The Library in the Stars (NaNo 2016)


NaNo is only a WEEK away (WHAT EVEN) so today I’m here to finally tell you a bit about what I’m writing this NaNo!

So how fortunate that Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In have a pre-NaNo edition of Beautiful Books: Introduce Your Novel! (Feel free to join in the linkup because it’s a blast.)

Without further ado… here are the questions, and my answers, as I shall now proceed to introduce my NaNo novel for 2016!




What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

Very complicated question.

It was inspired by a title I came up with in February 2015, The Library in the Stars, and the fact that I had about four different ideas which I’d previously planned to be short stories, and that the “feel” of them seemed to fit together… and which I decided to put together with this title into a space-fantasy adventure.

The idea to put them together was earlier this year, March 2016. So in that sense, I’ve had the idea for only 7 months, but in another sense, much of it comes from ideas I’d had for a long time (ranging from at least the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2015). Further complication: the main part of the plot only started being hinted at in June of this year, when I wrote a snippet from a dare, and the snippet decided to attach itself to the novel as the central plot thread.

So, my answer: I’ve had the idea for 4 months, and I’ve had it for 3 years as well. It’s both old and new. Which fits perfectly with the fact that it has time-travel in it… πŸ˜‰ And also works well for NaNo, since it feels both like a new and exciting idea, and at the same time an old familiar one that I know better and will therefore be less difficult to write (I hope).

What inspired it were many different seemingly unconnected ideas, but largely a wish to write a time-travel space fantasy adventure in another universe.

Describe what your novel is about!

A space-fantasy adventure in another universe with a dash of time-travel, steampunk, and bookishness.

Le blurb:

lscoverWhen Veronica Coltridge’s twin brother vanishes, she sets out through time and space to find him.

She teams up with a time-wisp agent whose time was stolen, a traveling space-elf, a blue-haired pilot girl on a quest to find the Sentinel of Time, a space-station librarian, and a mysterious young man cursed to live in the shadows and slowly become one himself.

The paths of this motley crew lead them to the mystical Library in the Stars: a library which holds all the books ever written — and has a mind of its own.

But someone is tampering with time, and when split alternate realities begin tearing the fabric of the universe, maybe not even the Library in the Stars can help.

The clock is ticking . . .

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

Words: Time. Space. Minds. Shadows. Books. Clocks.

But a picture’s worth a thousand words, and I’ve already shared the cover, so here are a few more:




Introduce us to each of your characters!

Veronica Coltridge – Red-haired, sixteen, spunky (I mean, red-haired, hello), and into all the history and space-things and sciencey stuff, she is a Time Wisp and has the ability to travel back in time. Which is a very needful skill if she’s going to rescue her twin brother. Speaking of which…

Brendan Coltridge – Twin brother of Veronica, Brendan is also sixteen (obviously), likewise red-haired, easy-going and friendly, and he loves reading all the novels of ever. Literally. He also conveniently goes missing in chapter 1, kicking off the novel. He can time travel too but his special ability is — shhh spoilers.

Nate Pendleton – Time Wisp the third on this list, Nate is in his thirties, wears a trench coat and hat, and time travels on a mission to find out what’s going on with this time stuff. But really, all you need to know is his name + trench coat + time traveler. Isn’t that cool enough — come on? πŸ˜‰

Kelly Fonray – Librarian at a space-port, Kelly is in her late twenties, brown haired, and her destiny gets tangled up with Nate’s, for good or ill, when she has to help him with things that are… ahem… less than legal.

Drayken Essengale – Also known as Drayke. He has longish dark green hair and green eyes and looks about late-thirties but in actuality is approximately 736 years old, because, oh yeah, he’s a space-elf. A wanderer at heart, he travels the galaxy in a spacecraft with a mind of its own, trying to escape his sad past, until he meets Veronica and runs quite literally into a shadow problem…

Damian – Eighteen year old Damian (pfft, who needs last names?) is… complicated. He’s been cursed to steal the shadows of everyone around him, with devastating results. Slowly turning into a shadow himself, he’s determined to fight against the people who did this to him… who, incidentally, he used to work for. #awkward

Briley Emberfar – Fifteen years old, she is from a steampunky planet, is the pilot of a space ship, and is questing for the legendary Sentinel of Time — whoever that is, and if they even exist. She also has blue hair. Because obviously.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

A good deal of howling and denial, yes… But I tend to outline. I write a blurb for the novel, get up a mock cover, list my characters and some things about them, and write a rough outline for the novel, usually using a bullet-points list, and sometimes a chapter by chapter outline.

