Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Witches and Demons and Ships, Oh My!

So since writing 50,000 words of a single project in a month tends to get me burned out on whatever I'm writing, I've put Ms. Holmes aside for a while. I'll finish it up eventually, but for now, I'm super excited to work on my newest project. It's a YA paranormal romance called 'Til the Last Star Dies. (Thanks to my friends Sammy and Charlie for giving me that creative spark to write this!)

Here is my (very rough) synopsis:

Lila is a witch. One of the firstborn, to be exact, which makes her powerful. And dangerous. And in demand. The demon Angelique has a plan for the world, one that involves cities devoured in flame and dying stars. If Angelique can convince Lila to join her army, the universe will have reason to quake in fear.

But there's another complication. Melody. Lila's fallen for her, and if there's anything Lila can do to protect her, she'll do it. This means Angelique will have to find another way to get Lila to succumb to the darkness. And Melody is the perfect bargaining chip . . .

Although it definitely needs a lot of editing, at least you have the set up for the story. Now let's get to the fun stuff!

Meet the characters

Lila Evangeline, one of the main characters. Tough as nails and with power to spare, Lila has an equal amount of light and darkness in her. She's careful to keep herself in control so she doesn't end up hurting those she loves, something most witches don't bother to do. She has a strong personality, but she isn't unfriendly. Most everyone can count on her for a drink and a good laugh. Being in the middle of a crowd is where she feels right at home, mostly because she has the ability to make people move out of the way without even trying when she's weaving through a large group of people. Something about the confidence she carries helps her maneuver through the chaos, turning heads in a way that shows she doesn't care in the slightest if she does or not. Lila very much believes in the power of positive thinking and that the universe will reward you for it. She doesn't necessarily believe in a god, but some kind of higher power, a force you can't see.

Melody Ryan Foster, the second of my main characters. Having been abused by her older brothers and orphaned for a good portion of her life, Melody has trust issues. She's hesitant to let many people in, but Lila gets her guard down. Mel's a sweetheart. Kind of quiet, but totally willing to give you the clothes off her back without you even having to ask for them. This makes it easy to take advantage of her, but she can ultimately get along with anybody. Melody calls herself a realist, but her outlook on things in life in general is pessimistic, largely because of her hard experiences. She believes things happen for a reason and that's that, no way to explain them, nothing you can do about it.

Angelique "Angie" Victoria, LaLaurie, aka the big baddie of the novel. Despite being short, her imposing personality makes her seem taller. Angie also constantly changes her appearance and persona to avoid detection from the humans who try to track her down. She's smart and powerful and willing to sacrifice anything and anyone (excluding herself, of course) to get what she wants. Her longing to destroy and conquer comes from a deep-rooted loathing of humans after they killed her twin sister, Juliette. Once she learned the hard way just how despicable they could be, she went full-on demon. Now she believes the only way to cleanse the planet is to rid it of all humanity until only witches and demons remain.

Jordan James, best friend to Lila. He's insanely protective of his family and friends and would literally fight to his last breath and die if it meant saving them. He tends to keep his feelings to himself, choosing instead to mask his pain with jokes and sarcasm and well-practiced smirks. It works for the most part, though sometimes he finds himself breaking down in front of Lila or Toni. He carries guilt with him like weights on his shoulders and takes on more than he can chew, though he'd never admit it. Though he may be rough around the edges, his heart bursts with love for everyone he's close to and would do anything for them. He's extremely smart as well as being great at fighting against the demons and witches that attack him during his travels. He's kind and funny and always available to be a shoulder to cry on.

Antoinette "Toni" Yvette Moreau, girlfriend of Jordan's. Toni usually tries to hide her emotions behind a smile and a joke or a quip, but sometimes her temper just sort of blows up. Her way of showing that she cares about a person is to try to protect them, despite how it effects her. Her selflessness is probably what drew her to Jordan in the first place, seeing as they're so similar. She cares more for other people’s happiness than her own and is a fantastic cook, in addition to being totally witty. She never fails to make the others laugh.

Elizabeth Rivers, "little sister" to Jordan and Toni. After showing up on Jordan's doorstep, covered in blood and with nowhere else to go, the two took her in. She's tiny, but she’ll kick anyone’s butt if they’re standing between her and her family. She’s bubbly, funny, helpful, kind, stubborn, and always smiling. She’s extraordinarily clumsy and a terrible cook, always burning things, setting appliances on fire, making a mess, and just ends up breaking things in her general vicinity. When she sets her mind to it, though, she can be completely focused and coordinated in combat, and has lots of fight in her.

Location, location, location

After a random totally professional "close-your-eyes-and-point" method, I decided the perfect place to set the story was in Sterling, Colorado. Here are a few glimpses at the town.

(Granted, I'm not sure that mountain is actually in Sterling, but the characters do go on the run at some point, so it'll show up in the story eventually.)

(You can see more pictures of my characters and setting and many other things on my Pinterest board!)

Music, Maestro!

I am in looove with this soundtrack!! Anytime I hear one of these songs now, I get all the fuzzy feels because it just fits with the story so. perfectly. But I think I'm making "Favourite Colour" the ultimate theme song since I can't picture anything else but Lila and Melody when I hear it.

