Now that I’m revisiting EotF, I’ve been wondering if there are other ways to make it stronger. I had a light bulb “what-if” moment, and shared it with my husband (my backboard to bounce ideas off of). My idea:
What if magic did have that chance to drive someone crazy if it remains untrained? (Not just a lie the Enchanter Council spreads.) The boys are trained when they are eight, so it prevents anyone from knowing the possibility for them is there. But females that escape the testing go mad: a self-fulfilling prophecy. What takes mental training/overcoming is the sensation of spiders crawling over the skin every time enchanter magic is cast.
I know I would go crazy if it felt like bugs crawling on me, but nothing was actually there.
My husband had a few suggestions to enhance the idea even more, and agrees that this will add more “incentive/motive/danger for various aspects of the story.” The other part of the idea is Marian getting her own moon spider. Currently, only the higher up enchanters have moon spiders. I need to figure out how Marian is going to acquire hers.
So, I need to work in some craziness and spiders with my description, and write an entire new chapter for Marian’s spider bonding, and a few more scenes. It’s not a lot, but I think it will improve it a lot. Querying is on hold until I finish these new revisions.