Gems from The Infinity Notebooks

Gems header

So, I realise that the heading makes me sound like I’m trying to put together the Infinity Gauntlet or something, but there’s an actual reason for the name and it’s fairly simple. My trilogy all contain the word “infinity”, in their title, so I call the trilogy “Infinity”. Thus, my notebooks are called “The Infinity Notebooks”, and today I’m going to present to you some absolute gems that I’ve found in my scouring of these notebooks.

Note: Most of the things written in here were written during a) NaNoWriMo or b) Camp NaNoWriMo (only slightly less stressful), and they were fuelled by caffeine and lack of sleep and that is probably why they’re so…odd.

Anyway, let’s jump into it!

Justice has a German accent

Who forgot to inform me of this? For the record, Justice is part French, part Scottish. Why would he have a German accent?

“You are a jerk, Justice.”

Justice’s mouth fell open. “Excuse me?”

I put my hands squarely on my hips. “I said,” I repeated, a little more forcefully. “You are a jerk.”

Sass. No idea if the “I” here is Sapphire or Chessy though. Either way, this is fun to read 😀

“Imbeciles, it’s for you too, that I die.”

An inspirational quote from an executed member of the French Resistance in World War Two.

“A revolution is a simple thing!”

The immortal words of Comrade Gleb from Anastasia.

What happens next? I literally have no idea:

Some ideas:

Chessy could do something silly.

Justice could do something silly.

A riot.

Inspirational plotting.  By the way, all three of those things ended up happening actually, the whole book is made up of those three things.

Sapphire has an emotional break down and cries a lot into Quillon’s shirt, which is super romantic but also kind of awkward. And all this time, Quillon’s being Cool and Collected™ but inside he’s basically having a heart attack.

This is a sample of my whole outline. A+ outlining skills.

And then more stuff happens. Like, Justice figures out a highly sophisticated plan to break Chessy out of jail.

More A+ planning skills on the part of Justice and myself.

Quillon is also shot, but doesn’t die. Jean grabs him and drags him out of harms way. Quillon regains consciousness and is a bit confused. Like, who even is this random bloke cradling my head and weeping over me? To be fair, that would be how I would react in a similar situation. And Jean’s like, hey, boy, you were courting my daughter without me even knowing it, but I’m cool now and I’m here to save your life. 

I don’t even know what to do with myself.

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Not sure if you can read that orange sticky note, but it says: “How do you start a riot? I have literally no idea, because, contrary to popular belief, I have never actually started a riot”. The blue sticky note under my glasses has a list of the names of the continents. The first one says “Divided States of America”. Because every single dystopian ever is set in a fractured American society.

Justice…comes up with a Fiendishly Clever Plan™ to help some of them escape.

Ten points if you get the How To Train Your Dragon reference.

WE IS HERE!!!!!

The Newsies are here, people. In my notebook, scribbling on sticky notes.

“We’d have nothing at the end of the story if we had everything at the beginning.” The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor Hugo’s wise advice.

Justice essentially “friendzones” Chessy, but that’s okay and she actually copes with that and thinks of him as a friend and for the first time in the history of YA, their relationship does not end in romance. I’ll be executed for heresy.

#whoops.

(Do you get the feeling I was a bit salty at romance?)

I admire my ability to muff everything up. Jean Verde has to have been a friend of Manly’s father, because there’s no way a forty-one-year-old and a sixty-two-year-old were at school together.

*headdesk* Who hired me?

Instead of becoming a shoemaker, Alex Manly makes:

clogs

Dance shoes

Straw hats

Origami

Iphones

Seriously though. Who hired me? (Just so you know, I went with shoemaking.)

“I’m going to ask you to marry me one day,” Justice whispered.

“I think I might just say yes,” I returned.

Um, no?? This didn’t end up in the novel, since…well, yeah. (No more attempts at romance, hey Chelsea?)

Give Chessy and Justice more window scenes

The story behind this is quite interesting. In the first chapter of the second book, Chessy gets upset and goes into her room, locking the door. Like a sensible man, Quillon leaves her alone, but of course, Justice has no social skills whatsoever, so he comes to her window and starts trying to talk to her through her window. This was not meant to be romantic at all, and yet it apparently was, and an alpha reader asked if I could include more window scenes. So I did. But I had to make a mental note first. 😛

Quillon sometimes refers to Dae [his sister] as “Ladle” and she sometimes refers to him as “Egg”.

