This is run by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further More.
How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
There are two ideas that I’m working on right now so DOING THIS FOR TWO.
The Wrong Questions (started most recently): I’ve always wondered why there aren’t more books with a platonic emotional connection between boys and girls simply because I’ve had plenty of those friendships, those are the majority of my closer friendships actually. And I’ve always hated the idea of a boy and girl bring unable to be friends, eventually fall in romantic love…it’s stupid, and I was thinking of one of my newest friendships…the week of October 12th, and I was like, why aren’t there millions of books where love between a male and female is purely friendship. Like not about kissing or sex, but more “I value you, you are my people” and so I felt the itch and had to start writing.
Jabberwocky (what I talked about last month): I had the idea around when I saw Adam Silvera talking about gay dragons on Gay YA and wondering where the hell that was, and struggling to find books with multisexual/pansexual POCs (and in general) in July, and I was curious about the Jabberwocky’s story, and what it could be, and all of those things just kind of mixed together into the idea that I originally was supposed to work on next month, and have been plotting and character building for a month or so.
Why are you excited to write this novel?
-I’m excited to write this because I’ve always wanted to see a story where love is defined differently, even if there is romantic love separate from the friendship, and it’s going to be fun to see it all come together in the next few months that I work on it.
-QUEER WOMEN AND MEN TURNING INTO DRAGONS. HELL YES.
What is your novel about, and what is the title? Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
The Wrong Questions, not a final premise: two teenagers who find their salvation from the struggles and burdens of high school in their creativity, and each other.
India Prince (16) Morose.
Noah Pieterse (17, soon to turn 18) Loving.
Jabberwocky: Two queer queens who transform into dragons fight against other queer clans to gain a time bomb of a teen dragon: THE JABBERWOCKY
Ayra (wife of Ai-Shi): Vulnerable.
Fraser (husband of Lilo): Selfless.
Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
Noah’s development from a shy, anxious, awkward teen to a kind boy who’s still awkward (which is not a bad thing) but more comfortable, loving of himself with humility of course, and bold will be an interesting to see. His stress and anxiety as a high school student and a human being overall just feels like a really personal thing to write. I’ve never written what it’s like to be an awkward teen, and so it has been really interesting putting that social anxiety out there into words and breathing them into a person. It’s been interesting sinking into that, and I can write fastest when my characters have their personal suffering even though Noah is not depressed, and does not think about killing himself.
Ai-Shi Liu-Qiao Harris: She’s just super badass, and powerful. No one can get in her way, and at the same time she’s flawed, and loving and vulnerable.
What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way? Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
Noah: just wants to graduate, and go away to college and escape his cookie cutter suburban. He would also love to be able to see India get better.
Right now I’m bouncing between: Alexandria, Virginia, Maryland, and New Hampshire. I’ll probably end up going with NH.
India: she just wants her life to be over, she’s persevering because of her love for Noah, and to be able to just feel free, she feels very trapped in her life. Her mother stands in the way of her getting the help she needs, her stress makes it hard for her to feel safe, and her father’s lack of financial support could get in the way of her making it through college, and away from her mother.
Location: Jamaica, Queens, NY.
The Jabberwocky crew: obtain the Jabberwocky, their kingdoms Kiesre and Calypso/Carpe?
What is the most important relationship your character has?
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
For The Wrong Questions (Noah/India) I don’t really know, I’m pantsing. But I have a vague idea. Noah will probably be happier, less anxious even if he’s still awkward because that’s a part of him, he won’t be as ashamed of it and it will be easier for him to manage.
India will be not completely better obviously, but her relationship with Noah will have definitely helped her and change her. She will WANT to live, and get better and be improving.
What themes are in your book?
The Wrong Questions: The love of friendship is just as important/powerful if not MORE as/than romantic love.
Jabberwocky: Queer people are badass, but you already knew that.
How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
The Wrong Questions: Probably that bittersweet satisfaction and happiness I feel at the end of a good book?? Heartbroken maybe, like their hearts have been shattered into pieces.
Jabberwocky: I honestly can’t say until I get there!!
BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
Oh, I’m going to have a lot of fun with this.
You do not write your life with words. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do. – A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness
Pour your soul into your work. Sit down at that computer and bleed. If you are not feeling pain or strong emotion as you are writing, then you are not going to be happy with your shitty draft at the end. Also, if you do not feel like you are releasing a heavy burden while writing, you are not writing the right story. Your first draft or perhaps your zero draft is going to be complete and utter dreck (do not send this to publishers/agents, you’re embarrassing yourself. You will need to copyedit. Reread and edit the whole thing, and then get critique partners/betas to help you improve your work before it is even close to being worthy of the eyes of an agent.) but you’re not truly writing if it isn’t searing you alive to release this story. Do not tame that beast.
Every second of your free time, you need to be writing. If you’re really here to stay the whole way through, and not just visiting as a tourist aka the “aspiring writer” and sitting in the costume of a writer for a month, when you are not doing what is mandated of you, you need to be writing otherwise your goal of 50,000 words (or more) will not be reached. You need to bleed out around 1,666 words to get yourself to that 50k by the end of the month… PER DAY. 1,666k PER DAY. If you are not here to stay, but here to play what you think is a cool looking game, this isn’t for you. You will not make it.
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” -Franz Kafka
Translation: Do not edit while you write! Do not change because you’re afraid it might offend, let it be raw. Let it free you, and destroy you at the same time.
Write like your life depends on it, write like it is the only way you’re going to wake up in the morning, write like it is the only way you know how to breathe. Write like a beast, like all you are is animal, like you are the predator and your manuscript is the fragile prey, and you will let nothing keep you from devouring every last bit of it. Welcome to the writing version of The Hunger Games. May the odds be ever in your favor.