I'm participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time and when I saw this tag on Paper Fury, I knew this was the right way to introduce you to the story I'm attempted to write. You can track down all my updates on my NaNo page, Mel-1704.
Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
To the first question I have to say yes and no. No, because I see the story change every time I write something new. It has taken turns I never expected and there are new characters I didn’t plot. Sometimes it feels like the story is alive and it is guiding me.
And yes, because all the basics are still there and I am really happy with the result so far.
What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
I shared a snippet from the last part of the prologue and the beginning of my story starts with a prologue with the famous ‘Once upon a time.’
So I'm going to share the first sentence from the first chapter (for now):
The town Zelenka was an uneventful place, but interesting things were about to happen. Situated at the bottom of a hill, with on top of that green slope about ten miles further the deserted capital city Ethana, no one took notice of the provincial citizens.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
I used to be a pantser, but with this story I’ve been plotting a lot. I have a notebook where I wrote down all kinds of ideas, names, little situations I wanted to include and the outline of my world-building. This works better for me, because I like to have it as a guide. It's also helpful when I have to use tiny details you might forget about, like the eye color from a secondary character.
What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
No idea. I started NaNo with the intention to get more motivation to write every day. I never meant to really finish it, but now that I’ve started there is that competitive side of me that wants to reach 50.000 words. Winning itself will be the reward!
What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
Every name I have used so far has a special meaning. I love it when names aren’t just randomly picked. The website http://www.meaning-of-names.com has been really helpful in my research to pick the right names.
You are already introduced to:
Avyanna - means strong, powerful, beautiful woman. Her last name is de Villeneuve, a nod to Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, who is considered to be the original author from Beauty and the beast.
Kyrill - comes from Kyrillos: means Lordly. His last name is Beaumont, which is a nod to Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, the author who wrote the best known version of Beauty and the beast.
Attor - Kyrill's uncle, means venom.
Valeria - means strength or valor.
The setting is Orenda means: magic power.
The other country Wakanda means: possesses magical powers.
The town Zelenka means: little, innocent one.
What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
Beginnings! The start of a story is always exciting to me and I loved the fact I could use the write style you often see in fairytales.
Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
Avyanna is really close to my heart, because I have based her on parts of my life. But, I also love sassy Valeria (secondary character) who is exactly the opposite of me. It’s fun to go all out and create a character that is different from you. This girl will kick some ass.
What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)
I’ve spent most of my time on researching names and fairytales. It’s been a lot of fun, because I come across fairytales that are new to me and they are really inspiring! The weirdest thing is probably the fact that I’m looking at genes and mutations in combination with chakras. It’s still something I’m working out, because biology is my field and I want to get it right.
Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
Alone! I try to zone out from the world around me by plugging in my ear buds and playing some of my favorite music. I get easily distracted by daily noises, so music helps me to focus on what I’m writing.
This is answered by the question above: I need music. The best time to write would be in the afternoon, but then I’m at work, so I’m forced to write after dinner. I don’t think I have any other specific writing habits and when it comes to snacks I just love chocolate. My space is at a desk in a comfy chair filled with pillows.
Snazzy Snippets is a way to showcase some snippets that match with the questions. This time we are asked for:
1. A snippet without dialogue.
2. A snippet featuring a friend/family member of your protagonist.
3. A snippet that took FOREVER to write.
1. This is another part of the prologue. This is where I set the basics of my story and where you get the first introduction from the characters. I have to admit that I love to share snippets from my prologue, because it has been my favorite part to write so far.
The bubbly child was replaced by a shy, quiet girl who stuck her nose in a book to escape the cruel world. Every mean word tore a part of her away and stripped her until she was afraid nothing was left. She tried to change herself, hide the parts she was proud of, in the hope to fit in. When all her attempts failed and when she had nothing left to give, her mother decided her daughter might be in need of a father.
2. Avyanna loved her father and mother, until he died from a mysterious illness. She has now two stepbrothers and a stepfather, but they have a rocky relationship. She has been best friends with Garron for years and I love writing their dynamic.
"Will you do something for me?" She asked.
"For you, anything. As long as it doesn't end with me, dancing naked in the garden at midnight with a garden gnome on my head." Avyanna started to laugh. When they were younger she had told Garron that it would make him taller if he did so. Garron was always easy to trick and instead of gaining extra length, he caught a cold.
3. The true snippet that took me forever to write (and I'm still working on it) is a big spoiler, so I'm obviously not going to show you. I'm going with the second hard snippet, because it is.. sensitive for me.
"The loneliest feeling in the world is realizing you have surrounded yourself with the wrong people." Avyanna looked up at the sky and marveled at the beauty of all the blinking stars. "Being alone doesn't mean you are lonely. Those are moments of your own choice, like when I choose to stay at home with all my books. But thinking you are with friends, while they are tearing you down with their words, that feeling of being lonely is indescribable." Her heart still ached when she remembered those days. She used to long for a place with the others; the conformation that she belonged somewhere. It took her a long time to realize that she shouldn't give others so much control. She needed to create her own space and fill it with worthy people.
That's it this time! Let me know what you think.