Because its hilarious to wonder how toddlers would pronounce the names “Augustine” and “Adelaide”. (All credit to my alpha reader for “Ladle” though).

Phoenix is a fiery ball of passion who wants to stab everybody.

And does, in fact, stab someone. #spoilers

A ball scene just needs to happen because I love undercover ball scenes.

Like Lord Grenville’s ball in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Could I do like a crossover retelling: The Scarlet Pimpernel/Little Dorrit. Am I insane or a genius? We know not.

I’m insane. That’s been established already. (Just so you know, I didn’t go with the Little Dorrit idea, cool as it would’ve been).

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Lorien laure

A laiqa alcar

Oh ehtele lisse

Nimrodel a

nyere aute

Um, doesn’t everyone write Elvish songs in the notebooks of their dystopian novels? By the way, these are the lyrics from “Lothlorien”, in The Lord of the Rings musical, but I have no idea what it means.

“See, look at them, they don’t fight!”

“Actually, they’re probably having a telepathic fight as we speak.” #siblings.

This was actually a quote I overheard (and the words about telepathic fighting were directed at me and my sister). I scribbled it down because my third and final Infinity book features some siblings–a lot of siblings actually–and I want to hedge that concept in there somewhere!

“You disrupt the balance of my life!”

This is something I said. I was at the park with my sister and lying in a swing, basket thing which was very comfortable and I was just beginning to doze off when my sister ran and jumped into this basket next to me, which sent the whole thing rocking and spinning wildly. I shouted this at her, and then it struck me as something an annoyed Justice might shout, so I wrote it on a sticky note and stuck it in the notebook.

“Try being called Augustine in high school.”

As far as I can remember, I haven’t used this line but I’m pretty sure that this was a comeback of Quillon’s, probably after hearing Justice moan about his terrible childhood. Instead of being a comforting friend, the only sympathy Quillon can offer is that Justice’s rather neglected childhood obviously wasn’t as bad as being teased for the name Augustine.

Nancy, Harriet, Cal and Wil, homeschooled Ohioan geek pilots

I’m not sure if these even exist, but the characters are fun and amusing. Let me know if you’re from Ohio and can confirm the presence of a large homeschooled family of geek pilots? I’m not even sure what makes them geeky. As far as I know, they’re just Americans who fly planes.

Also, they totally aren’t named after famous pilots and Wil’s full name definitely isn’t Wilbur.

“The bond between a brother and sister is sometimes tightly woven, some loosely held, but never broken.” (quote not mine).

I love this quote and it really is at the centre of the third novel (and the first two as well) brothers and sisters (and cousins) sometimes adore each other, sometimes despise each other, but underneath it all, they do love each other and would do anything to save the other’s life.

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There’s also a lot of song lyrics in my notebook. This one is “Touch of Heaven” by Hillsong

I think when Kai grows up he’ll be a super talented musician and also trying to make it as a playwright but kind of failing. Still, he can play Chopin, Mozart, etc.

The last thing I imagine Kai as is a failing playwright. However, it is canonical that he becomes a talented musician.

Random plot bunny:  contemporary retelling of Northanger Abbey where whathisname reads too many sci-fi/superhero novels.

Very descriptive. Still sounds like a fairly entertaining idea though

“We’re homeschooled, that’s why we’re crazy.” –The Wrights [those geek pilots from earlier] at some point.

On this note, I’ll leave you to ponder the inner workings of the brain of an author and the things she spouts at random.

Your turn, guys! How much planning do you do before writing a novel? Do you sometimes write crazy things and then forget them? Have you ever given a character an accent and…forgotten that too? Tell me all your embarrassing secrets!

18 thoughts on “Gems from The Infinity Notebooks

  1. oh boy- let me see.

    Originally Marge wasn’t related to Sarge. She always had an incredible wisdom before they were related. She knew Sarge’s actions were terrible- she knew he had to clean up his act and that many of the toads were unhappy and that Graysloup had to be cleaned up somehow. I realized eventually that it would make Srage a better antagonist and Marge a better character if I make Sarge her uncle. I just hated how Sarge would treat his own niece- it his NIECE for crying out loud and she is only 12 years old- he even told her to ACT LIKE A TOAD as in be more like him and she never listens to him- in one scene he shoves her in the mud- boy Marge does not have many good things happening to her when she has to be around her uncle. It allowed me to develop an incredible soft spot for her by making her his niece. It just makes her feel like this outsider. It actually makes a better reason why Sparkle ends up befriending her in the first place- an act of compassion in the first.

