So there's this awesome link up going on. It's hosted by Cait at the Notebook Sisters and Sky at Further Up and Further In.
It's usually about characters. But this time-
Great gloriousness! It's about plot! (so gloriousness isn't a word, but I'm using it anyways. . .)
Technically, I should be writing about Oddball since I've been thinking about the sequel and all. But today, it's the weird idea. Sorry.
- What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
The plot came first but the characters stormed in and stared moving this around (mischievous little imps). I am usually a pantser, but I've been doing more plotting for this series, mostly because I'm not supposed to be working on it. . . Also the series encompasses a very long timeline, that always confuses me.
- Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”?
Of sorts, yes. You can find blurb here (it will undergo many overhauls though). I'm terrible with titles, but I have thrown these around:
New NormalSincerely, the Future
Sincerely, your Future
for the trilogy part: Survive, Strive, Thrive or Dry, Cold, Hard
The series is actually a set of journals, the main portion of it centers around a trilogy comprised of Rayne's journal. She writes her thoughts down to organize them. She journals to the past in general (aka our present day) because she is very interested in the past. What it used to be like, what normal was, and also because she trusts no one, except for those people of the past who can never really know her. The other journals in the series are those of her predecessors and two are from characters in her own story. The individual journals have the working titles of:
the wild dystopian thing (affection shortened to wild d.)
the burning of campus #55
the Sid filescold, dark heart
Maleficent Minds (excuse the drama. . .)
I have also considered giving each of the journals a Switchfoot song as its title. Then I wonder, can I do that? Is that allowed?
- What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
Um, whatever the wordcount reads when I finish.
- Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
"I'm going to tell you how horrible it all will get. And it's going to get really bad. But hang on to hope because I promise you, on my life, there is an end."
- Sum up your characters in one word each.
Pfft. Do you know how many characters I have?
A few from Rayne's trilogy:
Rayne- self conflicted
Keth- Loki (I couldn't help it)
Terrence- selfless leader (oh, was that 2 words? for shame. . .)
McKel- the unRusssian Russian
Markus- the cool weaponry specialist
Whitney- self identity issues, or maybe it's the daddy issues?
Savannah- more stoic than the Russian
So I gave up on the one word thing.
- Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them!
That is a terribly narrow question to ask. But just this once, I'll conceded. McKel, Mikel, Tolka, Rolson, whatever your name ends up as, you are the humor in this sad story, you're the light when things are dark and tense, but you know how to take things serious too and you're the sweetest character out of them all. I can't wait to write you, whatever your name is. . . sorry about that, the name thing.
- What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
There are a lot of villains networked together in this series. But they all tend to be very ambitious, big dreamers. Their goals are along the lines of
CONTROLLING THE UNIVERSE!!
Yeah, we'll go with that.
- What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
She wants to free people from the effects of tyranny. You know, those villains trying to control the universe sure damage a lot of people in their pathway, and Rayne can't stand to see the brokenness all around her. Basically, she wants to take down the government. You know, save the world. Villains aren't the only ones who can dream big here.
She doesn't really trust anyone. She very much a wanderer and a loner. But you know what they say: you can't save the world by yourself.
(they do say that, right?)
- What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
At the beginning, Rayne's been going it alone for awhile when she meets whatever his name is and they stumble on the Rebels. They decide to join in the fun.
Where is your novel set?
The future. The city. Factories. Abandoned places. The forest. Inside characters' minds.
- What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
Change three to four:
- What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
Keth is Rayne's only real, blood family. They had to look out for each other on the streets until their adopted father took them in. Her father used to be Rayne's whole world and then something happened and she ran away at fifteen. But no matter how angry she is, there's always a part of her that wishes he was always there to save the day (as you can see, my characters have very realistic mindsets :P).
McKel is her first almost-friendship (we count him as a crazy cousin). Savannah is her best friend. And then there's Sid. He has trust problems too. They say, especially telepaths, that the mentally strong always sense each other and have strong bonds simply because no one else can survive on their playing field.
Spoiler: 1) Rayne is mentally strong. 2) Sid's a telepath. 3) They really do say that.
- How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
She learns that she can't save the world by herself. Bummer there. Really big letdown. The readers will totally not see that coming. *cough*
But seriously, she learns to trust more and let people in. And, you know, how to save the world in three books.
- Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?
It has nothing to do with unicorns and rainbows and everything to do with a time machine and an author's note. (Got to love those authors' notes; does anybody besides me read those?)
- What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
I want to make people think. I know that sounds ridiculously vague. But I love it when people actually take time to think about something. For real. About what something means to them, their own beliefs and values, and what it means to believe in those things, how it reflects on their actions. Mostly to think about those things that most people avoid because it is painfully honest or "dangerous." I want people to admire the power to think.
Outside of the above (because I will probably say the above about anything I write), I want to give people hope. The world of this book is very dark. It's different from Oddball; it's not as funny. But I want to give people hope to keep on keeping on. And to keep on with the belief that it's going to get better. To take that risk of getting your hopes up that maybe, maybe it's going to be tomorrow. And when tomorrow's not better, you take the risk to believe in the next day. Until that day comes, you do all you can for the here and now and the people around you. I realize that believing in tomorrow and hoping it's going to get better, is a rather strong, brave thing to do. Because how many times have you been disappointed? And isn't it just so much easier to stay down and disappointed and just get by with surviving?
But that isn't living, now is it?
(by of way, all the images are from pinterest.)