Maria Hossain/YA Epic Fantasy

Hi, there. This is my second time doing #PimpMyBio post. You can find out about #PimpMyBio here

Now, without further ado, here’s me.

I’m Maria Hossain from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I’m a student of English literature in University of Dhaka. I’ve been writing since I was 17. So far I’ve written 5 ms.

But mostly I’ll talk about my fantasy ms and why I’ll be a good mentee.

About my ms:

Tagline:

She incited the battle against humanity’s greatest threat.

A millennium later, he will end it.

Short Synopsis:

18 years old Prime Princess Eleni wants revenge more than anything; revenge for  her husband’s murder at her father’s hand. But a deal with the devil, here in the form of the Void, an invisible, intangible entity, will jeopardize her subject’s lives.

A millennium later and miles away…

18 years old Quince Shakran never wanted more in life than two square meals a day, until the day his brother consumes poison for not getting a coveted scholarship, now fighting death. Only high priest of a neighboring state can heal him. On his journey to seek the priest, Quince meets and falls for a royal prisoner, Eresa, a descendant of Prime Princess Eleni. She’s determined to finish her ancestor’s dormant battle against humanity’s greatest threat.

Titbits about my ms:

01. It’s inspired by the ancient Bronze Age civilizations; the setting, Pantheon, is a melting pot of cultures of ancient Indus Valley civilization, Egyptian civilization, Greek civilization and Mesopotamean civilization.

02. This is my first fantasy ms. The previous ones are mostly realistic fiction. After devouring An Ember in the Ashes last year, I began this ms. For comp title, I’d use AN EMBER IN THE ASHES meets the four classic elements, virtues, temperaments and seasons.

03. In this ms, I infused several myths, folklores, religious events, poems and historical events.

Myth: The Nemean lion, the Gaetulian lion, the Fates, the Greek gods and goddesses, their creation from the Titans, the lost city of Atlantis, the lost island continent of Hy-Brasil, the lost island state of Kitzeh, mythical city of Shambhala, the thirteen treasures of the Island of Britain etc. Like epic poems, here you’ll find divine intervention, divine retribution, heroic deeds etc.

Folklores and cultures: from Bengali folklores and cultures, I infused several elements being a Bangladeshi myself.

Religious events: Noah’s ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, Adam and Eve, Lucifer/Shaitan, Fall of Human, etc.

Poems: The Lotos Eaters, Lady of Shalott.

Historical events and norms: Troy city and Trojan War, the Bronze age civilizations, the fall of muslin industry in Bengal, the Alexandria library, the Seven Ancient Wonders, the Barbary lion, Venatio in amphitheatres, ancient Olympics pentathlon style games etc.

04. I’m super proud of this ms cause in it, I’ve infused parts of my culture and heritage as a Bengali, e.g. the muslin industry of Bengal, the Nakshi Kantha (embroidered quilt), the words Apaya, Voag, Moyra, Velki, Jhoom, Narvoji, Sharobar, Navanna are all Bengali words. Super super proud.

05. The ms is written from alternating dual POV and timelines. The MCs never cross path and their stories in this ms, though deeply interconnected, are distinct. 

06. Here are some aesthetics:

07. All my characters are POC like me. 

My FMC:

Prime Princess Eleni:

•She’s the first queen in my setting’s world.

•the only educated woman

•a young widow and mother of twins.

•She can read minds through physical touch.

•She’s excellent in sewing and weaving.

Here’s an aesthetic for her:

My MMC:

Quince Shakran:

•a day laborer, born with five layers of caul

•he’s blond, 6’8″ tall

•he passionately wants to be a dancer but in his society, dancing for men is a laughingstock profession, something only a madman or minstrels would pursue. He loves to perform dances that I was inspired from Bharatnattyam and Kathak, two classical Indian dance genres.

•He’s gentle, meek, timid and naïve as a lamb, and would risk his life for others. He has Amychophobia (fear of clawed animals) and Pyrphobia (fear of fire).

Here’s an aesthetic for him:

08. Here’s a pic I made for the cover with the title:

09. My ms doesn’t feature dragons but has Phoenix and some imaginary animals such as

Auroch:

One horned, it’s the largest bovine animal who lives in snowy regions where the sun doesn’t come, for it turns into a puddle if water of sunlight falls on it. I was inspired by extinct aurochs and this relic found in Indus Valley’s ruins.

Rualian lion

Inspired by Greek myth of Nemean lion, mythological Gaetulian lion as well as extinct Barbary lions and Royal Bengal Tiger, Bangladesh’s national animal. Rualian lion has impenetrable skin that can only be penetrated by auroch horns.

Narvoji birds

They’re man eater birds who resemble to a giant vulture.

As a potential mentee:

After getting rejection last year from PitchWars, I brought significant changes to my writing style and schedule (I did a twitter thread here). From a pantser I became a plantser. I learnt about plot structure, character arcs, how they align and work together and about scenes and sequels and their parts. I’ve learnt how to write a query and am learning to write pitches and synopsis as well. Last year’s rejection hit me hard. Since then, I participated in NaNoWriMo and CampNaNo, and won both times. I wrote almost 200k since then (72k for the NaNoWriMo ms that I shelved later and 137k for this ms that I’m reducing word count).

I also reduced around 44k words from my second draft (which stood around 141k) after doing the developmental editing.

Rejection taught me to perceive writing more seriously. I’m a hard worker and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to polish and prepare my ms for the world.

Thank you for reading my #PimpMyBio. Hopefully you’ll pick me, 🙂 🙂