Beautiful Books | A Link-Up

Wow.  I just stumbled upon this thanks to my blogger friend, Jameson C. Smith, and her Lovely Whatsoevers.  Pop on over and give her little blog a look-see.  Her story ideas are amazing! AND she's a fan of Middle Earth.  :]  Of course, that's not all (though it should be enough to make you wanna visit).  She's a sweet young lady who honors Christ in all she does.  Love ya, girl. :D (Hope I didn't embarrass you in anyway. . .)

So, with this discovery, I just HAD to try it out.  I guess I'm in one of those times where my story just seems so bleh.  It happens quite often, but this little link-up may be just what I need.

Hosted by Sky, from Further Up and Further In, and Cait, from The Notebook Sisters, (inventors of Beautiful People) it is designed with NaNoWriMo in mind.  But it is not required that you actually participate in NaNo in order to link-up.  While I do not take part in NaNo myself, I going to look forward to the Beautiful Books questions every month!


THE QUESTIONS

1.  What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
          Pfft. Characters!  I am most definitely NOT a plotter.  I look to my sisters for that, because plotting is my most weakest area regarding stories. . . I might get an inkling of an idea, but to make it awesome and complex? I need help.  :]

2.  Do you have a title and/or a "back-cover blurb"?
        Right now, all of my stories are titled after their main characters; that's not to say it couldn't change, though. . .  It's simple (I'm sure it's been done before) and, in my opinion, makes the tale personal.  For, if ever you open one of my stories (God-willing), you are opening up the life of one of my main characters.  Essentially, this happens in most every book you will read, but for my stories (WIP and concept alike), it fits.

As for a blurb:
           Ambushed on open waters, a great battle ensues.  Only Safia Leifson, a young lady of seventeen, survives, as explosion after explosion sends both ships down to the Deep.  Rescued by a royal ship of Gondoa, who is transporting the prince home after a lengthy ambassadorial trip to allied countries, Safia comes into the care and protection of the men of the Victory's Crown.  With the help of Prince Rydan and in keeping her father's dying wish, she journeys to Charan in search of her mother's family.  Along the way, she takes comfort in a valuable medallion given to her by her father, which hides a piece of a secret only she knows.
          Can she truly surrender the overwhelming grief and find the peace she longs for?
          And will she ever learn to trust again?  Not only Rydan, in whom she finds a worthy friend, but also the God she had abandoned long ago?

3.  What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
          Gosh.  I dunno.  I've been working on this story, off and on, for almost four years now.  O_O What? It's been that long??  Wow.  Yes, I suppose it has.  This just goes to show, friends, you must persevere!
          I know I should have a wordcount goal, but right now, it's not a priority.

4.  Sum up your novel in three sentences.
          A living nightmare costs her the only family she had left.  Now, independent Safia Leifson must rely entirely on others to complete a promise to her dying father and beware a dangerous enemy.  Along the way, can she learn to trust the God who took her family and finally find the peace for which her tortured heart yearns?

5.  Sum up your characters in one word each.
          Safia:  Broken.
          Rydan:  Leader.
          Kenna:  Gentle.
          Peder:  Friend.
          Logan:  Loner.

6.  Which character are you most excited to write?  Tell us about them!
          He's not listed above, but he's a definite favorite.  Mo'mbweno Bengali, affectionately known as "Mo."  A big guy with big heart.  Native of Makar, a country based on our Africa.  He's loyal to a fault and serves as the personal, self-appointed bodyguard of Rydan, who he calls Raja, which is the Makarian word for "prince."

7.  What about your villain?  Who is he, and what is his goal?
          Ah.  *clears throat*  Here, we hit a kind of wall. *cough cough HACK*
          I DO have a villain!  I promise.  He's just a Nameless Evil right now.  I know, that's ironic coming from me, the Queen of Names.  But I've tossed several around and none fit.  I have an idea of his character and set role in the story, but he's kind of like a ghost right now. . .  Can't give anything away as it plays a huge part in the story.

8.  What is your protagonist's goal? And what stands in the way?
          To complete the task her father assigned her and to uncover a hideous deceit that could be the downfall of a free ocean and a free country.
          A Nameless Evil.  Heheh.

9.  What inciting incident begins your protagonist's journey? 
          An ambushed battle at sea, in which she alone survives.

