Beautiful Books 2017 | Introduce the Novel

beautifulbooks

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. Click here or the picture to be taken back to the most recent Beautiful Books linkup page!

It’s time to talk about what I’m going to be writing this year and frankly… I needed this post because I’m still working out a few kinks in what I want to write and I’m just a mess. Ha.

Here’s the questions!

  1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
    • I’ve been wanting to write a character with dark powers since I started working on my NaNo novel last year. I had a character who was able to manipulate shadows and use darkness as a power, but it just didn’t fit right with the character and the world (of course I didn’t realize this until later on). And then… well, I wanted a way to cope with my depression, and so I decided to write about a character that uses darkness as a power, but this power controls her and consumes her (much like depression does with me). So… yeah.
  2. Describe what your novel is about!
    • Mahlia is unknown. She blends in with the crowd as much as possible and tries to just go through her day to day life without bothering anyone. But she has a secret that she can’t make known unless she wants to forfeit not only this life that she’s made, but also her freedom. If she keeps this secret any longer, though, it may just consume her – body and soul.
    • Vex is the third prince in line for the throne, and as such he gets away with pretty much whatever he can. As he was forced to choose between priesthood and the military, he decides to join the royal army alongside his second eldest brother. Fire courses through his veins just as it does through his second brother and his mother, but his magic is stronger, different, and one that could ignite a change he hadn’t expected.
    • In a world where elemental magic is abundant, the threat of war is upon the country of Arkin from their neighbors across the sea – Nyrrin, who craves their lands and their very prosperous resources. But these once comrades of Arkin come with weapons unlike that which Arkin has ever seen, and it could change the outcome of the war for the worse for Arkin.
  3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
  4. Introduce us to each of your characters!
    • Mahlia is a 19 year old apprentice to a weapons maker. She’s been under his care for the last six years and has been learning the ins and outs of how to make weapons suited for the person based on their power: swords that can hold fire for fire wielders so as to not melt the steel; bows and arrows for wind users that are both lithe and powerful and have secrets within them to carry farther than the average arrow; and so on. She has a good sense of humor and is often complimented on her smile. She loves to make others laugh and forget their worries because she knows what it’s like to be so down in darkness that looking for a light is near impossible. Her power is Darkness, a path from Spirit that is very dangerous and unknown to many. She wears gloves often because her hands are tainted with the black mark that signifies a Darkness user. As such, she rarely uses her power because it feels like a living thing, something that will consume her from the inside out – the marks on her hands prove that. She often has depressive episodes as a result, but she doesn’t often speak her mind when she’s in those moods because she doesn’t want to burden others.
    • Vex is a 23 year old prince, the youngest in the line of succession, and is a high spirited young man. He has three elder siblings: two brothers and a sister, and cares for each of them deeply. Family is very important to him and he couldn’t imagine his life without any of them, especially his second eldest brother, Maks, whom is also like a best friend to him. Vex is a Fire user like his brother and mother, and though their flames are strong, his seems to be stronger and he sometimes likes to show it off. He is part of the Royal Army, second to his brother, but he didn’t just earn the spot because of who he is, but he fought and earned his right to be there. He works alongside men and women who have varying powers and he views them as family. He has an easy going smile and attitude, but can be very serious when the situation calls for it.
    • Maks is the second eldest sibling of the four royal siblings at 28 years old. He has a good head on his shoulders and uses logic over emotions in almost all situations. He loves his family dearly and views his little brother as a comrade in arms as well as a friend. He is strong physically and in power, his flames very potent when used. He has a wife, Kema, who is 26 years old, and a two year old daughter named Camile.
    • Tilla is the only daughter of the four siblings and is 25 years old. She is very gracious and loving, but she’s also a fighter. She trained with her brothers with weapons from a young age with both of her parents’ blessings. But she much prefers being in dresses and being a woman of the court than being a soldier. She enjoys shopping and gossip, but she is also an artist and loves to paint and create. She is a Water user and her magic is fairly strong.
