Writing Update: Introducing My Fantasy WIP! ♥️ ✨ // characters + inspiration

As some of you may remember, I mentioned in my first writing post that I’m currently writing a YA Fantasy novel!

Today I’m going to be talking a little more about that!

Now keep in mind that I’m really bad at ~explaining things~ and… I hope you still enjoy this little post!

I’m also open to suggestions if there’s something you’re confused about or don’t like.
Criticism is welcome! Just be nice about my feelings!

The Synopsis

Four years ago, Prince Elias’ sister was the heir to the throne. But when she was killed by a dragon, he became the heir to the throne in her place. And despite his father’s encouragement and the kingdom’s hatred of dragons, he chooses to secretly disagree with the decision to make him king some day. 

After all the kingdom has been through since the princess’s death, Prince Elias believes that her death was his fault. And now that it’s his time to take the crown, chaos begins to break loose between the dragons and the royals, and Elias’ secrets are about to be spilled. 

Told through alternating chapters between Elias’ life before and after the princess’s death, this is a story of acceptance, understanding, a little bit of betrayal. 

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The Characters

All right, it’s time to introduce you all to my main characters!
Most of these names will probably change by the time I finish the first draft. I’m open to name suggestions!

Prince Elias: The narrator, and your typical sassy MC prince with a backstory™. 

Four years ago, his sister was killed by a dragon, causing him to be the heir to the throne instead of her. He never asked for any of this, and he’s been having trouble adjusting.

But he also knows that his sister’s death, in addition to many other things, was his fault. He knows why that dragon killed her, but he can’t tell anyone.

Three days before his sister’s death, he was taken hostage by the leader of the dragons, the Elder, and instead of killing Elias on the spot, he made a deal with the prince: Prince Elias was spared, but he now must live the rest of his life “wishing he was dead”, and Elias must also obey anything the Elder tells him to do.

Princess Adelaide: Elias’ older sister, who has been dead for four years. She was supposed to eventually become Queen of the kingdom, but everything changed when she was mysteriously killed by a dragon. Before her death, Elias had advocated for the dragons because they hadn’t killed anyone in years, but now, he’s not so sure where his alliance lies. No one knows why Princess Adelaide was roaming the forest that night, or why she approached the dragons… expect for the prince. 

Peter: An orphan boy, raised by the servants of the castle, who grew up as Prince Elias’ best friend. When Princess Adelaide was killed years ago, he was accused of endangerment. The King then banned him from acquainting with anyone from the castle, including the servants who raised him. No one  has seen him since then.
Have you ever seen BBC’s Merlin? If Prince Elias is Arthur, Peter is a lot like Merlin in this situation.

Princess Rose: Elias’ younger sister, the baby of the royal family. Before Adelaide’s death, she never had to pay much attention to Elias because their older sister was usually there for her.

Celestine: A princess from another nearby kingdom, whom Elias knew when he was younger. They never got along, but now she might make another appearance in his life…

Dragons: The dragons have been persecuted from the very beginning, ever since Prince Elias’ ancestors took the land from them and made it their own kingdom. Now, the dragons live at the edge of the kingdom, and the King’s men are trained to kill the dragons whenever they show themselves in broad daylight. In turn, the Dragons promise themselves to kill any royal who crosses into their territory. 

But this becomes a problem when Prince Elias breaks tradition by letting The Elder spare his life.

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The Inspiration

The original inspiration for this story was, well… the Disney Princes.

But let me explain. 

So I’m a huge Disney fan, yeah? A few years ago, I was really wondering why Disney never had a movie which centered around a prince as the main character (and no, Aladdin doesn’t count because he wasn’t born a prince, okay? Also The Emperor’s New Groove doesn’t count either. He’s an emperor!). I wanted a story that was the equivalent of, say, Prince Phillip’s side of the story. I wanted to see a Disney Prince grow up and have troubles, too. I wanted something traumatic to happen to a Disney Prince, something other than the “love of their life” (whom they just met yesterday) being taken away from them. Basically, I wanted to see some poor prince have his dreams crushed and be forced to find a way to fix it, just like most of the Disney Princesses have to go through. 

Is that too much to ask?