    I honestly don’t know where the term Graysloup came from- it just came out of my mouth one day and I realized it is the perfect habitat name for the terms.

    The character, Sarge, is named after a character from the movie, Cars II. One of my family friend’s sons came over and he brought a toy truck that is the character named Sarge and I realized is the perfect leader name and fits the sort of toady name.

    Tweetise, my youngest Fairy Frog, is named after the Tweetsie Railraod.

    Fun fact about the Fairy Frogs: not all humans can see them.

    These are some fun facts about my story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness!! This was gold; I couldn’t stop laughing throughout, it was just so relatable! 🙂
    Nowadays, I try to do at least some planning concerning major plot points, how I’m going to go get the characters from point A to point B, character dynamics and profiling, and the ending of the book. I’m not a scene-by-scene planner at all since I just can’t deal with that much structure when it comes to something like writing. I mostly use the snowflake method of planning and just jotting down things that come to mind because I can’t stand the traditional method of outlining since it just kills me to sit down and work on it that way! 🙂
    I don’t remember ever having officially given a character an accent and then realizing that it didn’t really make sense but, for some reason, even though every character in Clemency is French, when I imagine them talking in my head, Danaé sounds like an American, Julien sounds British, Rosaire sounds almost German, and only Bastien sounds French. I never wrote any of it down anywhere and, I don’t think that I ever considered that they might not sound French but when I hear ’em talking… only Bastien ever sounds French!
    One of my favorite things from the Clemency notes is just scribbles of me trying to remember Julien’s ridiculously long name and the exact order of his many middle names. In the margins of too many notebooks I’ve scribbled “Julien Diodore Évariste Mathis Edgard Florian Descoteaux”, trying to remind myself that “Diodore” is before “Évariste” and that “Florian” is after “Edgard” because, for some reason, I keep thinking that it’s “Julien Évariste Diodore Mathis Florian Edgard Descoteaux”… or something like that.
    Anyways… sorry that this ran on a little long! Great post; I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Actually, when I saw the title of the post, I did think of your book before the Infinity Gauntlet. 🙂

    Heehee, sounds like Justice and Chessy (at that stage of the note-taking) shared problem-solving techniques!

    Oh goodness, the “Sapphire has an emotional breakdown” line had me laughing (internally because I’m in the living room while siblings are watching YouTube) because yes, crying into someone’s shirt can be awkward as well as romantic. Also, poor Quillon!

    “And then more stuff happens.” Have you been reading MY notes? 🙂

    Ooh, is that a Les Miz reference next?

    BAHAHAHA “executed for heresy”!!!! Love it!!!! Not the idea of heresy, but rebelling against the Obligatory YA Romance.

    Snickered at the line “Phoenix is the fiery ball of passion who wants to stab everybody”!

    And the rest of the post had me grinning like an idiot because it was VERY amusing and also a relief to know I’m not the only one who writes crazy notes (yes, I *know* this, but it helps to see the evidence!) and also because it’s great to get a glimpse into your process! Hope the beta-reading and further editing goes well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would infinitely prefer your infinity notebooks to the infinity gauntlet. Just saying.
    WHAT. Justice has a GERMAN accent????
    I have no words.
    ACTUALLY I HAVE LOTS OF WORDS. THERE IS TOO MUCH.
    I adore this post. Especially since I’m totally in Infinity mode right now!!! I love seeing these snippets out of your notebook. They are hilarious- and insightful, because WHAT, NO ONE TOLD ME THAT QUILLON HAD A SISTER. I AM FREAKING OUT.
    Okay, I will calm down and speak coherently.
    Maybe.
    Ah, Gleb! I am glad you made room for him. And Newsies. 🙂
    I love the commentary. So priceless. “Sapphire has an emotional break down and cries a lot into Quillon’s shirt, which is super romantic but also kind of awkward. And all this time, Quillon’s being Cool and Collected™ but inside he’s basically having a heart attack.” I love it so much. 🙂
    Quillon’s and his sister’s nicknames for each other! I NEED THE SEQUEL.
    Did I mention how much I love this post?
    I don’t do much planning, unfortunately. But sometimes I do come up with ideas, write them down, and then forget about them. This can be awkward.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s so fun to look back on your characters and see how much they’ve changed! I think Marge and Sarge’s relationship will be really cool for you to explore as you write your novel.
    Hey, that’s really cool that Tweetsie’s named after a railroad, that’s really unique and interesting.
    I like Cars and Sarge is a pretty cool name. I like the way it rhymes with Marge too!

