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!
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… 😉 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.
When 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? 😉
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. 😄
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. 😄
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. 😉 (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.” 🙂