However, I also wanted this story to be… not-so-typical. What if the Prince didn’t like slaying dragons or being a knight? What if he didn’t care about being the prince? What if… he wanted some solo songs of his own?

And then, of course, I love dragons, so I threw those in, too.

Because this story started off as basically a Disney movie in my head, the story incorporates signing. Like, a lot. It’s a major part of the plot! It’s a lot like Tangled, in that sense, wherein the characters actually acknowledge the spontaneous singing.

It’s basically like this:

I took whatever Classic Disney movies would do, and then I flipped that upside-down. 

  • Prince Elias? He doesn’t want to slay the dragon, OR save the Princess. 
    • But he also has reasons…
    • And many many secrets 😉 
  • The princess? Not only can she save herself (thank you very much), but she’ll also save the prince, too. 
  • The King and Queen? They’re alive and dandy. They just want their son to be a Man™. 
  • The servant? He actually doesn’t mind being a servant, as long as he can still be the Prince’s Best Friend. 
    • He just wants to be a baker, tbh. 
  • The dragons? Yes, they want gold… but they also want books and weird collectors items.
    • AND… they have secrets too 😉 
  • Oh yeah, and the citizens? They’re not allowed to sing. No one in the kingdom is allowed to sing. 
    • And guess who wants to sing the most? 
    • The PRINCE.
  • And best of all, that upstart young dragon that’s causing havoc around the kingdom? That’s the Prince, too. 

I really wish, with all of my heart, that I could share EVERYTHING with you guys… but I’m so scared because some of you are also writers, and I don’t want you to steal my stuff! 😉
I mean, I already think I’ve said too much…
Which is why I’m putting out a creative commons license.

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The Title?

Some of you asked if I had a title for this WIP in my last writing update. While it’s a little too early in the writing process for me to actually give it a name I like, I have had one in mind for a while.

Because this book was originally inspired by Disney movies (Tangled and Frozen in particular), this novel’s placeholder title is Caged for now!

A Little Snippet…

Here’s the first few paragraphs for you all!

On today of all days, I’m finding it difficult to feel anything on a bright and sunny afternoon.

There is no sound in the air, nothing but the wind in the heavy trees, passing through branches which hang high above the stones protruding from the ground. I wish the rain would pour down at this very moment, for it would be infinitely easier to bear this day in such weather.

As I pass through the gravel aisle, between countless intricately made headstones, I don’t wonder who they belong to or why they are all of such high quality. Despite what you’ve probably heard about sticking to traditions, each headstone is different. Some are as tall as trees and written in a language I will never understand, while others are smaller and inscribed as though painted with an inkbrush. And others are yet somewhere in between, not overly large but just enough to show off their spot on the family tree. Beside their differences, all of their headstones are lightly dusted in a green earth or dirt, all eerie in their own way. Barons, Countesses, Dukes, Kings, and Queens, all somehow related to me, but there’s only one person in this graveyard who I’ve met before. I know they are all my ancestors, but my only concern is with the headstone at the end of the isle, the most recent stone in the patch.

I’ve had an image of it in my head for weeks, months and years even, but I had not grown the courage to visit it until now. As I get closer, I realize how much differently my imagination had pictured it from the way it is in real life. This headstone is not as abandoned as the others – it is cleaner, and brighter, and overall a more delicate addition to the cemetery. However, the main difference between this one and others is that this headstone is visited daily by various citizens of our kingdom, which I now know because I see an assortment of trinkets, flowers, and other worthless offerings at the foot of the stone. That, and the fact that this is the only headstone which belongs to my late sister.

Creative Commons License
First Page and Description of Fantasy Work by Xandra Cortez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Are you working on any drafts? How’s it going so far?

What do you think of my WIP? Any… comments or suggestions?

I want to hear all of your thoughts! 😊

You can also be my friend on Goodreads! 📚

Happy writing, everyone! 😀

Starry Sky Books-13


30 thoughts on “Writing Update: Introducing My Fantasy WIP! ♥️ ✨ // characters + inspiration

  1. Oh my gosh, I love that little snippet! Your writing style is so lovely!! 😍 And Caged is such a badass name for a book – I want to read it now!

