The Library in the Stars (NaNo 2016)

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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!

*drumroll*

Meet…

libraryinthestars

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.

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:

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dreamedlibrary

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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. XD

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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:

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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. 😉 (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.” 🙂

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

Beautiful People: Teague’s Childhood

BPTeagueJun2016Childhood

Beautiful People is here again!

(Er… that is… it’s been here for three weeks already and is about to close for the month. I never said I was punctual… *cough*)

This month’s theme for the questions is Childhood! YAY! So I’m doing Teague from The Other Half of Everything. Because.

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Beautiful People, the monthly character-questions linkup for writers hosted by Sky @ Further Up and Further In & Cait @ Paper Fury. Join the fun and link up!

I’ve noticed that whenever I answer the questions about the characters, it’s more informative, buuut when the characters answer the questions themselves, it may be way less informative but more fun.

I feel like fun, so I’ve tweaked the questions from “their” to “your”, directed at him, and talked Teague into answering because I told him he could answer in between reading. …I now see that may have been a bad idea.

Anyhow, on with the show!

Teague-ish

Beautiful People: Childhood Edition (June 2016) with Teague

(I’m in bold; Teague is in regular type.)

1. What is your first childhood memory?

*looks up from behind book* *directs a vague stare my way from under eyelids drooped halfway down* Meridian would tell you that I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning — which I must admit is entirely true. (Did I have breakfast today? I certainly wouldn’t know.) And you’re asking me about my earliest childhood memory? Well, someone is obviously in for a surprise.

Because you don’t remember?

Because I do, as a matter of fact. *goes back to reading* *looks up again* Right, yes… I distinctly recall, at the age of two or so, falling flat on my face when I tripped over a tussock of grass. Fascinating, I know.

2. What were your best and worst childhood experiences?

*mild sigh* Are we really doing this?

Yes.

Mmm… Best: that really good book I read, the one with the . . .

*gives him a look*

*pauses* What does that look mean? Is it a hint?

It means actual experiences, specifically outside of pages.

A bit picky . . . but all right, adventures with my siblings, then. Worst: Probably the time I got eaten. Nearly. Dragon incident. Not my fault, by the way . . . *trails off because is already reading again*

3. What was your childhood home like?

*long, long pause while Teague continues to read*

Ahem.

*longer pause*

Finally: *Teague glances up* Oh, we’re still doing this, are we? Well. I suppose you could say it was a house. In fact, it was… house-like. Wooden. Painted white. Like Lulin’s hair. *shrug*

4. What’s something that scared you as child?

Oh, the usual, you know: dragons or paper cuts or something. Moving on, then.

Author’s note: His worst fears: losing one of his siblings, and losing his imagination. Um. Let’s just say he doesn’t like to talk about this… >.>

5. Who did you look up to most?

My father, I suspect. And my favorite authors.

6. Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?

This question sounds suspiciously like it came from Meridian… always badgering me about food. I can’t fathom it, exactly. I never have been very into food, to be honest. It’s not something I think about. But I do remember rather disliking cauliflower cheese, and I recall some quite good meat pasties with some sort of grey-ish mushroom-y gravy, as well as being moderately fond of lemon meringue pie.

7. If you had your childhood again, would you change anything?

Nothing. And everything. *tilts head sideways* Would you?

8. What kind of child were you? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Definitely more on the quiet side, with a touch of curiosity, perhaps… I left the wild and devious side of things to Ivan and… others. I never went in for that kind of thing. Of course not. Absurd, really. I don’t know why in the world you would think it, honestly. *sticks nose firmly back in book*

9. What was your relationship to your parents and siblings like?

It was fine, thank you. You said there were ten questions, so what’s the last one? *goes back to reading*

All right, I’ll answer this. When he says “fine” he does mean it — he got along rather well with his whole family. It’s just a complicated question to ask NOW because his relationships “now” are far from “fine”, so it’s not a subject he dwells on.

