Kickstarter #2: The Story
Last time, I talked about how my Kickstarter campaign idea came to be. Today, I want to share the actual story.
This is the blurb I’m using on my KS preview:
Gryphon’s Overture is the story of Paige Montgomery, the bookish sister with every expectation of forever remaining a spinster. Intelligent, introverted, and a solver of puzzles, she’s not exactly the picture of Bellflower Bay’s “perfect wife.” So when her sister hands her the perfect puzzle – a dusty warrant for their deceased father’s arrest – Paige jumps at the chance for a little adventure…and to escape the accusatory eyes of the village women. With family scandal erupting all around her, she sets out to discover the truth of the Montgomery past. In the process, she awakens a whole lot more than her own curiosity…and the interest of a lying knight dedicated to an order long dead.
Magic is knocking at the mortal door, and the Montgomery girls hold its key. They will need their mother’s forgotten heritage and all their father’s tinkering lore to hold magic’s would-be destroyers and possessors at bay long enough to let it blossom. Which would be a lot easier if their parents hadn’t kept so many blasted secrets…
That’s it, in a nutshell. It’s not perfect; it’s probably not the eventual sales blurb. But it gets the gist across.
Gryphon’s Overture was conceived of two ideas: 1. The Grecian Muses, and 2. Peter and the Wolf.
When I originally sat down to create the characters, I decided I wanted to do a parallel to the muses, whom I’ve always loved. Each sister therefore has a corollary muse (and their brother has parallels to Apollo). Paige, for example, is the Monty version of Clio, the muse of history. This connection dictated the sort of magic each sister possesses. I’m not going to give away exactly what they are, but I will say Paige’s has to do with the past. Her sister Mercedes is Erato, the muse of lyric/love/erotic poetry, and her magic has to do with romance. That formed the foundation of my character creation.
When I was little, I had a dramatized record of Peter and the Wolf. I’ve always loved the idea of a character embodied by an instrument, so when I created the Monty girls, their music became the basis of the magic and, from there, the plot. Each sister plays an instrument; more than that, each sister is embodied by a song of her soul, the music that represents who she is. In Paige’s case, her song is the Gryphon’s Overture (see how that works? :D), played on the flute. These songs and instruments feature prominently in each story, and when they’re all combined…well, that’s a secret! For now, I’ll just say that this is a core goal in the story.
Those two points – the muses and the music – are really what the girls are all about. Just as the muses inspired the Greeks to greatness in the arts, so the Monty girls inspire greatness in those around them. They – and what they bring with them – are the catalysts of change. Their music…actually, I don’t think I can go into that without giving important twists away! We’ll have to save that for much later in the series. 😉
The third concept came a little later as I put the girls into the RP world I played in. The setting was Medieval(ish) and rife with romance. Having watched the same romance story play out time and time again, I wanted the girls to be different, to tell a more compelling story. Not just boy meets girl, boy pursues girl, girl falls for boy, and they live happily ever after. BORING! I wanted to explore the many ways in which we, as humans, fall in love; not just the typical fairy tale, but the more realistic (and sometimes much more fantastical) sort. When Gryphon’s Overture opens, for example, Mercedes is a widow. Her husband, the absolute love of her life, has been killed in action. What sort of love story does that leave for her later? Does she love the next man just as much, or does she settle for a marriage of convenience? Are they just as happy? Does she let herself love again? What happens when one loses one’s soul mate at a young age? That, to me, is a much more compelling story than the one I could have given Mercedes if I started the series sooner in the timeline. She loved Wil with all her heart, but what’s she going to do now that he’s gone? That was something I wanted to find out.
Each book in the series will be about a different sister. Each sister will do her part to save or improve the world through her gifts and magic, and each sister will fall in or pursue love in her own way (though their actual love stories progress beyond their starring roles). Which led me to foundational pillar number 4: What’s the best period in which to explore the fanciful and tragic points of love and romance? The Regency period. In particular, Jane Austen’s Regency. High waists, soft colors, manners, tea time, letters flying back and forth; scandal, rebellion, men in uniform (and all those uniforms entail); and, above all, matchmaking!
And thus the world of the Montgomery Girls was born.
Next time, the world! Or maybe the changes I’ve planned for my major story overhaul. Come back next week to find out!