Well, NaNo’s just around the corner (lessthan3weeksohmygoodness *hyperventilates*), and the Beautiful People hosts, Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In are being considerate enough to hold instead a BEAUTIFUL BOOKS post this month… WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT TIMING. So methinks it’s about time for me to introduce my NaNo novel!
1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I’d had an idea for a long time that I wanted to maybe write a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses someday, since it’s my favorite fairy tale and I’m sort of on a quest to read all the retellings of it I can find. But I didn’t get the idea for this particular version of a retelling until February 17, 2014 (yes, it’s less than two years old! *pets baby plot bunny*) and the idea was actually from a DREAM. That’s how it started, anyway. It’s kind of expanded a bunch since then…
2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
I am not excited to write it. Nope. Not at all. You know why? Because I am SUPER excited!!! Because it’s a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and in case you haven’t noticed, it being my favorite fairy tale and me loving retellings as I do, and all… I’m kind of SUPER SUPER excited. It’s going to be a challenge, because I DO love it so much, so I want to do it justice but also do my own spin on it; and there’s also the fact that there are twelve princesses who must be differentiated, not to mention about the same number of fellows, a few romances to follow and keep track of, and several different story threads that I hope will weave together enough to make something plot-like. BUT IT’S BASICALLY GOING TO BE AWESOME.
3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
My novel is a retelling, as I continue to stress, but I will tell you more about it now since you’re so kind as to ask. 😉
Without further ado, meet my 2015 NaNo novel . . .
The Silver Forest
Escaping an unwelcome suitor, Princess Silver and her eleven younger sisters find a way into Faerie, despite the dying curse of a bitter king which casts a shadow between the realms of human and Fae. Then Princess Sapphire finds her heart captivated by a disinherited prince on the run, who was grudgingly saved by a reckless soldier–the same one Princess Emerald finds in a ditch when she’s out riding and brings home.
That’s only the beginning. Kingdoms are falling one by one, bringing an onslaught of royal refugees seeking shelter in the last undefeated castle, and some wish to court the princesses whose home they find themselves in–from the twin kings of the far North to the enigmatic young gardener who most interests the curious youngest princess. To get away from the stifling tension of a castle filled with the looming threat of war, not to mention suiters royal and otherwise, the princesses nightly visit the beautiful realm of Faerie.
Princess Silver is increasingly drawn by the mystery wreathing the brooding Fae Prince who wanders the silver forest on the boarder of Faerie, haunted by a curse slowly tightening its noose around him. If the twelve princesses can’t unravel the interconnected threads surrounding them and find the right answers, the realms of human and Fae alike may face the same horrible fate.
4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
The twelve princesses first. I don’t have “faces” for them, but since each of their names is a different color of gem etc., and they tend to wear the color in their name — helpful for parents and peasants and readers alike to tell princesses apart — I gathered pictures of the sorts of colored dresses they wear. (Not to mention that this was a FABULOUS excuse to scroll around Pinterest for hours looking at gorgeous medieval gowns. ;))
Silver = leader. Amethyst = gentle. Turquoise = devious. Ebony = reclusive.
Emerald = spirited. Sapphire = anchor. Ruby & Auburn (the twins) = mischievous.
Ivory = timid. Goldie = bookish. Rosie = funloving. Peach = inquisitive.
Prince Taghdach (half-fae) = tormented.
Niog (gardener lad) = enigmatic.
Kern (soldier) = reckless.
Prince Finnigan = selfless.
Prince Cothrom = snobbish.
Rory (thief/con) = devious (whoa; he and Turquoise should get together. 😛 ).
5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
Honestly, I’m excited about ALL of them, including a few I didn’t mention. This is going to be one of the funnest (not to mention largest) casts of characters I’ve ever dealt with! That being said, I’m really looking forward to writing the devious ones. And I think Kern, Niog, and Finn are going to be super awesome to write.
But… yes, Taghdach. My half-fae Prince Tagg. ❤ (I’m sliiightly addicted to T names as you may have noticed. >.>) He’s probably going to be my favorite to write. He’s nephew to the Fae-king, and his own parents are… well… spoilers. 😉 But he lives in the silver forest at the edge of Faerie and he has a haunted past and uncertain future. Plus he’s kind of dying. So yeah. There’s that. 😛 Huzzah for mysterious fairytale curses which make stories so interesting!
6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
…Which one? O_O Seriously, I have so many characters who might be considered the “protagonist”. But… okay, we’ll go with Silver for now. Because if it’s mostly about anyone, it’s probably mostly about her and Taghdach.
Silver wants to look after her sisters, which currently includes keeping annoying suitors at bay… which is a little difficult since the suitors are LIVING there. So that’s where the visits to Faerie come in. Her developing goal in the book becomes to try to unravel Taghdach’s problems and how they’re related to an old curse and the kingdoms falling (which would help with getting rid of the suitors…).
What stands in the way includes the fact that curses don’t like to be broken (especially ones made by very angry very evil kings on their deathbed), the fact that Taghdach isn’t one to open up and might not welcome the help of a parcel of princesses, and of course all those suitors, some of whom are up to no good, and the fact that the kingdom may shortly be attacked. Yay.
7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
In a faaaantasy world! (Surprise, surprise.) It’s set mostly in a castle in the human world, and also a lot in the silver forest etc. of the Fae world.
8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
The princesses’ relationships with each other. Which are fascinating, by the way. But they’re a fairly close-knit sister package. *nod nod* I’m also throwing in several romances, so those are important relationships. 😉 Also the king and queen, parents of the princesses, are important to them.
9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Again, I wail: Which ONE? I don’t know yet. I’m going to write the thing and I just figure that while I’m writing it they’ll all change over the course of the book… and will never be the same again. Mwahaha! Hopefully they’ll all (most?) be better people. *shrug*
10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
Good versus evil. Love (both family and romantic). Heroism. The ability to change for the better and go beyond oneself to do good. …Fairy tale retelling. (That can be a theme! Honest!)
I want people to come away feeling like they read a good story, a good retelling, and fell in love with the characters and entering a new world. Basically I want it to be a good book and for readers to feel the same way. 😉
11. BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
- Don’t go in blind. Know what you’re going to write and figure it out. (And if you’re a pantser, not a plotter, at least KNOW that you are.)
- Wordwars. I can’t stress these enough. Even if it’s just wordwarring yourself with a timer, they are so helpful for getting words down.
- Have fun and don’t give up.
(I’m actually going to do a post later this week that will be a checklist for prepping for NaNo, so stay tuned for that!)
And there you have a look into what I’m going to (hopefully) be spending next month working on!