"She Waits" -- Louden Swain
"Slip" -- Elliot Moss
"Home Sweet Home" -- Mötley Crüe
"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" -- Aerosmith
"Dream" -- Imagine Dragons
"I Don't Wanna Love Somebody Else" -- A Great Big World
"Can't Help Falling In Love" -- Ingrid Michaelson
"Favourite Colour" -- Carly Rae Jepsen
"End of the World" -- A Great Big World
"Mars" -- Sleeping At Last
"Jupiter" -- Sleeping At Last
"Pour Some Sugar On Me" -- Def Leppard

What I'm most excited about

The budding romance between Lila and Melody. The sarcastic quips tossed back and forth involving Lila and Jordan. Seeing Melody break out of her shell. Lizzy being a klutz. The ending. All of the characters being adorable and kickbutt all at the same time. And much, much more.

What I'm curious about

Although I have a pretty good outline for the story overall, I never know what exactly is going to happen. I'm along for the ride as much as my characters are. So I'm interested to see how certain things turn out, such as Angelique. I'm almost positive I know how she's going to be, but 99% of the time my villains surprise me. And judging from how the story's progressing so far, I have a feeling Lila and Melody's relationship isn't going to go as smoothly as I thought (not that it was going to be smooth in the first place, but it's less like mint chip and more like rocky road now). I guess I'll have to wait and see . . .

Your turn! What project are you working on right now? What are you most excited for/curious about? Leave a comment! :)


Taylor Lynn said...

Ooh, a new writing project--how exciting! I can totally relate to being burnt-out after NaNo; I've only done NaNoWriMo twice (once in November, once for a Camp NaNo) but both times drained me and I've hardly glanced at either project since I first wrote them. Hopefully writing something new will refresh you, though! It sounds like you've got a great cast of characters lined up for 'Til the Last Star Dies, and I'm pretty sure that were I to read it, Toni would turn out to be my favorite. She sounds like just my kind of character!

Best of luck with this new writing project--and Merry Christmas!! <3

Carly said...

Your idea sounds really great! I can't wait to hear more about the characters in later posts. Your music taste is absolutely superb. I love most of the songs you selected, but I think I might need to listen to a few soon. And I can totally get behind the "close-your-eyes-and-point" method. I should do that more often. XD It'll probably give me a reason not to procrastinate as much as I already have.

Cait @ Paper Fury said...

Oh wow this sounds AMAZING and I love all the details you have already!! SQUEE. (And I love that you just randomly decided the location. xD I DO THAT....and then I usually regret it because I spend so much time trying to research what the place looks like hehehh. Ahem.) Plus your characters sound sooo dimensional and EPIC. I LOVE THIS, KATE. Best of luck with it!!
I'm still working on edits. And when I finish those, more edits for a different book. And then finished those? MORE EDITS FOR A DIFFERENT BOOK. *cries* I want to draft, but srsly, I have so many drafts and I never do anything with them, so that's changing this year! HUZZAH.
*collapses and cries*

The Magic Violinist said...

@Taylor Congrats on both times! NaNo is no small feat. I'm loving this novel so far. :) New projects always excite me. That "I have no clue what's going to happen, but I have so many ideas and I can't wait to see how they turn out" feeling is what motivates me each day, and the start of a book is a great way to find that feeling!

Thank you! I love my characters (well, I always love my characters). Ha, I could've guessed that for you. :) Toni is super sweet.

Merry belated Christmas! <3

@Carly Thank you! I'm sure you'll get lots of snippets in my wrap-up posts as I continue with it. :) I might even use the characters for the Beautiful People prompt, depending on the theme of it.

Ooh, if our taste in music matches up that much, you should definitely check all of those out! I've been obsessed with them. I'm a huge fan of indie rock. Hehe, I haven't used it as often as I should. I need a little variety with my settings. xD

@Cait I'm glad you like it! I have spent way too much time plotting this out and not enough writing it, honestly, but that's changing now. xD Oh I can relate. I must've spent an hour looking through pictures of Colorado! Eeeeeee, that's the best compliment you could've given me!! Writers always say your books are your babies, and while that's definitely true, I'm just sitting over here hugging all of my characters because they're my babies. Even if I destroy them. But only because I love them so much. ;P THANK YOU!!

Oh gosh, edits are rough . . . *gives you all the chocolate and tea and a snuggly puppy for the pain* But hey, once you finish them, you can celebrate with a new draft, yes? I love drafting so much more than I love revisions. Could one of these books maybe possibly be The Dead Boy and the Paper Cut?? BECAUSE I NEED MORE THOMAS AND MOXIE AND LUCA AND KHALIDA. *coughs* Please.

Boquinha said...

This sounds great. Love your soundtrack and that Carly Rae Jepsen song is excellent - it definitely has a feel about it that I could picture in a movie. I love songs like that. And I like how you wrap it up with an ice cream metaphor. I'm also curious how much cooking is a part of this story, since you've mentioned the cooking abilities of a couple of your characters. :P

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha Thanks!! It's definitely one of my favorite soundtracks. :) I listen to it all the time. And right?! If I new how to make cool looking YouTube videos, I'd totally make a trailer for this book with that song.

Hehe, you can never have too much food in a book . . . ;)