    • Berol is the eldest son of Arkin at 30 years old and is a Wood user. He is strong physically and in power and he has a good head on his shoulders. As he is the first heir to the throne, he has been trained in politics, military tactics, and general ruling of the country. He is married to his childhood friend, Sera, and they have three children ages 6, 4, and 1, two daughters and a son.
    • Geron is the king of Arkin and is a Water user who is incredibly strong in power and physically. He is a kind and generous king who truly cares for his people and family. His wife is Queen Sephie who is a Fire user, very powerful, and incredibly warm hearted. She is very family oriented and cares much for the people.
    • Serath is the master weapons maker that Mahlia has been training under and his bark is worse than his bite. He looks like a very bedraggled man in his late fifties, but there are hints of love and tenderness under his skin, especially when it comes to children and those close to him, like Mahlia. In public, though, he is all business and rarely smiles. He is a Metal user (surprise surprise).
    • Jaqar is the king of Nyrrin and a very strict ruler. He believes that power and money are the two things he needs most in life and because of this his view of the world has become warped in ways that have slowly been hurting his people more than helping them. He is an Ice user and is fairly strong in his power, but not strong enough.
    • Lucmer is the eldest son of Nyrrin at 27 years old and is much like his father, but crueler. He was trained under the sword from a very early age, and his power as an Ice user is one that would impress even the tribes living in the northern mountains. He is one that uses strategy and logic in many situations, but he also relies a lot on his power and brute force to get what he wants. He’s short tempered and one not to be crossed.
  5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
    • Cry a little. I’ve been trying to outline to make sure I have a loose plot that I want to follow. Once I figure out the main point of the story the rest should hopefully fall into place. Other than that, I get inspiration from other writers when they talk about their own work, and I read in the genre I want to write in to really get a grasp on how other writers write their stories and how I want mine to be, too.
  6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
    • Just seeing where it goes. I want the story to be about how Mahlia will conquer the darkness eventually, but it’s going to take a lot of trials and heartache to get there, and I don’t know if I’m ready for it. (Also the romance because I’m a super romantic at heart.)
  7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
    • Two countries are going to be at war with one another: Arkin, a prosperous country with lush fields, forests, and distant mountains with many homes and villages nestled together, where people come to start over; Nyrrin, a strong country with a thirst for gold and greed and power, with tall, stark buildings, crowded streets, and advancing weaponry.
    • Magic is abundant in both lands and across the world, and it’s elemental magic. As such, there are varying “branches” to the elemental magic, such as “Ice” is a branch under “Water.”
    • Many secrets to unlock (for me, too, let’s be real).
  8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
    • Mahlia’s ultimate goal is to conquer her own power from consuming her. She is what stands in her own way.
    • Vex’s ultimate goal is to make sure his country remains safe. Jaqar and Lucmer stand in his way.
  9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
    • Mahlia will most likely conquer her demons and feel like she can finally breathe again. But will she still have her freedom? That is the question.
    • Vex will go through a lot in the course of the story, and he might change a bit from what he was at the beginning, but one thing is certain: he won’t take life for granted anymore.
  10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
    • One theme is going to cover depression, and I’m going to do my best to make it #ownvoices because I’ve had depression for over 10 years now and I want to show what my depression is like through Mahlia. The Darkness is a symbol of that, but she’ll also have it.
    • Sacrifice is going to be another theme and one that I hope readers will understand that tough choices happen in life, especially in unforeseen circumstances.
    • Redemption is also going to be poignant because I want Mahlia to be able to overcome the Darkness and how strong of a hold it has on her.
    • Love is another theme, but not just romantic love. I want to also feature familial love because I just don’t see enough of it in books.
    • When the story is over I hope my readers feel a sense of connection with more than one character and that they, too, will find themselves in one of them.

