~Well, Hello all!~
First of all, apologies for missing my usual Saturday post. I was in Dubbo with my family, visiting the zoo and having a grand time. I could have pre-scheduled a post, but I honestly didn’t have time and couldn’t be bothered. So…
Well, Beautiful Books went up last week, so I’ll be answering the questions and telling you all a bit about my NaNoWriMo novel, which is currently in the stages of planning. It has the rough working title of Stars Fill Infinity, mostly because that sounds really pretty.
If you want to know a bit more about Beautiful Books, check out Cait @ Paper Fury or Sky @ Further Up and Further In.
The Beautiful Books questions!
1.What inspired the idea for your novel and how long you had the idea?
So, this was inspired by Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables (I hope you aren’t all tired of hearing about Les Mis yet. You’d better not be). Social justice has always been a huge passion of mine, when I read Les Miserables it changed my view of storytelling. I decided I wanted to write my own story about freedom, mercy and justice. Basically, it’s inspired by Les Miserables but isn’t quite close enough to be called a retelling.
2.Describe what your novel is about.
My novel is about two sisters, Chessy and Sapphire, both who have suffered through their own heartbreaks. They want freedom, they want love and they are willing to shed their blood for it. It is also about forgiveness, acceptance and family.
Oh wait, here’s a cool blurb that I wrote just then:
Chessy Verde and her sister, Sapphire, have spent their whole lives cut off from the world. That is, until Sapphire rebels and runs away with her boyfriend. Broken-hearted at her sister’s betrayal, Chessy continually escapes into the city outside the walls of her community to heal the sick and care for the poor of the town.
But a storm is brewing in the air, disrupting the fragile peace. A charismatic, fiery young man, calling himself Justice Rift, has arrived in town, bringing with him a flag of freedom and talk of revolution. As the disillusioned young people of the town flock around Justice, clamouring for rights and for the rich and corrupt to pay for the damage they have caused, Chessy finds herself drawn towards the rebellious Justice and the cause he is willing to lay down his life for.
When Chessy makes a foolish choice that puts her on the radar of a deadly and determined police officer, she finds herself asking hard questions. She is willing to die, but is she willing to forgive? She is willing to sacrifice everything, but she is willing to show mercy to those who have hurt her most?
3.What is your book’s aesthetic?
Freedom–revolution–compassion–muddy water–barefoot kids–physical wounds–mental wounds–rejection–love–justice–strength–truth–standing for your beliefs–honour.
4.Introduce us to each of your characters.
Chessy is spirited, compassionate, slightly wild, a wandering soul, she longs for freedom and something more.
Sapphire is beautiful, broken, she is healing, sad, loving, giving, nurturing, a motherly type, she longs for forgiveness and acceptance.
Justice is strong, a leader, a commander, smart, passionate, fiery, rebellious, determined, he longs for justice for the downtrodden and also for acceptance from his family.
5. How do you prepare to write?
By screaming. Drinking hot chocolate. Procrastinating. Oh yes, and writing character sketches. Finding models of my characters (because I can’t draw to save my life), deciding on MBTIs. Researching. Outlining. All that.
6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Killing off my characters!
Haha, just joking. I am looking forward (in a weird way) to the death of one character (I won’t say who!) because it’s going to be super emotional and I’ll probably cry writing it. I’m also looking forward to the challenge of writing something different to what I usually write
7.List three things about your novel’s setting.
1. A disgusting river with a pretty name–the homeless kids dredge it for lost treasures to sell.
2.A maze of muddy trenches and barricades where they fight for freedom.
3. A closed off community where Chessy longs to be free.
8.What are your character’s goals and who (or what) stands in their way?
Sapphire wants to be accepted and she wants unconditional love. She also wants her son to have a good education and a comfortable life. Her own broken past her and mindset interferes with that. And then there’s also another character in her way, but I won’t go there.
Chessy wants freedom. She wants to leave the community she lives in and help the outcasts on the city streets. Her goal is to become a teacher and to run a charity. Her father interferes with this goal–he wants her safe behind the gates where no one can harm her. There is also the fact that Chessy is being pursued by a cranky policewoman.
Justice, as I mentioned before, wants justice for the outcasts, he also wants acceptance from his family. What stands in his way is his own pride and the pride of his family, both of them refusing to be the first person to make a move towards that reconciliation.
9.How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Sapphire finally puts her mistakes behind her, accepts forgiveness and starts again. Also there’s more, but #spoilers.
Chessy learns to forgive and, having fought for freedom, she finally understands true freedom. She also has learnt what love truly is, not simply a feeling, but an action, a sacrifice, a breaking of her heart.
Justice puts away his pride, after being humbled rather dramatically. He also has a sort of negative arc, but I won’t really go into that right here, because I haven’t really worked it out myself yet.