Also, this year for the first time, I’m trying out the Scrivener free trial to help with my outlining. It took awhile for me to figure it out/get used to it, and I’m still doing some of that, but otherwise I… kind of love it so far? Like… LOVE LOVE LOVE. So far. I’ll have to give a more complete report at some time once I figure out if it’s actually helping me or if I’m just in love with its fluid organizational aspects. XD


a look at my current plotting

Scrivener has a special NaNo 2016 free trial right now, where instead of only working for 30 days, it works from now till December 7th. So if you’ve been thinking of giving it a try to see if you like it, now’s a great time to do so since you get an extra week before and after November. *nods* If you’re interested, you can find the NaNo free trial of Scrivener here.

For NaNo-specifics of how I prepare for NaNo, see this post I did last year: Checklist: 30 Things To Do For NaNo Prep. (Which is unexpectedly getting lots of views? Apparently a lot of people are desperate for tips on NaNo prep. XD)

I also usually put together a handy NaNo bulletin board (a pinboard program which came with my laptop) like this:


What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

All of it! *flailing around in excitement* Messing around with time travel a little and just having a blast with this cast of fun characters and several different things that sound fun to try to write.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

In space with fantasy elements (a universe not our own). On different planets including a steampunky one. And in a library. A very big library, with a mind of its own, out in the vastness of space. Also spaceships. (I know, that’s four.)

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

There are many characters. They all have goals (I hope). Some of those goals are different. Veronica wants to find her brother. Nate wants to find out what’s happening with other Time Wisps. Damian wants to not turn into a shadow. The rest have other things they want. They all kind of would prefer if the fabric of space and time doesn’t get shredded because that would be kind of unpleasant. What stands in their way is pretty much… well… the villains. Surprise!

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

I haven’t written it yet, so I don’t know. XD

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

Good vs. evil, love, friendship, the usual. *shrug* And I’d like readers to feel like they read a good tale, fell in love with the characters a bit, and possibly had a bit of that lovely “mind blown” feeling that tends to happen with stories relating to time travel. πŸ˜‰ (No idea if it will be good enough for the mind blown feeling, but I hope to try all the same!) I want them to close the book and grin and say “That was good.” πŸ™‚

So there you have my NaNo novel, roadlings-mine! What do you think? πŸ™‚ And are you doing NaNo? (If you are, are we buddies on the site? Because we should be! My profile is here. ^_^)

45 thoughts on “The Library in the Stars (NaNo 2016)

  1. Cool premise. ‘Course, I remember when the Lights of Zetar episode (Star Trek) came out in ’69, about a mind attack centered on the Federation’s library planet, Memory Alpha. That episode, as I recall, was cowritten by Shari Lewis. Bet that tale left Lamb Chop quaking in a dark corner of the sock drawer.

    But my distracted mind wanders. Cool premise. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I haven’t seen any Star Trek yet (I know! *cue horror* I’ll get to it one day) but… hmm, sounds interesting/similar! o.o Haha, yep, probably more interesting than Lamb Chop, despite fond memories. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks, Carl!


  2. THIS STORY THO!!!!! ❀ ❀ ❀ I'm ALREADY mind blown by it just reading about it!!! So you've already succeeded with mind blowny-ness.

    The characters just sound AH-MAY-ZING. Time wisps and 700+ old SPACE ELVES, and someone turning into a SHADOW, a trench coat guy (<3), and a space librarian, and just THIS CAST. I AM IN LOVE. And I'm pretty sure I've flailed about their names before but…THEIR NAMES. They're all so cool!

