Cait from "Paper Fury" and Sky from "Further Up and Further In" host a linkup every month called "Beautiful People" to help you learn more about your characters. This month is "Beautiful Books," which helps you to learn more about your NaNoWriMo before November hits (AND IT'S IN FOUR DAYS, PEOPLE, THIS IS NOT A DRILL).
1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
Rain from "Ivyclad Ideas" wrote about gothic novel tropes over the summer and it got me thinking about things like possibly haunted libraries and hags and nightmares, which collided with my recent obsession with musicals, which brewed for a while in the back of my mind. But of course it only came crashing to the forefront of my mind once I managed to completely plot out an entirely different novel idea.
Isn't deciding to write a totally vague novel idea in 30 days SO much more better than writing one that's already plotted out???
2. Describe what your novel is about!
What's Easily Missed is a YA fantasy romance with a gothic/horror twist featuring a decaying and possibly haunted library, hags, nightmares that have the possibility of being manipulated, a high school production of "Les Misérables," puppiespuppiespuppies, British boys, and magic normalized in everyday human society. For example, every single Starbucks is primarily run by fairies, who can not only add shots of caramel syrup to your coffee, but shots of charisma.
3. What is your book’s aesthetic?
I'll show you a few pictures, but you can also see the whole Pinterest board HERE.
4. Introduce us to your characters!
Meredith Lockheart - Protagonist, still healing from her brother's death, going after her dream of being on Broadway, extremely claustrophobic, works at a possibly haunted library, keeps a collection of fun mugs and fun socks, likes coffee and waffles, has things to say but nobody seems to hear her say them.
Levi Waters - Love interest, nerdy, optimistic, likes to think he's smooth and charming but really he's more likely to stick his foot in his mouth and knock over a lamp while he's at it, inspiring, appears in seemingly random places (like in Meredith's nightmares, for example), likes junk food and crossword puzzles and tea.
5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, chocolate, howling, etc.?)
I relentlessly outline for days on end while guzzling something like coffee or tea, I grumble a little, I pretend I'm being productive while creating my Pinterest board, and then I collapse a few days before November to give my brain a rest so I can write something semi-good.
6. What are you looking forward to about this novel?
All the quirky little details! I'm excited to figure out which fun socks Meredith is going to wear each day, how many musicals I can sneakily reference, what books Levi and Meredith read in the library, what food they'll eat, what mischief Meredith's dogs (Gavroche--or Gavvy, for short--and Ogie) will get into, etc.
7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
The book will mostly be set in three places.
1. The library, which is slowly falling apart.
2. The theater in Meredith's school, which has always been her safe place but hasn't been quite the same lately.
3. Meredith's house, where she's usually curled up in her room with a good book, her dogs, and a Broadway musical soundtrack playing.
8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Let's do another list (because who doesn't love lists?).
1. To get through her senior year and be happy again, because she's tired of feeling sad.
2. To be heard, because she has things to say.
3. To have the spotlight on her in the musical, because the stage can help her say those things.
What stands in her way:
1. She's still so heartbroken.
2. Nobody seems to hear her, no matter how hard she tries.
3. Georgia Pynes, who, as much as Meredith hates to admit it, is just as good of an actress as she is.
9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Spoiler alert much? ;)
10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
I don't like to plan out themes too much, because I think that's something that happens naturally. If you try to force a theme into a book where it doesn't belong, readers will notice. Themes emerge when the story is right.
But like most of my books, I like my stories to have an ambiguous ending that's bittersweet with a hopeful undertone. I know the ending of this book will have a big question mark and a fill-in-the-blank ending that only the readers can fill in.
Your turn! What's your NaNo novel about? Leave a comment!