Ideas and Ideas

In my post “Thinking About Avalon” I put forth a vague vision of what I think the state of Britain would need to be in order for Arthur to return. In summary: REALLY desperate. Like, really, really, really desperate. I go back to the state of Britain in the Pendragon Cycle: Getting overwhelmed by barbarian hordes, petty British kings warring with each other, people getting driven out of their homelands, the protection of Rome gone…things were seriously messed up, or at least in very serious danger of getting messed up soon.

Now, a long time ago I said I had an idea for a three-pronged story: One about a young man (probably teen) trying to find a girl he knows will try to kill herself, one about a slightly older, but still young, man who sees a vision of a woman he has never met but he knows is his one true love, and one of a young woman (probably teen) whose father has gone missing supposedly for good and who she is determined to find.

I am trying to make an effort not to give up on this idea, but all my thinking about Avalon leads me to this: What if I do even more combining and combine those three plot threads with the return of Arthur? What if it’s an epic fantasy.

I don’t want to go into all of it but I conceive of a future Britain mired in a drought, electronics basically either dead or stolen, little central government, and with towns forced to become self-sufficient. Leaders of towns basically become kings of city-states. With the cars either gone or inoperable, a horse becomes almost as great or greater a commodity than a moving car.

In other words: The Isle of Britain, cut off from the outside world once more and plagued in its own problems, has essentially turned into the wild west (why would one fight with swords in such a world)?

And so we have our first character, a young lad who owns very little books and whose fondest possession is a dog-eared copy of “Le Morte D’Arthur” – or perhaps “Arthur” by Lawhead. Why not? People mention White all the time, after all. He believes that in order to bring Britain back to greatness they need to unite once more under a great leader…but he has no idea how to accomplish this. After a night of heartfelt prayers he receives a vision, a girl committing suicide…

And then we have the girl, whose father left on a hunting raid and met up with outlaws. After a brutal gunfight most of the men were killed. Her father was not found among the dead, but he does not return either. After a year of waiting, slowly getting more angry and self-destructive, she decides that she must go find him on her own if nobody else will help…

The man is the trickiest one of all. Like before, I do not know how he will fit, but I also feel that, somehow, he belongs in the story. I will sit on his third of the tale for awhile.

There is an epic fantasy here, a truly fresh re-treading of the old ground. I plan to plot this out over my Christmas break. Time to get serious.

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6 Responses to Ideas and Ideas

  1. verbosestoic says:

    Very quick thought here, but why not give the “Arthur” part to the man instead of the boy? The boy, in the sort of world you describe, could have been searching for purpose, and the prayer led him to a vision of a worthy goal. Then the man could be striving for a leader like Arthur, and have a vision of a woman who looks exactly like how Guinivere is described in whatever book he has. Doing it this way, it leaves it open for him to want to find Arthur, want to become Arthur, or believe he IS Arthur. And if you want to relate it to the story itself, then there are characters for each of them to become here, especially if the young girl looks exactly like the description of Guinivere. But it also leaves you the freedom to not do any of that if the story works out better.

    • My original idea had NONE of them as Arthur. The young man was originally of indeterminate origin, then possibly Lancelot. Merlin could work as well…

      But that’s not a bad idea. I shall think on this.

      • verbosestoic says:

        Moving the “inspired by Arthur” part to the man allows for none of them to be Arthur as well, and the man can be Lancelot or Merlin just as easily as the young man can, in my opinion. Just a thought.

  2. Syllabus says:

    Is there magic at all?

    • Yes, or at least probably yes. I’m just not sure how to incorporate it.

      • Syllabus says:

        Have you read the Shannara series? All in all, it’s not a terribly good series overall, but it does take place in a far-future post-apocalyptic Earth. The idea (if I recall correctly) is that magic used to be used, but fell out of currency and into obscurity as civilization and technology advanced. Might not be a bad avenue to explore

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