    Plus the story is about time-travel and a library in the stars! I CANNOT GET OVER THE EPICNESS OF THIS STORY. *flails* I cannot waaaait to follow along your process with it during NaNo and things. WE'RE GONNA HAVE SO MUCH FUN.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AWK, thanks so muuuuch, Lauri! ^_^ That makes my day. πŸ˜€

      Heehee, it just makes me so happy that you like the characters! (Space-elves tho’.) And a couple of the names are new… πŸ˜‰

      EEP I CAN’T WAIT TOOOO! We are indeed going to have so much fun this NaNo, I hope! πŸ˜€


  3. Can I read this? When it’s done, I mean? Pleeeeaaaase? It sounds amazing, with time-travel and steampunk-y-ness and Time Elves and all that.

    Predictions on my reactions to the characters if and when I get to read the story:
    Veronica Coltridge – History and science-lover? All over it. Especially if spunk= sass/sarcasm.
    Brendan Coltridge – Yay, bookworm character! Even if he is missing . . .
    Nate Pendleton – Sounds almost Tare-ish? But maybe that’s just the trench coat . . . still very awesome.
    Kelly Fonray – Librarian! I like librarians! I think she and I will be friends. And I ship her with Brendan for some reason. Bookworms UNITE!
    Drayken Essengale – His concept reminds me a little of the Doctor . . . but he also sounds awesome. I will probably obsess over him.
    Damian – Poor Damian. He needs a hug. I will give him all the hugs, even if he does steal my shadow. Who needs a shadow anyway?
    Briley Emberfar – Blue hair+a quest+sass+probably mad piloting skills= awesome. I want to meet her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If/when it is finished and is not a horrible wreck of NaNo-first-draft-writing mess… then absolutely! πŸ˜€ Thanks, I’m so glad you think it sounds cool! πŸ™‚ (Now watch me totally fail to do justice to all the awesome elements. >.> *coughcough*)

      *shrieking* OH MY WORD SARAH I LOVE THIS. ❀ You have no idea how happy this made me! ^_^
      *laughing* Nate is… not so much Tare-ish in my mind? But who knows. πŸ˜€
      Erm… Kelly is actually for Nate (*spoiler*) buuut I can see you thinking of Brendan… buuuut she's like 10 years older than Brendan so that would be awkward. πŸ˜› But still. πŸ˜€
      Erm… funny Drayke's concept should remind you of the Doctor… <.< *loud awkward coughing for reasons I shall not divulge*
      Your Damian reaction made. my. day. πŸ™‚ (Who needs a shadow? Um. I guess we'll find out…)
      YUS, I'm really excited about Briley! …Which makes it awkward I haven't figured out her storyline yet. Must get on that. *nods*


      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay, thank you! And you’re welcome! (Nah, you’ll be fine.)
        YOU’RE WELCOME! I’m glad I could make you happy. ❀
        Heh. Maybe it's just the trench coat. I don't know.
        O_o Oh. All right then. Should've guessed. (But they're both bookworms, so, yeah.)
        Let me guess, that's where you got it from? πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        • (Well I once had a fanfiction short story idea, largely from some dreams, and I eventually decided it was far too cool to just be fanfiction, and that it needed to go in a real novel, and only finally found the opportunity. Several of my ideas actually come from inspiration like that, and I just try to make them my own and different enough and HOPE that nobody — *cough*likeSarah*cough* — will notice and call me out on it. XD)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Heh. No worries; I’ve done the same thing. (Like, my Berstru Tales series? The one that I’m editing book 4 of? Basically started off as a fanfiction of Eragon/a friend’s novel. And Between Two Worlds was originally a Heartless/Wingfeather Saga fanfic-daydream thing. So, yeah. I’m not judging you.)

            Liked by 1 person

  4. DEBORAH. This sounds amazing!! So I’m really not one for time travel, but this sounds awesome. (at least… I don’t THINK I’m one for time travel? I’ve never read it but it’s never seemed like my thing.)

