Thursday, October 16, 2014

Beautiful Books: Planning Edition

Today, I'm participating in a linkup that kinda spawned off of Beautiful People, but it's about planning your NaNo Novel. (Ever think how weird NaNo Novel is? It's basically National Novel Novel ... but, oh well, I hear there's a bunch of NaNoers who refer to themselves as Wrimos, basically Writing Months, and that's weird too. Ah, life with acronyms ... moving on.)

Now, since I'm going rebel this year and continuing a book that I've already started, I considered skipping out on this linkup/using a book that I haven't started and have no idea when I'm going to get around to. (Now that I think about it, book 4 might be a good option ...)

But, no. I'm going to do Water Princess, Fire Prince. Yes, I'm on the second draft, but the second draft has changed a lot from the first. And I'm not that far into it, just 9,000 words. (Though, compared to some of my early works that were lucky to hit 20,000 words all total ...) I'm only on day two of Clara's stay in Klarand, haven't even touched Andrew's half of the story, and there's tons more story left to go.

So, I'm doing WP,FP. I may be bending the rules a bit, but I honestly don't really care,

1. What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

This is a tough call, because this book has been in my head for over five years, and if I remember right, plot and characters came together, molding each other and all that. It began with the concept of a girl stepping into a shower, then suddenly being under a waterfall and being hailed the Waterfall Princess. But the girl I had pictured was me, and completely different from the Clara she became. It wasn't until I had a plot - the fight against Amber - that the Clara I know and love today came to be. So ... I'll go with event. It was inspired by an event.

And I'm not a plotter by any means. I hate writing down things prior to writing, 'cause to me, it just kinda drains me of my creativity. However, I don't just sit down at my computer and write whatever comes to me. I plan - extensively - just not on paper. And I don't always hold myself to those plans. If Derek wants to barge in and play hero in a scene that I had planned for only Jen to be in, I honestly consider that option. So ... yeah. 2. Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”? 

Water Princess, Fire Prince, as I believe I've already told you. And I sat down and wrote a blurb on NaNo on Sunday. (A tentative blurb. I like it, but don't love it, if you know what I mean. Hey - that reminds me - I still need to write one for Kingdom and send it to my cousin so she can do a back cover ..)

Anyways, it's on my NaNo profile - I'm Kendra E. Ardnek, by the way, if you want to buddy me. And while I'd love to copy paste it here, I have that old problem of NaNo being blocked on my wifi. Yeah. I'll give you the prophecy though. (Which I am very proud of.)

When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold Fast, do not fear, do not run.
Your Water Princess shall fight.
Fire Prince shall set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall.
Their union shall save you all.

3. What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?

I'd like somewhere over 100,000 words, and I honestly believe that this story has that sort of wordage in it. If my estimate is right, the notebook version got at least 75,000, and since I've been seriously expanding the first part of the story, yeah. This book has it in it. I'm not so certain that its sequels can live up to its wordcount, but we'll see.

4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.

Clara doesn't like working with people. Andrew just wants to go home. They must win a war against a Dragon together.

Ehhhh ... that'll do.

5. Sum up your characters in one word each.

Clara: ... Cat.
Andrew: Oldest
Jasmine: Chatterbox
Karlos: Inquisitive
Jakob: Dutiful
Jill Anna: Proper
Abraham: Commanding
Amber: Power-crazy

Those are a few of the characters ... this book has a HUGE cast.

6. Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them! 

At the moment, I think I'm going to go with Karlos. I really haven't worked with his character, even though he had a few important scenes in draft 1. But in this draft, because I had made Andrew the oldest of his brothers, rather than the youngest, I realized that introducing Karlos earlier in the story than I had last time could help him accept Rizkaland and his role as Fire Prince easier.

Karlos is Lord Abraham's only son, though not his heir. This is because Karlos' mother died before Abraham became the Lord of Lower Klarand, and ascendancy laws in this world are ... different than in our own. His younger half-sister, whose name I've forgotten, even though I have one picked out, is the heir, currently at least. (It's complicated, I'll explain in the book though!) He's eleven years old, and doesn't yet know about politics though, so he really isn't aware of this. He's a bright, inquisitive child who sneaks away with his father when he goes on his yearly hunting trips, and he almost idolizes the prophesied Fire Prince. Andrew, of course, isn't what he expects - isn't what anyone expects - but he still kinda projects his expectations on him. And while Andrew resents this at first, it's this kid that kinda pushes him to be the best he can be. He's the one who never gives up on the Fire Prince, even when everyone else in the camp is thoroughly disappointed.

