is three drops of wine on a pure white tablecloth, or three drops of red
paint on a blank canvas, or three drops of red tallow on a white sleeping
shirt. It has happened this way many times.
This time, it was three drops of blood drawn by a
rosebush which fell onto a blanket of freshly fallen snow. It seems like an
ordinary thing, perhaps even a regular occurrence, and I will not deny that
this is true. But every time—and this I can promise—a story begins.
This story is that of a cursed gardener, an heir
to a nation’s throne, and the end of the world.
The gardener’s name was Peleu-Pomona Âstenu, though
she was known only by her title, Steuu Dacira, to most. The heir’s name was
Misila Lanoleu-Nevea Âpenenu. Though she would dislike it, we shall set her
aside for now to pay attention to Pomona, whose blood it was that dropped upon
the snow, and whose wish set into motion the end of the world.
Do not doubt, dear reader, that the smallest seed
can grow into the greatest tree or that the smallest wish can change the world.
I’ll check back in soon!