Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beautiful Books Linkup--November

The "Notebook Sisters" are co-hosting a linkup called "Beautiful Books." It's a lot like their "Beautiful People" linkup, except focused more on the actual book than the characters. Click HERE to read about it.

Today I'll be talking about my NaNoWriMo book, August Knight and the Sword of Gold, an MG fantasy novel about a twelve-year-old boy's quest to kill an evil dragon and return magic to a land called Librum.

1. Be honest: how is your writing going?

It's a little slow at the moment. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't be too disappointed with my level of excitement for the story, but after last year's book (Flightless Birds), this one pales in comparison.

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?

My little brother woke me up by jumping on my legs. He had this uncanny ability of doing this seconds before my alarm clock went off. Somehow, waking up to bruised knees and hot, stinky, morning breath on my face isn't nearly as annoying as it is to be jerked from a pleasant dream by an incessant beep, beep, beep.

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?

No cover yet, and the only picture on my Pinterest board is one I happened to glance up and see on my Feedly when starring a post from Post Secret. It fits perfectly with August's character, and he would probably end up sending in a secret just like it.

4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us!

No pictures, but here are the descriptions:

August: 5'0", blue eyes, messy brown hair, big feet. Wears simple, comfortable clothing, usually jeans and a T-shirt with his red Converse.

Maya: 4'10", brown eyes, thick black hair (almost reaches her waist), long legs, skin the color of dark chocolate. Often wears athletic shorts, running shoes, and rainbow loom bracelets.

Jack: 5'1", green eyes, pale skin, curly golden hair, ears that stick out a little. Wears button-down shirts, jeans, black-framed glasses, sneakers, and the watch his father used to own.

5. What scene are you most excited to write?

Well the scene I was most excited to write has already been written. :) It involved a spastic, narcoleptic wizard named Hugh Nicholson and his deranged rabbit, Fluffernutter.

6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.

The door opened and there stood an extremely old man. He had a long, pure white beard; squinted eyes; and frizzy hair that made it look like he’d stuck his finger in an electrical socket.
“Girl Scouts already?” He said in his squeaky voice. He dug in the pocket of his robes—which were navy blue and had golden moons and stars printed on it—and pulled out three fat, gold coins. “All right. Do you have any Thin Mints?”
“Uh, we’re not Girl Scouts,” I said. “Actually, we’re not even girls. Well, Maya is, but the rest of us aren’t.”
“Maya?” He said, squinting even more so his eyes were practically shut. “Maya Angelou? But she’s dead!”
“Not Maya Angelou,” Maya said. “Maya Rose. It’s—er—nice to meet you, sir.”
“Hugh,” Ross said from my shoulder. [Ross is a bookworm--literally. So he often has to rely on larger creatures to carry him around.] “It’s me, Ross.”
Hugh leaned forward, so close, I could feel his breath on my face. It smelled like pickles. When he saw Ross, he grinned wide enough for me to see all of his teeth. Well, what teeth he had left.
“So it is!” He said. “Ross, old buddy, how are ya’?”
“Good,” Ross said. “Can we come in? I need to ask you a favor.”
“Of course, of course,” Hugh mumbled. He stood back and gestured for us to go inside. “Come in, come in.”
“Does he have a beard?” I heard Jack whisper as Maya helped him step through the doorway. “The crazy ones always have beards.”
“Yeah,” Maya whispered back. “He has a beard.”

7. Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?

When I started out, I expected the plot to be nice and simple (though I always expect the plots of my books to be nice and simple--it never turns out that way). But now that I've written about 20,000 words at this point, I figured out that there is a much fouler villain at play than a simple dragon. Snow White and the seven dwarves made an appearance, too, which I hadn't expected.

8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?

When I started out, I didn't really like August. This is my first time writing a book where the protagonist is a boy other than The Adventure That Started With Nuts, but Nutty was a squirrel, so it was a bit different. I had a hard time getting into his head. But I'm starting to have more fun with him now, and Jack, who wouldn't open up until recently. So right now I guess the most difficult character to write is Maya, who is, at the moment, nothing but a bossy, angry, control-freak with a grudge against August. Once I learn what that grudge is, I'm sure I'll understand her more.

9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?

I love the quirky side characters. :) They're what makes Librum come to life, for me. Even though Hugh probably won't show up again (although there's always that possibility), he and Ross are some of my favorite characters to write.

10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?

Yes, but I won't say who. ;)

11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?

I usually do at this point, but right now the only song I have on the playlist is "Wonderland" by Taylor Swift. I've been listening to her "1989" album nonstop, and that song is one of my favorites from the CD.

12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?

Hugh and Ross for sure, and I'd probably stop by and visit with Snow White and the other princesses, who are way more kick-butt in my book. Snow actually gets her hands dirty and helps the dwarves in the mine, Aurora is a witch who often has to fight off evil magical creatures, and Ariel is a Tae Kwon Do master.

13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily word count? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)

One of the best parts about NaNoWriMo being in November is that it's right after Halloween, which means I have plenty of chocolate to reward myself with. :) I also use various Netflix shows (right now I'm watching "Once Upon a Time") as motivation.

14. What is your favourite writing quote or piece of writing advice?

Probably the one by Joss Whedon: "I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of."

15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?

It just feels like I'm fighting to get the words out more this year than usual. I'm not frustrated, more disappointed. But my moods usually change quickly. Ask me again tomorrow and I might say it's all rainbows and butterflies. :P

How's your NaNoWriMo so far?


Heather said...

Hahaha, I love your wizard snippet! It sounds hilarious. Even if you're going slow, keep going! I imagine it will look great in the end. :)

The Magic Violinist said...

@Heather Thanks! :) I had tons of fun writing that part. It's starting to pick up a little, so I'm hoping my fingers will be flying soon!

Boquinha said...

#8 - love how that answers brings the process to life!

#10 - I'm sooooo curious!

So these many months later, I'm curious - how'd it go? When you wrote this, it sounds like it was going okay, but that you were having a hard time getting into it. How about now?

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha It's certainly a crazy process, especially during NaNo! My characters like to keep secrets from me. It's simultaneously exciting and infuriating.

Ha ha, it's actually no big secret. ;) I always take aspects from people I know and put them into characters, most of the time subconsciously.

It definitely got better as it went on. The beginning was the hardest, then there were some bumps in the middle, but I think it turned out okay. I'm still not thrilled with it, but that's what edits are for.

Boquinha said...

That's a great attitude. :)