10.What are your books themes? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
I’ve mentioned a lot of the themes already. I haven’t worked out the main theme yet, but there are several sub-themes that I’ve touched on. Acceptance/forgiveness, justice/mercy, true love, honour and freedom. I want my readers to feel triumphant, joyful, proud and closer to God. But I think my ending is going to be very bittersweet, so I want people to feel sad. I also want my readers to question things, I want my story to challenge our view of things and think about ideas I’ve raised.
Here I pause awkwardly and realise that my story sounds super deep and philosophical. I promise it won’t be that way at all! I’m hoping that it will turn out quite humorous and fun, but also serious and deep. Who knows if I’ll achieve that, but I’ll try.
~Good Day All!~
Are you participating in NaNo this year? If so, what are you working on?
P.S. Yesterday I gave my My Books page an overhaul, so go check it out!! Tell me what you think of the new look 😀
24 thoughts on “Beautiful Books: Introduce Your NaNoWriMo Novel”
Whaaat a river that they dredge for stuff to sell?!?!?! That’s SO COOL. And intriguing. And I like the rejection and wounds themes you talked about. That’s always a tear-inducing theme to me.
Yes, I thought it was a pretty cool idea too. I can’t really take credit for it though. I’m a history buff and in the very early 1800s, the poor and homeless kids in London used to dredge the Thames for the bits of coal and whatever else they could find that fell off the steamships and then would sell them to pay for their food.
I like those themes as well, I think a lot of my stories end up with them by accident, probably because it’s something that I can write well (even though I’ve never been majorly wounded or rejected), they just come naturally. Thanks for commenting!
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It seems like an interesting meld of contemporary and dystopia. Very intriguing…
Your story sounds neat! Maybe sliiightly more feelsy than I usually like to read (because I’m weird and like happy things. XD) but it sounds cool all the same! And I LOVE the names, like Sapphire and Justice! 🙂 Good luck with NaNo!!
Thank you! I hadn’t really thought of it as a contemporary to be honest, but I suppose it kind of is. 😀 Thanks for commenting!
I hope it doesn’t end up being depressing, but I guess I do like writing sad stories. I was really happy with those two names as well. I like them a lot. 😀 Thank you!
Personally I like happy endings, but I do agree that if you want your readers to throw your book at a wall because emotions— I MEAN, think deeply because of your book and the emotional response it caused – then a bittersweet ending will probably be more memorable.
Lovely to read about your NaNo project – it sounds really interesting, and I hope it goes well! 🙂
This is a fascinating idea! I see the Les Mis influence, but the idea is unique and definitely your own story! And I love the contrast between being willing to die–and willing to forgive.
I hope your writing goes well!
The idea originally came to me as a Les Mis retelling, but as I worked on it, I decided that I wanted to make it my own, though still keeping the influences. 😀 I know! I sometimes think it’s easier for us to die than it is to forgive, that’s the oddity of human nature, :D.
I do like happy endings too, but yes, I think sometimes a not-perfect ending (Like the one in The Return of The King) is more memorable. Most of my stories have happy endings though. 😀
Thank you for reading!! 😀
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I love how it’s based off of Les Mis! And finding the MBTI’s of the characters is definitely the most important part of writing any novel. I really love how you wrote that you want your book to bring them closer to God; that’s such a good aim to have in writing any project! I really love the idea of this story, good luck!!
Les Mis is one of my favourite books of all time. 😀 Thanks, I think that’s ultimately what every book should do, whether or not its a “Christian” book, it’s what I strive to do. and I often find that it brings me closer to God just writing it :D. Thank you!
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Yes! It’s definitely a book that I still have to get around to reading – I’ll get to it ahaha. Exactly! Just creating something – anything – can always bring us closer to God 🙂
You definitely should. I’ll recommend it to anyone who’ll listen!! 😀
Yay your book sounds SO interesting!! I love that you’re doing a lowkey sort-of Les Mis retelling…that’s super intriguing. (Also I LOVE the name Justice!) And it sounds like it is really well thought out already! Also your process for preparing to write sounds a lot like mine.😂Lots of chocolate and screaming. I’m sure we’ll be fiiiine.
Thanks for joining in the linkup!!
Thank you! I love this story already! Les Mis is awesome and it’s definitely a lowkey retelling, because it’s kind of its own thing now? Isn’t Justice the coolest name? I love it! One day a highly scientific study will show that writers who prepare for NaNo by screaming and eating chocolate have a 27% higher chance of winning :D.
No worries, I love Beautiful Books, 😀 Thanks for commenting!
Your premise sounds amazing! It’s so interesting Les Miserables inspired you!
Just a reader passing through,
Thought I’d say howdy-doo
Lokee there, I’m an INFP too.
Sorry for the random poem. 🙂
Thank you, I like my premise too :D. Yeah, I found that I wanted to write a book that had similar themes to Les Miserables but was easier to understand and easier to apply to our lives 150+ years later. Thanks for commenting (and Yay for the INFPs! We’re pretty awesome 😉 ).
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No problem. 🙂 I like to comment. 😀