That’s it for this month’s Beautiful Books! I’m very excited and nervous to start NaNoWriMo, but I honestly hope that it goes well and that this story is what I’ve been needing to write this whole time.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Are you going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How many characters do you have? What are three points about your setting? How do you want readers to think about your story at the end?

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Beautiful Books – 2017 Writing Goals

beautifulbooks

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. Click here or the picture to be taken back to the most recent Beautiful Books linkup page!

Today’s post is focused on our writing goals for 2017. Now I already talked briefly about some of the goals I hope to achieve this year, but this one goes a little more in depth in a few places where I feel I didn’t touch upon. So here we go!

1. What were your writing achievements last year?

I think just writing the story that had been on my mind for so long was the biggest achievement I accomplished. I had wanted to write about these two characters, Nara and Mikail, for so long and finally doing it was such a release. I loved it!

I also successfully outlined for the first time in years and I actually liked it? I’ve griped about outlining before and how pointless I found it but OH MY GOD I LOVED IT. I need to outline with every single story I do in the future. Seriously, it helped to keep my story focused on the goal I was trying to achieve with it, and even if I didn’t use every plot point that I had written, I was still hitting the major ones and it felt so incredible to be able to see that happen and how the story changed and morphed as I went as a result.

2. What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?

  • Finish writing not only the draft from NaNo 2016, but also the draft from Camp NaNo 2015. I haven’t finished either story yet, but I’m getting so close to the end for both! (I have a problem writing endings, so that’s probably why I’ve avoided it for so long.)
  • Then edit said drafts. I might just focus on one story for this year even though I love both of them (and the draft from Camp NaNo is a hot mess… I have NO IDEA how I got to where I am in the story from the beginning of what I was writing…). So I think that I’ll just focus on the NaNo 2016 draft for now and edit that one.
  • But here’s my main “to-do list” when it comes to writing this year:
    • Finish drafts.
    • Edit them.
    • Find beta readers.
    • Edit some more.
    • Query some agents and hope to find a great agent.
    • Proceed with publication process. Hopefully.

I’M GOING BIG OR GOING HOME THIS YEAR, GUYS. IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN.

3. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects this year!

“The Thief and the Magician” is my top priority this year. I really loved what I was writing for this story, but I just have a few kinks to work out and obviously some major editing, but otherwise, this story is going to be my primary focus. I feel like it’ll be the story that I want to surface to the world.

I also want to finish writing “Crossing Boundaries,” the story I was working on in 2015. I LOVE my two main characters, but as I’ve stated: it’s a hot mess. I don’t know if I’m going to let it see the light of day any time soon, but maybe one day in the future.

Also, I feel like I have ideas brewing in my mind that I should probably write down. Maybe I’ll work on something new? Or maybe a sequel? Who knows? Not me, clearly.

4. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?

I want to improve in all ways as a writer, honestly. I want to listen to people about what makes a problematic book and how to defeat that beast. I want to do more outlining and just work on editing. At the end of 2017, I want to be able to feel like I’ve accomplished something rather than just letting these projects sit and feeling sorry for myself that I’m not actually doing any writing.

By the end of this year, I want to be able to follow my passions and dreams and write and create and be happy.

5. Describe your general editing process.

After my first NaNoWriMo that I actually wrote 50k words (which was 2014), what I had done was printed out my story (and used up all of my ink) and began to read through it with a critical eye, using a red pen (yes, the dreaded red pen) to mark changes, grammar fixes, etc. For me, personally, I feel like I need to write with pen on paper in order for changes to really stick out in my mind. I could do it all on the computer and save trees and ink and whatnot, but I’m old school and love the feel of writing out what I want to see changed in my story by hand.

At this beginning stage, I already know a LOT of things that want changed because I think of them as I write the first draft, but I rarely go back to fix those things. But once I know I’ve successfully completed writing my first draft, that’s when I can move on and actually put those changes in. Like even now I know there are several things I want to add and change and remove from my draft of “The Thief and the Magician,” but I’m not ready to make those changes just yet.

After that, I’ll go back in, apply those changes to my documents on my computer, and at that stage I’m thinking of letting my husband be my first reader. I want a second set of eyes from someone I trust (who’s also a fast reader) to give me feedback. I know if I tell him to be honest and not sugar coat it that he’ll let me know if things sounds weird, if the flow is wonky, whatever the case may be.

After that, I’ll do another round of edits. I’ve never gotten past the first stage that I talked about, though, and even then I never finished my first round of edits, so this is going to be interesting for sure. But I’m going to take my time with it, doing small chunks at a time until I’ve completed it, then I’ll go from there.

6. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?

Well, considering I’m not finished… With what I have actually written, I think that this draft is turning out around a 5 or a 6. I’m happy with parts of it for sure, like personalities, certain scenes I know I want to keep, certain emotions that I want to keep, but there’s a lot that needs to be fixed. So yeah. 5/10.

