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 still look forward to these Beautiful Books questions every month! Enjoy!
1. Be honest: how is your writing going?
Wellllll. . . Honestly? So-so, I suppose. I am taking part in the 100-4-100 word challenge hosted by Go Teen Writers and it has helped in the aspect of writing daily, 'cause, you know, life happens! and sometimes one doesn't take the time to actually sit down for at least 10 minutes and WRITE. Alas, I feel as though I'm not getting anywhere. But that is why I love doing these link-ups. It aids indefinitely in getting the creative brain fluids flowing and always gives me inspiration to keep going. :]
2. What's your first sentence/paragraph?
She awoke suddenly in the late hours of the night and lay still, quietly listening for what had aroused her. The only sounds to touch her ears were the normalcy of a ship at sea: creaking boards groaning under the weight of a full cargo; the whisper of the ocean as it caressed the belly of her father's vessel; the whipping breath of canvas sails in the midnight wind.
But something was wrong.
This is the beginning paragraph originally, but there is a great possibility that it will be pushed to the second chapter. At least I hope so. I have yet to write the "first" chapter. . .
3. Do you have a book cover and/or pictures that reflect your book?
Why, yes, actually.
Credit for the lovely portrait (and the pictures below) goes to Pinterest (of course). What would we do without it, eh? ;D
left The ship, Crimson Bane, belongs to a notorious pirate--well-known for it's red sails.
center A peek at the great Castle of Gondoa, home of Rydan and his family.
right Safia's medallion, formerly her father's, plays a rather important part in her story. (Though I imagine a different design.)
4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)
Click the caption links for their character spotlight pages. I don't yet have one for Kenna. . .
|Rydan, Crown Prince of Gondoa|
|Peder, member of the kingdom's Guard, and good friend of Rydan.|
|Princess Kenna, younger sister of Rydan, who becomes good friend of Safia when she needs one most. She has a sweet, compassionate personality.|
5. What scene are you most excited to write?
Hmm. Well, I really enjoyed writing the confrontation between Safia and her prejudiced grandmother.
6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.
I posted a snippet of the afore-mentioned scene, but here it is again:
"What she saw?" The woman's face contorted into anger. "What was there to see? Nothing! He was a brute, a monster. Headstrong, stubborn, violent--unfit for my daughter!"
"He had changed!" Safia's voice rose a notch in volume. "He discovered a future, a new life. Because of your daughter! He forsook his past and pursued a life of honesty. We--"
"Honesty!" Meline scoffed.
"Mother," Aunt Gabriella began, obviously distressed and wary about the direction in which this conversation was headed.
"Silence, daughter!" The mistress snapped and turned back to her granddaughter, hands shaking, though Safia believed it wasn't from age. "He was a pirate, they do not know the meaning of such a word. A pirate will speak boldly before you of honesty while lying in their teeth! They always know the right thing to say, the best way to make the most profit--all without a single care for the others to whom their deeds may harm. Blackhearted fools, that's what they are. He--your father--was just like them. He had no heart!"
"YOU DIDN'T KNOW HIM!"
At the outburst, the older woman sat abruptly in her chair, wide-eyed, as if pushed by the strength and passion of the girl's voice. The parlor room was quiet as the last echo of Safia's words died away. She, herself, stood rigid, feet apart and hands clenched with her face down-turned, allowing her hair to fall as a shield before her eyes.
It was deathly silent. The air thick with tension.
Then she heard her own soft voice as it broke through the dark quiet.
"You did not take the time to know him." Squeezing her eyes shut, she willed away the coming tears, but openly welcomed the good memories now playing in her weary mind. "You were not the one to be swallowed up in his arms as a little girl and feel that nothing in the world could harm you. You never heard his laughter, rich and full, and join in even though you did not know the reason. You didn't watch him sweep her off her feet to dance on the white sands in the moonlight or hear the deep, baritone of his voice as he sang you to sleep." Her breath caught as a deep pain began to build in her heart. She forced herself to press on.
"You did not hear the screams that night. You were not present to watch as he bore the limp body of his wife to shore. Nor were you there to hear as he cried to Eliadan for mercy, to take his life instead of hers. . . You didn't watch helplessly from a distance as he cradled her in his arms or witness as he laid her beneath those beautiful white sands." Safia paused, aware of the tears running down her face, yet unashamed.
"You call him a pirate," she challenged, holding the bitter woman's gaze. "Well, at one time that was true. But no longer. He died a cherished father, a brave captain, a worthy friend, a hero.
"You think of me as his daughter, but forget that I am also the daughter of your own precious girl. A pirate? Maybe. But as for my mother, Faina Belle Rouseau Leifson--she was his greatest treasure."
7. Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?
So far, so good. But because I am more of a pantser than a plotter, I always struggle with a good plot. And, alas, that is definitely the case here. . . As to what I do have planned, some characters' personalities and roles are changing somewhat different than what I'd originally imagined. But I think for the best.
8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?
Heheh. Right now, I am experiencing difficulties regarding my villain, the Nameless Evil. He has a goal, I just don't know what it is yet. Or do I? Maybe that is what'll make him a great villain. . ?
That, and the fact my characters seem to blend together. Still working on making them more unique to themselves. (Does that make sense?)
9. What's your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?
The world-building. I've dubbed my fantasy world, Everon. The countries that make up Everon are loosely based on the countries and nations of our own world. For example, Gondoa resembles a medieval America (if that makes sense) in its modernity and people variety. Ardos, sister kingdom to Gondoa, is based on England; Emiraldi was inspired by the Emerald Isle of Ireland; Makar resembles Africa; Ishadi, the Arabic nations; and Aijan, China.
Oh dear. Well, I love Safia, as she and I have known each other for quite some time now. But I might have to say that Jaron Wandersong is my favorite. He is an Elf, and if you remember my short story from way back when, he is the mentor/partner of Peder. He has such a fantastic background, I may have to write his own story someday. :]
10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel or characters?
I suppose my answer to question 9 could also be put here, although I'd never thought of it that way before. As to basing my characters to real people, I'm not sure. There may be some similarities, but none that really stick out to me. I do tend to base my main girls off of my own personality and am currently attempting to span out more on that.
11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?
I hardly ever listen to music while writing, but if/when I do it is nearly always instrumentals and/or soundtrack scores. Lately, I've been leaning on John Powell's score for the awesome film, How to Train Your Dragon 2.
12. Let's have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book's world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?
Oo. Most likely Peder. He's a fun, optimistic kind of guy. A Guard of Gondoa, which in my mind is similar to John Flanagan's Rangers in his Ranger's Apprentice series. Because of his personality, you wouldn't think he could make a career out of the serious, life/death work that is required as a member of the Guard, but he's perfect for it. He's the eldest of a rather large family and, since the death of his father a little over a year ago, he's taken full responsibility for his mother and little siblings. I love his character and friendship with Rydan and Safia.
13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)
Pinterest, definitely. Link-ups like this always serve to help my creativity as well. My writing usually comes at the end of the day, when I can curl up in bed with my notebook and flashlight. Sometimes this happens really late, and even when I don't think I can do it, I'll force myself to write something, whether it'll be used in my novel or not.
I love dark chocolate, by the way. ^__^
14. What's your favorite writing quote or piece of writing advice?
15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?
Haha! All of the above. And the picture below, describes me and my story process EXACTLY.
Thanks for reading, dearies! Have a lovely weekend!