It’s been years and years since I wrote what became the second novel I ever finished writing. It felt really promising at the time. The first pages won contests. They got me full requests from agents. But nothing ever panned out.
Eventually, I gave up and shelved it. I moved on to what would eventually become the Modern Fae series. And I didn’t think I’d ever go back to that novel.
But I never really forgot about it. While I don’t really remember the moment I started writing Eve of the Fae (or really any of the Modern Fae novels), I have a very vivid memory of the book that started out as “The Lost Empire” and eventually became Petals and Runes.
It all started with that scene at the masked ball where she figures out that she’s dancing with the Ruhl. Except, at the time, I hadn’t invented that bit of world-building. He was a king, and his name was Oliver not Elan.
I only know this because I still have the notebook I wrote that first scene in.
Perhaps you remember me mentioning this novel before? If you do, it’s because I chopped up my old draft and posted it serial-style on Kindle Vella earlier this year. The last episode posted in April. I took it down in May, and now I’m working on revising it, as well as outlining the rest of the trilogy.
Back before Modern Fae, I didn’t know how to fix my not-quite-there broken novel. You know how they say you should put your finished draft away before you go back and try to edit it? Well, it’s been over five years! And I’ve learned a LOT since then. I think it’s time to put all that to work.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be breaking this story down and putting it back together again. At first I was dreading this process. It’s both a demoralizing and invigorating thing, the thought of ripping apart a “finished” draft so you can fix it.
But I’m also getting to go back and explore some of my favorite young adult tropes. Like that good old masked ball scene. And the YA fantasy arranged marriage. Not to mention… The Love Triangle!
I know. That last one was huge in YA for a while, and you either loved it or you hated it. The love triangle for me is one of those tropes that, when it’s done well, can hook me into a young adult fantasy romance like nothing else.
There was a love triangle in the original version of this story, but it got kind of lost (or at least muddled) by the time I reached “the end” of that finished / polished draft. That’s one of the things I’m working on bringing back and strengthening during this revision.
The decision to do that might have been a little inspired by my current favorite YA love triangle: Bree / Nick / Sel from Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. In case you were wondering, I am team Sel all the way. The cover of book two (Bloodmarked) alone is making that one of my most anticipated new releases for the second half of 2022.
So tell me. What are some of your favorite young adult fantasy romance tropes? Are you team love triangle? Or do you hate it? What are some of your favorite young adult love triangles?