    P.S. Good luck with writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I honestly only included the singing parts because it was a “Disney movie” in my head, and it was essential to the story and I eventually couldn’t take it out! I’m going to try to write maybe two “songs” for the book, and yes there will be lyrics!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhh! I love books with lyrics! It’s just so creative to show different types of expression (only if they’re good though! 😂) 💕


  2. I love that we’re following a prince for a change! And this fantasy sounds epic 😍😍 Elias sounds like such an interesting character already from all of these snippets. I’m not lying—it seems like he’ll be good for teaching kids to unlearn toxic masculinity, following a prince who’s not the best ruler and is having doubts about himself. All the princes in fiction we see right now are sure of themselves and good at fighting and we need a changeb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Caitlin! 😊 And everything you said about Elias is exactly what I’m going for! He stands for people, especially boys, who don’t need to feel like the “perfect” man or child. He’s trying to just be himself, but he sometimes gets lost because he believes in himself differently than everyone else does.
      And as a bit of a spoiler, I even have a few scenes in which I explain that he’s kind of good at sword fighting, but he literally cannot do anything else. Not everyone is super talented or special, and I think we need to see more of that in fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Waa if sounds so interesting!!!! I’m loving the Disney theme! Also Elias seems like such an engaging protagonist.
    Good luck!!!🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like the sound of your idea- it’s really cool it’s centred around a Disney-style prince being the main character. And I love the concept of a prince who doesn’t like killing dragons. The characters sound really well fleshed out as well and you’ve got some great mysteries in there that make me intrigued! Good luck with this! It sounds like a lot of fun 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing this with us!! And OMG it sounds incredible. I really want to read this book and is definitely something I would pick up at a store. I love that you used the Disney princes because I too always wanted a Disney Prince storyline— there is plenty to be said there. And the idea of mixing lyrics in it as well sounds so interesting and unique.
    Also I will always love dragons so YESS about that and it sounds like they have such an interesting backstory.
    I am loving the sense of mystery in the story as well– and alternating between time will make that such a great read!! And Elias sounds like a great MC!!
    I love all of this and loved your snippet. AMAZING ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Xandra, thank you so much for sharing! I’m seriously in love already. That snippet was amazing! It truly felt like I was reading a fairytale story, very Disney-like and atmospheric. What a great work!
    I am the worst at writing settings, so I seriously praise you for doing it so well.
    I honestly never thought much about getting to know the prince’s side of the story. Even though I do like them (Flynn Rider is an ANGEL and so is Li Sheng), I was never really interested in knowing more about their backstory than we already do. But now that you’ve mentioned it, I realize how amazing it would be to see the story from a different perspective and perhaps follow the prince’s struggles as a future ruler of the kingdom. And the fact you’re adding singing to top that makes me even more excited! It already sounds like a perfect fairytale! 💞
    (Plus, you couldn’t have chosen a better name for your protagonist. Elias is gorgeous!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lais! ❤ I honestly think that writing settings for me is also difficult, but I was able to picture this scene so well because I was inspired by a real place! It was inspired by Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinbrugh, Scotland! The graveyard where J.K. Rowling found some of her character names 🙂 I visited there in the summer, and I immediately was able to picture this scene!

      I have been wanting a Disney Prince story for a few years now! I heard that Disney is going to make something similar, and it is a movie about Prince Charming’s brother – but that might not happen after all. I wanted this story to be like the Disney movies, but from a different perspective than normal. And I remember you mentioned liking the name Elias in one of my other posts, so I’m glad you like it here! 💞

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck!!!! I’m already super interested because I love Disney very much (Mulan and Frozen 😍😍😍)! Your little snippet is awesome, and I wish you all the best!


  8. This sounds absolutely fascinating and the extract that you’ve included is amazing! I love your mix of characters and am very intrigued by the plot that you’ve outlined. I can’t believe I never noticed how little focus there is on Disney princes! I also love that the people can’t sing but the Prince wants to more than anyone else – that definitely fits with the Disney feel that you’re going for!! I love it (: Good luck with it all.


  9. How are you getting on with this, it sounds good? Are you joining in with Nanowrimo this year? I’m going to give it a go…I’ve yet to achieve the word count but I like the routine of writing every day regardless of how busy real-life can be.


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