Hey guys! I know there haven't been any posts for the last couple of months and, as I have quite a few busy months ahead, that probably won't change too much. I'll try and post at least something like this each month, but I can't make any promises. I'll start posting regularly again in December, at least that's the plan.
Anyway, more importantly, today's post. So, as you might know, each month over on Paperfury and Further Up and Further In, they post the Beautiful People linkup. I've been doing it for a few months now (well, before my impromptu hiatus anyway). Because it's NaNoWriMo in November, this month they've done something a bit different. Beautiful Books.
The idea is to answer the following list of questions about your WIP for November. I decided to go for one of my darker, more emotional stories to write for this, as I really want to just get it at least kickstarted. So I chose Children of the Storm.
- What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?:
- It's really been the last few months that I've had this idea for. From what I can remember, I think it came from both watching The Man From Uncle and from reading stuff online about Tatooine from Star Wars. The original idea was far closer to The Man From Uncle than what I ultimately ended up with.
- Describe what your novel is about!:
- I really need to get around to writing an actual summary for this. But here goes.
- In a post-apocalyptic Britain, where nuclear war and famine have destroyed most of civilisation and vastly altered the climate, near anarchy rules. Warlords control most of the territory, enslaving many of the people around.
Kianna Grey's brother, Ronan, was taken three years ago by the Controllers, a group of people dedicated to restoring order. When Kianna finally finds their main compound, all she finds is her brother gone once more, taken by the warlords, and his traumatised partner who calls herself Grace.
The two break out of the compound and go to search for Ronan. But, with the Controllers on their tail, desperate to reclaim their soldier and new enemies all around, Kianna and Grace will have to push themselves to the limit to save him.
- What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
- Broken-down cities, torn-up countrysides, grey, an ever-present sense of loss, winds ripping apart buildings and chains around wrists.
- Storm imagery. All the storm imagery. Lots of storm imagery.
- Think The Last of Us meets The 100, with aspects of the Winter Soldier.
- Introduce us to each of your characters!
- Kianna Grey: A bright and cheerful girl of around fifteen years of age. Kianna has near limitless amounts of energy and is near impossible to keep still. She's also very friendly, once her trust has been gained and fiercely loyal to those she cares about. She loves nothing more than being with others and befriending them, making the three years she spent alone incredibly painful.
- Grace: A cybernetic, brainwashed super-soldier with incredible amounts of trauma, a truckload of issues and no brain-to-mouth filter. Incredibly sarcastic and incredibly blunt, Grace has absolutely no idea how to interact with other people outside of killing them and it is very, very obvious. Ferociously protective over the only friends she's ever had, Grace is willing to do anything to save Ronan and protect Kianna.
- Ronan Grey: A boy of around seventeen years of age, who barely appears in the book due to imprisonment yet still manages to have a personality. Somehow. Also a cybernetic, brainwashed super-soldier with more of a brain-to-mouth filter. As friendly as his sister, though with slightly less bouncing and hugging, Ronan has no trouble with finding allies. Both a lover of poetry and classical literature and a skilled fighter. Ronan taught Grace how to rebel against the Controllers, even giving her the name Grace rather than the number she was taught. A skilled mechanic, Ronan made a great many modifications to his cybernetic body-parts, as well as to Grace's. Can and will steal your marshmallows.
- How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
- Does all of the above count? Admittedly mostly the howling.
- What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
- One of the main themes of the novel is about trauma and recovering from it. I'm really looking forward to that, as I feel it's not something that we talk about enough in books. Particularly not in this sort of book. There's also a lot of characters with various mental illnesses and it does get very rough at points. One character has several moments throughout the story of being acutely suicidal and another is dealing with the aftermath of rape. It's not pleasant to write or research, but I'm looking forward to dealing with it and really trying to tackle it in a way that's respectful.
- List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
- Storms: As I mentioned in the aesthetic, storms are super important. Since the apocalypse happened, the climate went strange and now there are really huge, really dangerous storms that occur relatively frequently. It's not too bad if you're underground or in a completely stable shelter, but it's incredibly dangerous to be out in it. One of the cultural things about this world is the emphasis placed on surviving the storm. If you survive the storm with someone, then you're kind of best friends forever.
- Animals: Again, since the apocalypse, a lot of animals have mutated and changed both becoming more dangerous and, in some cases, more beautiful.
- Culture: As I briefly mentioned in the storm bit, there's actually a large cultural change that I'm hoping to explore. There are folk-tales and dances and stuff like that.
- What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
- Goal: Is to save her brother from the warlords and from the Controllers.
- What gets in the way?: Am I allowed to say everything? Fine. The warlords are a particularly big obstacle, since they're so powerful and so are the Controllers.
- How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
- Well, she's a lot stronger by the end. Grace has a good impact on her. She grows a lot more confident. She also finally forgives herself for losing Ronan, as Ronan was only taken because he was saving her.
- What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
- The biggest themes are about trauma and recovery from trauma and about loss and grief and anger. Essentially it's just a ball of emotion, this one.
- I think I want them to feel...kind of sad, but hopeful too? I mean, it's not going to have a super-happy ending, rather bittersweet really, but I think there'll be a hopeful aspect to it as well.