I think better in the shower. (stop laughing)
I don’t know if its the warmth of the water, the droning of the droplets against my skin, or just the fact that for a few precious moments (okay, okay, 15-20 minutes) I am utterly alone. No electronics, no mini-me, no wifey. Just my thoughts and I.
I’m going to ramble about magic, xenophobia, prejudice and slavery a little. Yeah, it might get a little weird…
This morning, I thought about the ‘completed’ novel I have, which is terribly bloated (100K+ words) and still in need of editing polish. A large part of the book is exploratory, the protagonists visiting other people and learning more about the world at large, things the main character couldn’t have learned any other way. Some of these people are labelled (inaccurately) Avians; thin, humanoid creatures roughly seven feet tall with fine down-like hair that covers most of their bodies. They are more ‘bat-like’ than ‘bird-like’ in that they have flaps of skin from wrist to ankle and not actual wings. They can glide but not produce powered flight without magic, which, by and large they do. Avians born without the ability to produce even tiny amounts of magic are usually ostracized and even enslaved as a sub-class.
However, I was thinking about the fact that the Avians do a significant amount of training of other species in magic, being that they are ‘Air’ affiliated and ‘Air’ is part of the mental discipline, they can better show other species how magic works rather than trying to teach them via normal means such as lecture and text. The ability to reach into another mind and either plant or weed ideas (in a manner of speaking) is invaluable; as such the Three Warring Nations find that the Avians are the best place to send enslaved mages for further tutelage.
This also makes them prime targets for the Academy’s raids; they seek fresh, young blood to further their breeding programs and where better to find them than at the Avian nests? As a result, Avians have come to distrust and even loathe humans in general, though some would argue that this is an entirely hypocritical point of view since Avians see the ‘ungifted’ as disabled. So strong is the Avian prejudice against the ‘ungifted’ that they are routinely sterilized to prevent them from passing on their ‘defective’ genes.
This development means a few things.
Nathaniel would be most unwelcome there. He carries the ‘stink’ of the “Dark Tree” (The Stone Pillar) and would thus be immediately assumed to be a spy and an enemy. They would be most reluctant to teach him anything and even more reluctant to let him see the Elder Dragon (with whom they have a tenuous relationship with as it is). His stay there would be the first time he’d become aware of the plight of the gifted in the TWN and make his conversation with Sora about her past in the TWN more solid. In addition, Sora’s return to the Aviary would be something of a point of conflict for her and her rage at seeing even younger children in training would pique Nathan’s interest in the TWN conflict.
So, instead of taking the tunnel to the waypost, though could fly over the TWN via dragon-back (carried by the Elder himself?) which would give them less time to get to know each-other, but that’s okay.
Also, rethink the whole torture aspect as it being ordered, but not exactly savored? I kind of like Sora being the cold-blooded bitch she is, but it makes her later ‘relationship’ with Nathaniel a bit unbelievable.
As far as editing goes, I need to eliminate all viewpoints but Nathaniel’s; which is going to be difficult but should go a long way to shortening it and making it better. That was recommended to me by some people in a short-lived critique session I was part of a while back.
Anyway, that gives me some food for thought and a chance to digest my thoughts a bit more fully before I get to those chapters.