Hey peeps and welcome to Beautiful Books, hosted by the lovely Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up & Further In. What is Beautiful Books? It’s very similar to the monthly link up of Beautiful People, but this month it focuses on NaNoWriMo writing projects rather than specific characters in the novels. You obviously don’t have to be participating in NaNo in order to join; it can be any writing project.
So for today I’m going to be discussing the project I will be working on during NaNo, which is the one I started for Camp NaNoWriMo this past April: The Thief and the Magician. I want to restart this novel because even though I didn’t get very far the first time, I still didn’t enjoy what I was writing almost at all. I love my characters Nara and Mikail, but I didn’t like the way the chapters were coming out. I literally rewrote every single chapter that month to improve it because I couldn’t stand what I had written the day before.
So for NaNoWriMo 2016 I’m going to be working on this story of mine that I really want to tell. With that, let’s jump into the questions:
1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I honestly have no idea where the initial spark came from. I have a writing journal where I write any idea that comes into my head that I would like to one day use in a novel, and I must have been looking at it one day because I have written in there: the thief + the magician. I don’t know if I wrote it in after I thought about writing it, which looks like the case considering I have more details than I normally write in my ideas area, but that’s probably where it started. I’ve had the idea for it since at least March or April of this year, so not too long.
2. Describe what your novel is about!
Here’s my current working synopsis:
Nara is a thief of the Rising City, and she’s been one since she was a little girl, trained and abandoned by her father. Now, as a twenty year old, she is one of the most infamous thieves in all of the Rising City. But when one mistake almost costs her her life, she is thrown into a life debt by someone she never would have thought she’d ally herself with: a Magician.
Mikail is a Magician, a rare breed that is seldom seen in the world anymore, and he is still honing his skills. When his powers manifested at a young age, he didn’t expect to be in the eye of every powerful person in the Rising City – especially that of the Queen. But when one day his magic goes haywire and he saves a thief from most certain death, he thinks that maybe she is his ticket to freedom.
Though the two cross and their lives mix, neither one could be prepared for what happens to them – or their hearts.
It sounds good, right? That’s the best synopsis I’ve ever written, and even I want to read this novel – but first, I have to write it!
3. What is your book’s aesthetics? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
I was seriously so excited for this question when I first read it, so here is my working aesthetic for my novel:
4. Introduce us to each of your characters!
Nara is a twenty year old thief who has been on her own for the last eight years after her father passed and her mother left six years prior to that. She learned all she knows from her father, whom she loved and respected greatly, and continues to learn all she can to become the best thief in the Rising City. She’s brave, sarcastic, quick on her feet, intelligent, but sometimes she gets too cocky, which can cause her to get in a bit of trouble. She’s also afraid of thunder storms.
Mikail is an Illusionary Magician, a rare breed of Magician that is rarely, if ever, seen in the empire anymore. His skills have always been desired ever since he was a child. Now, at eighteen, he runs for his life. He may look pretty serious a lot of the time (resting bitch face is a curse, alas), but he’s actually pretty friendly and easy to get along with. He’s smart, kind, and has a compassionate heart, though that may one day lead to his downfall. He’s also afraid of heights and, on occasion, his own illusions.
The Queen is a powerful woman who looks to be in her mid thirties but some think she is much older than that as she never seems to age and she’s been on the throne for a long time. Her game is political ploys and schemes, always looking for the next thing that can continue to increase her power and hold over the Rising City and the empire. She is intelligent, cunning, swift, and full of secrets. Though she does have one fear that she doesn’t let anyone know or get a hold of.
The Lion is the Queen’s top guard, a man who is ruthless when it comes to serving his Queen. And like his Queen, he has very mysterious powers and secrets that none wish to uncover. He’s cruel, harsh, and cunning. He has no known weaknesses, which causes him to be even more of a threat. You do not want the Lion looking for you.
