Beautiful Books October


This month, Cait @ Notebook Sisters and Sky @ Further Up and Further In are hosting the linkup Beautiful Books. Check out the links to learn more. In short, I’ll be answering questions about plotting in preparation for my upcoming NaNoWriMo novel.

That means, of course, I’ve got to have a novel ready to be written.

I have a few options. I could talk about the novel I’m already writing. I know (and trust) it best. On the other hand, using my Nano novel would be a good way to motivate me to, you know, actually write it.

So far, I’m partial to using either my dystopian or my two contemporary scripts/novellas. Dystopian would be cool but it’s all rather implausible so far (one of those “that would never happen!” stories). And while I haven’t had a good experience writing contemporary yet, those ideas are more fully formed, so I guess I’ll talk about them today!

1. What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

The plot ideas for these two came first, which is rare for me. It almost always starts with the characters. This is an exception.

I’d say I’m a cross between the two. I know my main characters and study them. I write a pitch. I write a brief summary. But I make many changes while I write and add new characters and events.

That said, I have written both completely “pantsed” and meticulously “plotted” novels. They didn’t go all that well.

2. Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”?

Yep. (Gasp!) I actually have working titles! One is called “I Crashed My Friends”. The other is “My Technological Lover”.

3. What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?

If I wrote them as novel(las), I estimate they’ll each be about 40,000 words. I will probably write fewer, though, since I’m a “barebones” drafter. As scripts, they’ll be shorter – around 100 pages, perhaps?

4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.

In ICMF, Martin is driving during a bad car crash in which he’s injured and his three passengers and friends die. He struggles with the crushing guilt of having “killed” his friends, so to speak. This is the story of his pain, how he comes to terms with what has happened, and the relationship between him and his friends’ bereaved parents.

MTL is about a girl who falls in love with Siri. It’s going to be hilarious to write.

5. Sum up your characters in one word each.

Well, the girl is quite obviously crazy.

6. Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them!

ICMF is a study in the human psyche and relationships. It’s some heavy and painful but really interesting stuff. There’s Martin and his guilt and sorrow. There’s his mother who loves him unconditionally. There are the other parents, grieving over their dead children. There are the friends themselves who have left their mark on the world despite their short lifetimes.

7. What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?

I haven’t got a villain. I rarely have villains.

8. What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?

9. What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?

10. Where is your novel set?

Auckland, NZ, where I live.

11. What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?

12. What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?

Hmm, I already answered that in #6. But that’s a great question. I love writing complicated relationships.

13. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

It’s a secret!

Okay, actually I don’t know for sure. Martin definitely becomes more resilient and less carefree.

14. Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?

I expect to have happy(ish) endings. But I only expect it.

15. What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?

It would be nice to get these stories published. But I have no definitive goals. I’ll do what’s best for the story.

I hope my stories will make readers think. I hope they will make readers laugh. And I hope they will be the sort of books to leave a mark. As for me, I want to laugh and cry and just have a good time, and, above all, write “the end”.

What do you think of my stories? Are you linking up for Beautiful Books? Tell me about your books or link to your post!

3 thoughts on “Beautiful Books October

  1. So with My Technological Lover have you watched Her? It is essentially a man falling in love with Siri. It may be good to see what happened there and not get too close to it!


      1. I’m not really sure what I could change about it – the falling in love part is pretty central! Another big aspect is the relationship of the girl with her (pretty annoying) jock brother. It’s still in the early stages. Maybe I’ll even change it drastically if it seems too similar. Thanks for pointing that out. 🙂


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