7. What aspect of the draft needs the most work?

If Nara’s supposed to be extremely afraid of Magicians, or just wary around them, WHY DID I NOT MAKE HER MORE AFRAID AND WARY AROUND MIKAIL? UGH. This is currently my biggest gripe of the whole draft and I need to add chapters or change some scenes around to fit this in. Just. UGHHHHHHH. I’m mad at myself, honestly, haha! And I knew I was doing it as I was writing, but I didn’t want to stop and fix it. It’s fine, EVERYTHING’S FINE.

And then there are obviously kinks and stuff I need to elaborate more on, and there’s definitely one chapter that I KNOW was just a filler chapter and needs to be replaced, like, ten years ago, and… yeah. Okay. The draft in general just needs some work.

8. What do you like most about your draft?

I love my characters. I grow very attached to a lot of characters I write, particularly the main characters because, well, duh, and this story, “The Thief and the Magician,” is one I feel so passionate about that I’m so glad that I decided to give it another shot because I struggled HARD during Camp NaNo 2016 when I first started working on it. The chapters weren’t coming out right AT ALL. In fact, I rewrote several chapters during this time because they just didn’t work and they weren’t how my characters were supposed to be, and I was writing it in the wrong tense, so that was frustrating. But yeah. The characters are really what make my draft feel alive to me.

9. What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?

I kind of already glossed over it in a couple questions already, but here’s more:

  • Finish the draft, do a round of edits, let husband read it, do another round of edits.
  • Hopefully find two beta readers to give feedback, then do another round of edits.
  • THEN I’ll start querying. I want to go the traditional publishing route because that’s just what I personally want to do.
  • Then I’ll just go from there.

10. What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?

Let it sit for a little while.

I literally haven’t looked at my draft or thought about it or touched it since the end of NaNoWriMo 2016, and I haven’t even finished it yet. Writing over 50k words in 30 days really taxes the brain, and even if you didn’t do NaNo but you still have a completed first draft (or mostly completed): let it sit.

Don’t think about it, don’t open the file, don’t let yourself worry about it for now. Obviously, don’t take too much time away from it or you might never go back to it until you’re filled with guilt, but give it a month or two. Or give it a week or two. Either way, just let it sit so your brain can recuperate from the hard work it just put in with you writing this first draft. You worked extremely hard on this draft, so now take a break, do something for yourself that isn’t writing, and then go back to your draft. You’ll have refreshed eyes and quite possibly a new outlook on what you want your draft to look like once you start edits. Taking that step back could be very beneficial to you.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How are you doing on your writing project? What are your plans for this year? Is your novel ever going to see the light of day, or is it going to be buried under mounds of debris, never to be seen again? What do you like most about your draft? Tell me all the things!

Beautiful Books – Novel Update

beautifulbooks

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. Click here or the picture to be taken back to the most recent Beautiful Books linkup page!

It’s time for an update! We’re already halfway through the month (a little over, actually) and many of us participating in NaNoWriMo have been writing furiously (or like me and didn’t write for a solid week, ughhhhh). I’m writing this on Sunday the 13th, so I should be farther along than what I was at today (she says hopefully), but let’s talk about some of the updates with me and my novel!

If you want to check out what my novel’s about, you can check out my previous Beautiful Books post, or my NaNo announcement post!

1. Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

Well, my mental state is improving now that I’m actually writing again. I didn’t write a single word last week; I had zero motivation to do anything. Instead I had watched anime, read some books, and did anything but write. Even when I told myself to write, I didn’t. I don’t really know why. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it? But now that I’m doing it again, I feel like I can actually do this. If I keep reaching little milestones, it’s like I’ve accomplished something, and I love that feeling.

As far as my novel, it’s proceeding as planned! I used to hate outlining, but now that I’ve done it and I’m actually following along with it? It feels amazing! I may deviate from what I have written in the outline, but I’m still coming back to the key points that I have listed, and I think that’s the most important part. And I know I have a butt ton I need to fix, but that’ll come later.

2. What’s your first sentence (or first paragraph)?

Here’s my first paragraph:

The museum is quiet, all but for the ticking of the grandfather clock in the main lobby and the occasional shuffle of feet as patrolmen walk up and down corridors and through exhibits. It’s just another night in the Rising City, I reassure myself, and take a deep breath. Getting in was the easy part; getting the ruby and getting out are going to be just a smidge more difficult.