10.  Where is your novel set?
          In my Medieval/Fantasy world of Everon.  Each country, for the most part, resembles one of our actual countries.  For example:
          Gondoa = America
          Charan (pro. "sha-RAHN") = France
          Ardos = England
          Emiraldi = Ireland
               and so on. . .

11.  What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
          Unraveling Leifson's puzzle, which eventually leads her to the home she would never forget, a place of sadness and memory.  This is scattered throughout the story, but Safia's realization in understanding what her papa's vague words really mean is a big step in this tale.
          When Safia realizes there is an underlying plot of deceit and revenge that could not only sever the Leifson line, resulting in her death, but destroy the government and royal family of an allied country, and replacing them with a monster (figuratively speaking.  In short, he's the bad guy).
          Finding the treasure.

12.  What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come into contact with or become close to during the story?
          Oo.  Um, dynamic? Well, there's gonna be a little bit of romantic attraction, of course, between Rydan and Safia.  Kenna, one of Rydan's younger sisters (and closer to Safia's own age), becomes a good friend of Safia.  And at the home of her mother's family, she finds a lifelong friend in one of her many cousins, Logan, who is somewhat of a reserved introvert before meeting her.

13.  How does your protagonist change by the end of your novel?
          After losing much, she gains much.  She learns to fully rely on God, whether or not she understands His ways, and to be more open with those she loves, not keeping it all tucked away on the inside.  Doubt and Fear cannot hold her down!

14.  Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?
          I think I know how I want to end it.  It could be liable to change, but I have a pretty set idea of how it'll happen.

15.  What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself? (This is your mission statement, one you can look back on when the road gets tough.)
          Eventually, I would love to see this story published.  I don't know if it will ever happen.  Getting it published is not exactly my life-long mission, I have far too many other priorities.  But to see it happen one day would give me great joy.
          I'm hoping Safia's story will encourage others who are struggling with life that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.  But only if the eyes are fixed on the only true Light.  I want to let them know that our circumstances to not define us.  How we react to those circumstances is another matter.
          Through all the tragedies and heartbreak this world throws at us, God is still in control.  Just that phrase gives me pure relief, because I know we have the ultimate victory.

---------------------------------------------

Wow.  This has been great!  It's really helped me plant a few more ideas and tie off a couple loose ends.  We're moving right along!  

Thanks for reading, dearies!  I hope you've enjoyed reading my answers as much as I've enjoyed answering.  If you wish to join the link-up, hop on the bandwagon and click here!  I don't think you'll regret it one bit.  :]

Happy Thursday!

 photo sarahsignature_zps5172c7cd.png

3 comments

Jameson C. Smith said...

*blushes* Aw, thank you so much!

I really enjoyed reading your answers! This story sounds so much fun to write.

Characters can be quite a challenge when it comes to naming them, can't they? But A Nameless Evil does have a certain intimidating ring to it. :) (Oh, and Rydan and Emiraldi are super cool names, by the way!)

Emily said...

Ooh, fantasy! Princes! Sea battles! This excites me. I am a big fan of those sorts of novels!

I love your character names. Also, I am interested in the inclusion of God in your story/trust clearly being a major theme. This is something I have been thinking about a lot recently; how to include faith in a fantasy. Are you literally keeping Christianity as it is, with a man called Jesus and a book called the Bible? Or are you pulling a CS Lewis on us? I am interested to know these things

wishingiwasnorthern.blogspot.co.uk

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Jameson: You are most welcome, dearie! This story is fun to write, I just--GAH!--struggle with plot... Thank you!

Emily: Why, hello :] So glad to hear! Thank you for commenting.
Regarding the aspect of adding faith to fantasy, well, I'm definitely not an expert, but you could say I'm "pulling a C.S. Lewis." ;D In this tale, the God and Master of creation is known generally as Eliadan, though in different countries, He may have another name. And His story will probably end up be some sort of allegory...
My goal is to display the authenticity of Christ (Eliadan) as the Maker and Master of all (just as He is in reality, of course). I want my characters to KNOW Him, to feel Him, to see, touch, and taste His reality. Does this make sense? I want them to come to recognize that circumstances don't define them, that they are not alone in the battles of life, and, whether they believe it or not, Eliadan is in control.
I suppose what I'm trying to say is: Safia, Rydan, and all the other characters will live out this story, but God will play a definite part in the background. Maybe not right out in the spotlight, but a definite Presence.
I realize I'm just rambling, but I hope this gives you a good idea of what I have in mind... Thank you!!