Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It’s a month-long writing event in November that challenges participants to write 50 000 words during that time period. You can learn more about it at the NaNo website. I am going to be participating in NaNo this year and although I probably won’t make it, I’d like to try. If you want to learn more about my NaNo novel, read on! I’m participating in a link-up hosted by Cait @ Notebook Sisters and Sky @ Further Up & Further In called Beautiful Books. To learn more, and to participate, click here.
1. What comes first for you: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
For me, it was definitely the plot. I want to write a fantasy novel about a) gypsies, b) court intrigue, and c) magic. I plan to take a well-known story (lost-lost royal identity, etc) and twist it a little…or a lot. We’ll see how it goes.
As for the plotter or panster part, it depends. I tend to start novels with no idea of where I’m going but at about the 10K part, I really get into plotting what will happen next. For this book, I will be a combination (planster?). I have the first couple of chapters figured out really well, but the middle is a bit of a mystery and I haven’t a clue how it will end.
2. Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”?
Yes! The working title is “Paper Crowns” (although this will almost certainly end up changing). I didn’t have a blurb, so I’m going to make a rough one up on the spot. Here you go!:
For seventeen years, Adelaide and her gypsy family have lived on the fringes of society. Addie loves her carefree life–until one day, soldiers ride through the town her family is performing in and captures her. She is quickly brought before the King, and learns she is the daughter of a long-dead member of his court.
Addie is quickly thrust into the unfamiliar and ruthless court life of dance, politics and treachery. Just as Addie is beginning to adjust, she learns a secret that causes her to question those closest to her…and her newfound identity.
3. What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
Around 50-65K in total.
4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
A gypsy girl learns that she is the daughter of a deceased advisor to the King, but not all is as it seems. Everyone thought she was assassinated by rebels sixteen years ago along with her family…and it doesn’t seem like the rebels have given up their pursuit.
5. Sum up your characters in one word each.
The King (currently unnamed): Ruthless
I have several more characters, but these are the main ones for now.
6. Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them!
I’m definitely the most excited to write my MC. It is probably predictable to say that I’m excited to write about her, but it’s true. Addie is adventurous, stubborn and a dreamer. I can’t wait!
7. What about your villain? Who is he, and what is his goal?
My villain is the King. As I mentioned in one of the questions above, he is ruthless. He is willing to sacrifice innocent lives to achieve his goals, and even though he is the king, he is power-hungry.
8. What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
Adelaide wants her freedom and at the beginning, she only desires to return to her family. Once she arrives in court and learns more about her biological parents, she is torn. Addie wants to go back to her carefree life, but she also yearns to know more about her parents.
9. What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey? When he notices Addie’s face, scar, and newfound magic abilities and begins to piece everything together, the King takes Addie to the capital with him, and tells her the truth about her history.
Addie’s family runs a side business of telling fortunes, although they have no real power. They set up their caravan in a small city’s marketplace and when a man accuses them of fraud, the supervisor is summoned. He is about to sentence Addie and her family to a whipping when the King rides through in his carriage, and offers a deal. In exchange for their freedom, one of the family members (Addie) must “read” him.
10. Where is your novel set?
In a fantasy world that I’ve tentatively titled Ithica.
11. What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
This is really hard. The first, of course, would be the inciting incident which I have already mentioned. The second will be a scene that should be about 60% into the book in which Addie discovers the truth about her father and how he died. The third…geez, I don’t know. I will know when I get there, I suppose!
12. What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
Addie has very different relationships with different people. At the capital, she becomes friends with a young female courtier named Maggie (short for Marguerite). She has a complicated relationship with the King (she hates him for his cruelty, and how he is taking advantage of her magic abilities). There is also a small romance thread with the prince, whom Addie barely tolerates at the start.
13. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Um…she learns about the amazingness that is chocolate? Gah, I don’t know yet.
14. Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?
I don’t have an ending in mind. We’ll see how it goes.
15. What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
Ideally, I’d like for it to be published. Since that seems rather unlikely at this point, I just want to end up with a book that I’m glad I wrote.