Teague was always rather independent, if reserved (usually), but his relationship with his parents was a good one… but they’re dead now. He always had a good relationship with his little sister Lulin (not so little now), and that has not changed. She has a mischievous side like Ivan’s, but also a streak of quietness, which means she and Teague often understood each other when the wilder brothers didn’t.

Teague’s relationship with his two brothers is more complicated.

Teague was the quiet leader type role, but his next brother, Errol, of-whom-we-do-not-speak, was very much the dashing charismatic ringleader. Ivan was the reckless mischievous type, and would have followed Errol anywhere, and often did. Teague got along well with Errol — they all did; he was the center of their group, the heart, if you will — but Teague also often tried to temper Errol’s daring schemes with more wisdom.

Teague and Ivan got along okay, usually, though truthfully neither of them paid a ton of attention to each other since there was always Errol between them. Ivan always found Teague a little too cautious, which was boring and stuffy. Teague always thought Ivan was a little too reckless, but it never mattered much because between Errol and Teague’s dual leadership, they all always got out of their scrapes and adventures well enough. Until they didn’t.

Now Errol is dead, and Ivan and Teague are very much not on speaking terms. Lulin’s still on good terms with both of them, but angry with them for the split. Things are a bit… strained, you might say. So as you can imagine, Teague does not like to discuss his relationships to his siblings because they used to be fine, and now they’re… not.

…I told you it was more informative (and longer) but less fun when I answer questions. >.> Back to Teague, now.

10. What did you want to be when you grew up, and what did you actually become?

*arches eyebrows and stares over book at questioner* I beg your pardon, Miss Interviewer, but that is not the correct way to ask things at all. People never grow up. I do wish people would understand this. “What do you want to be when you grow up”, “what are you now that you’re grown up” — nonsense, all of it. *stares vaguely into the middle-distance* It’s not like people hit some magical threshold and floof, they’re “grown up” —

(“Floof”? Really?)

*waves hand slightly* It was the sound that wanted to be made. At any rate, grown-up-ness is never achieved, and we do not “become” something suddenly… it has to happen which is a process… And all that “when” you grow up and “now that” you’re grown up… where does it really get us? It doesn’t, because you must admit those are definite statements of past or future, and all we really have, ever, for a certainty, is the present, the now . . .

*face-palm* Just answer the question.

*blinks mildly* Excuse me?

Fine then. Please.

*little absent shrug of uncaring* If you want to be that way. Don’t blame me if it doesn’t turn out the sort of answer you wanted, with a ludicrous question like that. But I don’t know why you can ask about what I am when I’m grown up, at my age.

You’re twenty-five.

Precisely my point. I’m nobody’s grandfather, exactly. Still a bit young, don’t you think? But all right. *turns an absent dreamy look apparently through his nearest bookcase* Well. I wanted to be a writer and a hero. I’m a little of both, you could say, so I suppose that turned out fairly all right, if you put it in those terms. There’s always room for improvement, though, on both counts.

(I take it back about the “longer” thing.)

***

This concludes Beautiful People June 2016.

Thank you for reading!

*look of minor surprise* Why, you’re welcome. I suppose it is rather rare to find readers these days…

…I was talking to the blog readers, thanking them for reading your rabbit-trail-y answers.

Oh. Well, they’re welcome, too. And I thank them as well. *smiles faintly* *a pause* I am not rabbit-trail-y, by the way. In fact, everything I said was entirely related–

*hastily wraps up post before he can get rabbit-trail-y again*

*yawns* I heard that, you know. And I may very well get offended. *goes back to reading* *adds:* Someday.

Meridian calls from the background: “Unlikely!” *pause* “Now come eat your breakfast, Teague!”

The End.

P.S. Don’t forget that that lovely fan-voted Fantasy Oscar thing the Silmarillion Awards are still underway! Nominations end on July 1st, so if a) you haven’t nominated anyone yet, b) you haven’t nosed around the comments lately to see if there are gems of characters others have nominated who you must second, or c) if you have a friend or three who might enjoy sharing their two cents on favorite fantasy characters, do gallop on over to the posts and join in the fun! Remember that Teague approves of this, because, ya know, Fantasy. 😉