So I'm looking forward to writing his role in Andrew's journey.

7. What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?

Amber, the Lady Dragon. She's thousands of years old - though she only appears sixteen - and power hungry. She wants all of this world under her feet, and she'll do anything to get it that way.

8. What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?

There are two protagonists: Clara and Andrew

I'm going to start with Andrew, since he actually knows what he wants. He wants to go back home. He's the oldest of four boys, they lost their mother in a car wreck when the youngest was still a toddler, and their dad is the absent-minded professor. Andrew is, for all practical purposes, the parent of his younger siblings, and he's suddenly been pulled out of that life, and he has no idea how his brothers are doing, so he feels very guilty for just abandoning them (even though he didn't really have a choice.) But he can't get back, since he's in another world.

Clara, on the other hand, is more complicated. She'd like to go back home, but it isn't with the desperation that Andrew does. I'm not sure she has a specific goal, beyond completely confusing everyone around her, and I'm not sure there's anyone (besides maybe Jakob) who's standing in her way. Right now, she's a loose cannon. Eventually, she'll personalize the goal of getting rid of Amber (as will Andrew) at which point Amber herself will be what stands in her way, but that's not until nearly the end of part one.

9. What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?

With both Clara and Andrew, it's falling into another world.

10. Where is your novel set?

Klarand, the largest island in the world of Rizkaland. (Though please wipe out your preconceived image of an island, because it means something slightly different in this world.) The main settings are the Upper Castle, a forest in Lower Klarand, and the Kastle in the heart of Rizkaland. 

11. What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?

1. Clara and Andrew meeting
2. Getting into the Kastle
3. Getting kidnapped by Amber. 

Not going to tell you any details about any of those, though. 

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?

The most dynamic relationship would be Clara and Andrew's. I mean, they're fire and water - there's bound to be some sizzle between them. They have wonderful banter, he's absolutely smitten with her, and she can't seem to decide if she likes him or not. Depends on how much people are reminding her that they're supposed to be together. She's not a huge fan of the whole prophesy thing.

Other important relationships the two of them develop:

Clara and Jasmine: Jasmine becomes something of the little sister Clara never had
Clara and Jill Anna: Their ideas about propriety are completely different, as are their stations in life, but Clara still somehow claims her as her best friend.
Clara and Jakob: He lost his twin sister the year before, who had a similar spirit to Clara, so he just kinda slides into the role of big brother to her. She resents this of course, and interprets it wrong as well, but they're still an interesting duo.
Clara and Leaf Princess: Again, a very interesting friendship but ... I can't tell much because it involves spoilers.

Andrew and Abraham: Abraham becomes Andrew's mentor - the father that his own dad failed to be.
Andrew and Karlos: Andrew's used to having younger brothers, so Karlos satisfies that need for him, but he's not used to a younger brother who idolizes him, which makes it interesting.
Andrew and Jakob: Once the two parties combine, these two develop a sort of comradeship, Jakob frequently interpreting when Clara is in her confusing moods. 

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

They become more comfortable with themselves, and learn to work together. Will they fall in love? That remains to be seen. (cough, cough. They are in my top four for favorite couples, may I point out.)

14. Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens? 

I'm on the second draft. There will be a few changes that remain in the air, but for the most part, I know exactly where this train is headed.

15. What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?

Honestly, I'd love to see this book become a best seller and all that, even though I still plan to go indie with its publication. This series is my baby, especially these first two books. I know it's a bit big of a dream, but ... anything could happen, right?

As for impression, I want readers to walk away with a respect for both women and men, and their roles in society, because that's a lot of what this book is about. As for any other lessons this book may bring to me, we shall see. I'm only on the second draft. I'm more than willing to be surprised.

1 comment:

  1. Water Princess and a Fire Prince... now that sounds like an intriguing, (drool-worthy?) idea. :) Awesome!


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