IT IS THAT TIME AGAIN. November, aka NaNoWriMo, aka I try to juggle way too many responsibilities at once and fail to write a novel. But despite this bout of pessimism, I am still very much here and thinking about The WIP. You may have seen me discussing it here and there on the blog, but overall I think you guys should hear a bit more. Because I like to talk about my smol children. 😉
What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
Please don’t laugh at me, because I have an extremely embarrassing origin story for this idea. (Even more embarrassing to people I know in real life. SAVE ME.) So I went to see my school’s production of King Henry V, and Henry (as well as a bunch of others because you know the original is almost all-male) was played by a girl. And I just thought… This seems really cool. And it would be EVEN COOLER in space.
Describe what your novel is about!
My WIP is essentially war, extremely-hyped-up-Wikipedia, and angst ALL IN SPACE. It revolves around four characters surviving through a conflict semi-started by one of the characters. (That is, Eleanor.) And there is also another royal who spends her time hating everything, a moody guy who doesn’t at all want to be in the armed forces, and a small mechanic who is possibly the only positive character in the whole book.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
Here I direct you to my Pinterest board. All the time I have spent making that board should have been spent on planning, because now I have like 2 weeks to rewrite my whole plan, but NEVER MIIIND. *laughs manically*
Introduce us to each of your characters!
Okay, I’ll interest you to the four main characters and tell you a bit about them:
-> Junjie, an accidental hacker who roped himself into serving in the armed forces in order for his various wrongdoings to not be released. His mother is pretty important in the government, but she and Eleanor hate each other’s guts. And Eleanor doesn’t know that he’s in the army. Also, he has a cool cyborgised hand. (Is that a word? That’s super not a word. Oh well.) Although no one thinks it’s cool because they all hate androids, but there we go.
-> Eleanor, a very determined newly ascended space queen. Originally my Henry V figure, although I’m not really retelling it anymore. But THAT’S WHAT SHE’S LIKE. She can have a very volatile temper but she is super patriotic.
-> Neus, who is also the heir to her city — I mean, there is a really weird political system that is still slightly in the works. So there is voting but also…not voting. (I KNOW AND I AM SORRY.) But she takes it in a completely different way; she doesn’t want to govern at all, and basically no one else wants her to, but she feels like she’s letting everyone down. THERE IS A LOT OF ANGST AND GUILT WITH THIS ONE.
-> Jem, a small mechanic who is literally still completing school but somehow is old enough to help out with military things. In an actual war. I’M SORRY I NEED TO THINK THIS THROUGH BUT NEVER MIND. They are a precious science-loving person. And also they are very sceptical of Junjie’s ‘I DO NOT CARE’ attitude. Hmm.
How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
Well… I’ve been trying to write this for about a year now, and I do have an 8k plan filed away on my computer. I’ve done a bunch of patchy worldbuilding and I also have character sheets, but I’ve basically had to abandon the first draft of my plan. *cries* I’ve been trying to do a bit of general research to help me with my character backgrounds and stuff — because I really want to get them right. And I also did read Henry V when i first thought it was going to be more a retelling.
What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Being able to write the character interactions. I am absolutely TERRIBLE at plot, but I’m kind of just looking forward to getting all my characters to finally meet up. (I don’t know. As I write this I’m actually realising that most of this novel has been STRESS. And I think that I do need to remind myself why I wanted tot do it in the first place.)
List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
1. It is in space, and there are space pirates, and there are also spaceships and planets and lots of geeky space things.
2. Everyone is obsessed with finding new information and uploading it to, like, a giant inter-galactic Wikipedia. This is kind of sad because creativity isn’t really valued. 😦
3. I need to desperately do worldbuilding… *coughs*
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
I’ve flitted a lot between who actually is the main focus of this book, and I feel like it will probably change yet. It used to be Eleanor, and her goal is to achieve the respect of her people and live up to her parents’ legacy. But now it’s more about Junjie and he…kind of needs a goal? I guess that is his goal at the start. But then I think he comes to realise that he needs to escape and find his own life. And the main thing standing in the way of that is that THERE IS A WAR HELP.
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Are we going with Junjie for this? Yeah, okay, let’s do that. At the end he’s learning that it’s okay to express his emotions instead of repressing them — and how to care about people and things again.
What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
I’d like to think that the main themes are what it means to be human, how people value information in a digital age, and self-acceptance, I guess? Those sound really cheesy… I promise it’s better in the context of the book ahaha. The end that I currently have planned is a very strings-heavy epilogue. (As in, violin strings.) I slightly constructed it around Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die; if you listen to that song really loudly then it will give you an idea.
Okay, this exercise has DEFINITELY highlighted for me some things that I need to work on. It makes me a little nervous to write so much about this idea, because I’m kind of scared? And I do actually want to finish it. But PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GIVE ME YOUR FEEDBACK. ❤