    Also, I really like the name Briley. *nods*

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU EMILY! πŸ™‚ And… I haven’t actually read much time travel myself. o.o But this is time travel in a different universe (or at least galaxy?) so it doesn’t even relate to actual time-periods we know about. πŸ˜› It’s more like… a fantasy world with time travel. And space ships. *nods*
      Eep, I’m so glad you like her name! πŸ˜€ Thanks! ^_^


  5. A very big library, with a mind of its own” <– EXCUSE ME BUT I'M OFFICIALLY IN LOVE!! THIS SOUNDS INCREDIBLE!! AHH!! 😍 I love libraries and a magical space time-dimension-jumping library sounds even better. Plus sibling stories are epic, right?!? I hope it's super fun to write! And I love your cover too. Basically sooo much win eeeep!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love anything to do with time — whether that’s historical (past time), or time-travel (which tends to be a big mess of all sorts of time), and even a little speculation about the future (though not dystopians, ugh) can be fun. I was wondering just this morning about Arthur, if he came back about now — he’d know that coming back when Britain needs him means it will be in trouble when he comes back, but would he be prepared for how much trouble? Those ideas can be too much fun.
    But anyway, about your story, I love the library with the mind of its own! When you go into some old ones you kind of get the feeling that they’re asleep but they might wake up and start spouting theories about the universe or something. Have you ever imagined what would happen if all the characters came out of the books in the library and started talking to each other, historical figures and fantasy villains and philosophers and whatnot?

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES, time things are so much fun. πŸ˜€ (Love your Arthur thoughts, there…)
      Hurray, I’m glad you like the idea! Yes, sentient libraries should really be a thing. *nods* Ahaha, I love that idea — absolutely, that would be so cool! Can’t say as I’ve thought of that specific idea, but it would be neat! πŸ˜€


  7. DEBORAH O’CARROLL. THIS BOOK *flails*. I CAN’T EVEN. I’m so excited for you to write this XD.

    The CHARACTERS. I want to read about them SO BADLY. And the plot sounds SO GOOD. I basically just want you to write this book so that I CAN READ IT RIGHT THIS MINUTE AND FLAIL. Basically XD. (maybe I can beta-read when it’s done? Maybe? XD)

    Time traveling and stars and libraries and OH THIS IS GOING TO BE SO EPIC *flails*.

    So excited to be doing NaNoWriMo with you! *highfive*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaahh, thank you, Savannah!! πŸ˜€ I’m so glad it intrigues you! ^_^ Basically, you made my day. ❀ *huggles*

      And if I ever actually write/finish this book and get it into some sort of not-horrible-NaNo-writing state, then you could totally be a beta-reader! πŸ™‚

      HURRAY! I'm excited to NaNo with you too!! πŸ˜€ *highfives back*


  8. Quite neat. You’ve got good visuals too, so the story is probably taking off in your head. Clear mental picture usually = a strong premise. πŸ˜ƒ

    Would you like to stop by my new blog in a bit and talk about your writing? I’m still building it–but I could set up an interview convo in a couple weeks…πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Sarah! Hearing that you think so makes me happy! ^_^

      And ooh, a new blog — how exciting!! πŸ˜€ I can’t wait to see it! πŸ™‚ Sure, I’d love to do an interview — that sounds fun! It’s a very busy time of year for me, November, but I’d definitely be willing try! πŸ™‚ Just let me know what you need, when. ^_^


  9. WOOOAH this story sounds amazing!!!! Scifi but with steampunk and a library with a mind of its own??? So cool!!! Best wishes for you all your NaNoing adventures!!! πŸ˜€ My November’s too busy for NaNo this year, but I hope to get a little writing done during the month.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: october ishness | The Road of a Writer

  11. A library with a mind of its own?? I LOVE THE SOUND OF THIS. Your characters sound awesome (especially Nate Pendleton!) and just, gah, I hope it’s going super well! Any book about books and I am ON BOARD. <33

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaahh, thank you so much, Emily! ^_^ Your comment made my day! ❀ Ehehe, unfortunately the library doesn't seem to want to show up till like two thirds of the way in, plus the book element is taking a back seat to all the other plot things… but at least there's some of that. XD THANKS! (And I'm glad you like Nate. :D)


  12. Pingback: Beautiful Books: NaNo Update (The Library in the Stars) | The Road of a Writer

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