If you want a short (er, 7 minute) run down, I recorded this awkward youtube video about a year ago when I was just starting to tentatively work out the initial plot, before I had actually started writing any of it.
(Note to self: Stop hunching over tables, it’s bad for your back.)
Some things have changed since then as writing tends to do.
Long story short… I’m writing a novel which I am calling Warden. Without divulging too much plot, it’s about a guy (who was named Tobias and is now named Zach) who is doing fuck-all with his life. Then he dies. His fylgja (which is like an old Norse guardian spirit) decides that he likes Zach too much to reap him. So Trygg (…who was formerly named Alex in my initial plotting) revives him instead. Normally fylgja are invisible to humans, but due to his close brush with death Zach can now see him.
Stuff happens. Valkyries are angry. Trygg ends up being in way more trouble than Zach is (because Zach is just a stupid human, it’s not like he has a say in anything anyway). More stuff happens. The Norse justice system is really shitty… and then… HEROIC TRIAL STUFF.
Usually these sorts of undertakings are done for relatively selfish reasons or for penance (take the labors of Hercules for example). Here, Zach is doing it to protect Trygg who would otherwise be destroyed for being a really shitty fylgja.
So yeah. Right now? I needs me some more heroic trial junk.
Edit: …Yeah, I feel everyone judging my very obvious influences right now and I have no regrets. :)
Tchyah. Heroic trials? Hero’s Journey?
Trope-tastic! I’m all for it. Then again, considering that Eddings’ “Belgariad” is one of my favorite series, which widely acknowledged as being about as troperiffic as you can get, I’m not really one to talk.
If you’re looking for some heroic trials, things to deal with, I’d recommend “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind (Richard’s dealings with Mord-Sith in that book are some grim shit), the Belgariad/Malloreon and Elenium/Tamuli by David Eddings (despite the formulaic nature of both series, the trials put forth in them are definitely somewhat harsh), any of the “Redwall” books by Brian Jacques, the “Hyperion Cantos” by Dan Simmons (Mind. FUCK.), and, of course, the sagas and Eddas themselves.