5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
What is this “preparation” you speak of? I hate outlining. With a passion. I also hate drafting, but I know it’s a necessary process when it comes to writing. I find that when I write out an outline all of my ideas go with it so I feel like I can’t write out what I’ve just written down. That’s why I like to keep as much as possible in my mind to write down for my story itself. I know my characters, what they look like, how old, and general appearances and personality, but it’s the story and how they act in the story that tells me who they are.
But I also do enjoy chocolate. So there’s that.
6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Finishing it. Seriously. I haven’t finished a novel since NaNo 2014, and then I’m very close to finishing another novel I started for Camp NaNo 2015, but I have no clue how it really got to where it’s at in the story and it was turning into a trilogy at that point… So yeah, I’m looking forward to finishing it. If it’s even a one book thing, I have no idea. I have no end in mind, just a general story I want to tell.
But here’s what I hope to do:
- Reach 50,000 words. (Duh.)
- Get a nice romance going on. Maybe sexy times, we’ll see. OR just a nice friendship. I honestly don’t know where these characters are going to go in terms of that.
- Learn all I can about my characters. Their ins and outs and everything in between.
- Figure out what the hell I actually want to happen in the story.
7. List three things about your novel’s setting.
My novel mainly takes place in a city called the Rising City. I pictured it to have various sections around the city with grand buildings in the Shopping and Elite areas, warehouses and smaller houses in the Commons area, and then the Slums and Port. There’s large, elaborate buildings, museums, stores, a clock tower, beautiful lights, and such. They do have electricity in this world, but their modes of transportation is by horseback, caravan, or walking.
But here’s three general things:
- The Commons houses the majority of the people in the Rising City, the capital of the Empire. It is also the main thoroughfare and festival celebration area. Parties, ftw!
- The Elite area does have the Queen’s castle, a large, grandeur structure with opulent windows, details, and finery. It’s truly a beautiful sight, inside and out. Though, like all castles, there are secrets within its walls.
- Past the Rising City is the Grand Highway, a large, open area of vast valleys and plains where travelers took refuge and could get to any other major city or town in the empire. It’s also wrought with dangerous creatures and mysterious beings and happenings.
8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in their way?
Both Nara and Mikail crave freedom, even if both are very different versions of it. Nara wishes for the freedom to come and go as she pleases without having to keep one eye open while she sleeps, while Mikail wants out of the City and into a land where he won’t be hunted and desired for his powers.
For Nara, she’s really her own worst enemy in a way because she holds all the power within herself to change her circumstances, her life, and make different decisions, but thievery is the only life she’s ever known and she feels a connection to her father because of it. There’s something slumbering within her that calls her to it, and she’s not sure she can stop.
As for Mikail, the Queen and the Lion are really who stand in his way. The Lion does the Queen’s bidding, and as the Queen wants Mikail for his power, he wants to get as far away as possible. He’d even be willing to give up his powers, somehow, for a chance at normalcy.
9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I’m not sure as I don’t even know where I want my novel to go. But as I’m typing this out, more and more scenes are playing in my head – which is nice! – just not the ending. So I’m anticipating it just as much as everyone else! I do hope that both Nara and Mikail come to terms with something by the end, but I have a feeling they’ll have more to tell than what one novel can hold.
10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
I feel like the main themes of the book are acceptance, learning to face fears, and trusting in others.
When the book is over I’m hoping readers will feel one of these ways: 1) they’re craving more from these two, wanting to know what happens next; or 2) they feel like the story came full circle and that Nara and Mikail stand out in their own regard.
I want readers to leave the book feeling like they got to know two people who were in very different places in the world, but who came together and made the most of what they could.
There’s plenty I hope readers will get out of my story, but those are the main things.
I’m so excited to get started on rewriting this story. I glanced over the chapters I’ve already written, and there’s some things I’ll probably keep, but a lot I’m going to end up changing. I prefer writing in third person, but I might switch to first person while keeping the dual perspective. I feel like this story is going to be a ride and I am so excited to go on this journey with Nara and Mikail.
Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? In three words tell me what your story is about! What do you hope readers of your story will take away from it? What genre does your story fit under? Tell me all the things!