3. Who’s your current favorite character in your novel?

Currently my favorite character is probably Nara. I love both Nara and Mikail equally, but I love her sass and how she keeps trying to find humor in things.

4. What do you love about your novel so far?

I love that it’s actually going in the direction I wanted it to go. I also love that I get to see it being fleshed out and how I’m working out in my head and on paper (computer) what’s going to happen next. Even though I know I’m going to have things that I’m going to need to fix down the road, right now I’m seeing it turning into something other than just an idea in my head – and that feels amazing.

5. Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

Nope, I don’t think so. Nothing hilarious, anyway. Just typos, things I need to fix or change around.

6. What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end – and why?

I find that I can start my story with BANG. Like, I can shoot out of that starting gate at full speed, no turning back. But as I get closer to the middle I slow way the hell down and there’s more for me to figure out. The end is such a blur that I can’t even see it at all. It’s weird to think about, really. I find that that’s the same with every novel I wrote. I can picture the beginning perfectly, but the end? Forget it. The middle is murky at best, and I can see just certain scenes clearly in my head, but otherwise there’s nothing really there. I just have to see where my characters take me and see how the world develops as a result.

7. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

I’m not going to show a picture of my writing space because my desk is HELLA messy, but some of my writing habits include: wearing my NaNo merch (seriously, they’re magical), listening to instrumental music, and I think my best writing time is morning/afternoon. So when I have work during the days it’s very hard for me to pick up writing at night because everyone’s home and bugging me or making noise and I’m distracted and then my husband wants to watch anime that I love…

It’s honestly annoying.

8. How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?

My husband says I don’t like to share what I’ve written yet, but he doesn’t even ask, so why would I share? I mean, I would if he asked.

I like the cheer squad! I like it when I post updates to Twitter and others are cheering me on and I cheer them on. It’s good morale!

9. What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

Well, as you could tell from my week 2 progress, uhhh… I don’t? I mean, I know it gets hard and everything, and I just sort of give up. And sometimes those “giving up” moments last months and months. But now? Now I think about a few things:

  • This is something I want to do as a career. I can’t just NOT do it.
  • I have fun when I’m writing, so why do I stop? Life gets in the way, and I obviously need to enjoy more things outside of it, but when I’m in it, why do I stop?
  • What would future me tell past me? Would I be happy with where I was, or disappointed in myself?

These are all hard questions and statements and hard to answer, but I DO want to be an author. I DO have lots of fun writing and seeing what I can come up with in my own way. And I would tell my past self to not give up, because what’s the point in that? It takes hard work to get anywhere, you’re not going to have things handed to you all the time, so why wait?

10. What are your top three pieces of writing advice?

Hmm, let’s see here. Here are some things I would not just tell others, but myself as well:

  1. Have fun writing. I know it’s kind of one of those things that every writer ever drills into others all the time, but it’s true: if you’re not having fun writing, then why are you even doing it? Maybe it’s not the right time to write that particular story, or maybe you’re writing in the wrong perspective, with the wrong character, or even in the wrong world. Think about your writing time: are you having fun?
  2. Don’t compare your progress to others’ success. Some people write hella fast and they’re able to get a 100k novel written in a month, while you’re still struggling with the first 20k words. That’s okay! You don’t have to worry about that. They just write at a different pace than you. You’re successful in that you made it as far as you have, so don’t give up.
  3. Write the story YOU want to read. This is another one that’s always spread around, and it’s true: write the story you want to read about. No one else can tell it like you can, and maybe someone also wants the same story idea. So write!

So there you have it, peeps. Writing it going as well as it can and I’m not going to stop just because I convinced myself there was no point in catching up. CLEARLY I was wrong. I want to do this, and I’m going to do this, and I need to stop wallowing and bring myself back up.

I can do this, you can do this, so keep your chin up!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How is your writing progress coming along? Have you reached the middle of your story yet? Are you following an outline? Tell me all of your progress updates!

Beautiful Books 2016| Introducing the Novel

beautifulbooks

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:

thiefmagician

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!