    Like

  6. That’s good! I’m glad my writing has corrupted you more than Marvel has 😛

    Justice and Chessy still share the same problem solving techniques 😀

    That scene is hilarious and I love reading the outline I wrote for it too 🙂 “And then more stuff happens” is pretty much the outline of every single writer, isn’t it?

    Oh yes, that’s a Les Mis Reference 😛

    Except that it didn’t end up that way….there did end up being a romance of sorts… hence the “#whoops”

    I love Phoenix, she’s one of my favourites, but goodness gracious. She’s fiery.

    I’m glad I made you laugh! That was the whole purpose of this post. Thanks, 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad you liked it! I enjoy making people laugh 😀

    I’ve heard a lot of good about the snowflake method, but I’ve never used it. Do you find it helpful?

    That’s really funny! I’ve never really thought about how my characters talk (except that Justice obviously had a German accent, I don’t know) but Quillon has always, always spoken with a thick Irish accent.

    That is a ridiculously long name, I’d have a lot of trouble remembering it too 😀 How’d he end up with such a long name?

    No worries! I enjoyed reading your comment 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s good. I’m glad I’ve successfully brainwashed you 😀

    I know???? Where’d the German accent come from? HE’S FRENCH! I laughed way too much when I reread that note I made to myself.

    Quillon does have a sister, 😀 but you won’t get to meet her until the third book 😛 And yes, oh so insightful. Basically all three notebooks I have are full of things as ridiculous as these gems.

    I’m glad that you enjoyed it! I love making people laugh 😉 Thanks for reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Of the things that Sarge has done in my novel really makes me strongly dislike him: he has thrown a rock at both Misty and Sparkle (my protagonist) and called Sparkle’s drawing ugly.

    That one incident is towards the beginning. Marge witnesses it, and it causes her to stand up to her Uncle. Leading him to say “Act like a toad” eventually leading him to shove him to mud. That same day, he eventually hires a spy to spy on his niece and any spacious activity going on in Graysloup especially if any Fairy Frogs are there- so that first incident where Sarge is mean to those two Fairy Frogs and when he mistreats his niece and hires that spy truly sets him as the antagonist of the novel.

    I am much more interested in exploring the relationship between Sparkle and Marge instead of Marge and Sarge. Sparkle knew what she had to do to help Marge- befriend her even though it is basically against the rules, but she doesn’t care especially after hearing about Marge’s situation

    Liked by 1 person

  10. AHHHH YOU HAVE TO PUT THAT ‘I THINK I’M GOING TO ASK YOU TO MARRY ME ONE DAY’ SCENE IN THE BOOK. is there anything I can do to make sure you put it back in? bribes, blackmail, anything? and don’t tell me that Justice and Chessy don’t actually end up together, cause I’m already too invested in your novel, them, and their (as-yet) not-quite-budding romance to be disappointed. but actually, please don’t tell me. I hate spoilers 😣

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I really enjoy the snowflake method and found it really helpful mostly because it really isn’t intimidating at all! It works really well for me and I’m really glad that I tried it out earlier this year! For me, outlining is a little intimidating, but the snowflake method is really nice and easy for me since the steps are really easy to follow and, while there are recommended steps and an order in which to take ’em, you can kind of figure out what will and won’t work for you and go along at your own pace!
    Julien’s name… well, it’s so long mostly just as a nod to his upbringing. Everyone in Clemency has three given names (only one that they go by though) and then Julien has six that are pulled from all sorts of places like his brother who died in infancy, grandparents, etc. since I found that that was pretty typical especially of the aristocracy around 1770, when Julien was born. Then it kind of just stuck as a piece of Julien! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Cool! I’m thinking of experimenting with it for my current plotting, which I’m finding a bit difficult at the moment, so hopefully it will help get me out of my rut.
    Fair enough, I understand your inability to remember the order anyway 🙂

    Like

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