I have realized (and not for the first time) that I really should just pick a niche or an “umbrella theme” for my blog. Why does that seem like a Herculean thing to do? I love reading, I love writing, I love all things horror. But then again, I love life, too. (Tangent: I also love “Supernatural” and Dean Winchester.)
Now brushing that tangent aside… (What tangent, you ask? Well, you better keep up!)
Cait from Paper Fury and Sky from Further Up, Further In have started an awesome feature called Beautiful Books. This is perfect for those of us who are crafting stories. (It’s not necessarily just for those joining NaNoWriMo.) In this fun link-up, we introduce our works-in-progress. There are 10 questions about your book. Answer them by creating a blog post of your own (like the one you’re about to read right now) and then link to that blog post here. Without further rambling, here is mine:
1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I think I’ll be working on the second book of my entry from last year. I usually get inspirations from random moments and things. For this certain story, I was inspired by articles about haunted places like hotels and abandoned asylums and penitentiaries. I have been turning round and round in my head the plot, the conflict, and the new characters for a couple of months now.
2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
I am excited about this one because I think it will be a lot creepier. It definitely doesn’t resemble the gory/slasher type of horror, though. I want it to be the kind of horror that follows you and creeps up on you, teasing your head with monsters that could very well take residence there.
3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
My novel is about Alex, a twenty-something who left her hometown to start life all over again. She’s running away from her old life and is determined to prove to herself and her family (especially her mom) that she is her own person. But as luck would have it, the place she ended up in is thriving with the odd, the creepy, and the supernatural. And guess what? She’s hand-picked by a hush-hush community to stop what looks like a copycat murder. The murder that has taken place resembles a famous murder back in the 70s in (fictional) Maroon Island, right down to the number of family members killed and their genders. And even the hotel room.
I don’t have a title for it yet. (Fun fact: I don’t even have a title for the first book!) So for now, I’m calling it “A Maroon Story.” So not very original, yes?
4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
no pictures yet now I found pictures that I think will most likely resemble my main characters. Yay! But let me try thinking from the top of my head…
Alex – lost
Jason – resolute
Jack – mysterious
Blue – secretive
Clarisse – loyal
5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
Honestly, in the first book I had fun writing my main character, Alex. But then something happened to Jason here. It has been fun trying to unravel the bits and pieces that help him uncover what part he really plays in all the odd events going on at Maroon Island.
6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Alex’s goal is to figure out the culprit of the copycat murder. That and find out why this particular murder has been happening again. What stands in the way? Oh, boy. Let’s see… I don’t want to give away too much details but suffice to say, they’re definitely supernatural. Think urban legends and campfire ghost stories.
7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
I have set my story in a fictional place called Maroon Island. The main city is something similar to New York City: vibrant, busy, lots of people. The other areas of the island vary. Some are quiet and secluded, others will have an old world feel to it, a few will be populated with forests and rivers.
8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
Alex’s relationship with Jason will finally make sense here. In book one, it’s not clearly seen how Jason affects Alex’s role as the Keeper. Here, in book two, things both subtle and crazy will happen so that, finally, Alex has no choice but to accept the fact that Jason has a larger role to play in her mission. In that context, she will learn to tame her pride and (reluctantly) make space for Jason in her life, in more ways than one.
9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Alex will learn that try as she may, she is not as tough and alone as she thinks. She will learn that, really, two is better than one. By finally recognizing her weaknesses and flaws, she’ll be more well-equipped as a Keeper and will be, by far, a better person than she was.
10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
It’s basically good versus evil. It’s also about finding oneself once hurled into a situation that you didn’t even want to be in in the first place. It’s about accepting yourself wholly and about learning to reach out, never mind the fears that come along with stepping out of your comfort zone. I want the readers to be able to relate to that painful yet hilarious process of self-discovery. I also want them to feel scared of the scenes that are supposed to be terrifying. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a successful horror story if the readers don’t get scared at some point.
BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
Oh, my God. This is a tricky one, as I actually bombed the previous NaNoWriMos. (I really shouldn’t have said that.) But I have been experimenting with what works and what doesn’t for me when it comes to writing. And it doesn’t hurt that I have read books about writing as well. So here goes my three wise words about writing a book in a month:
- Set the pace and time. Do you want to write it all down in one sitting or write at different times throughout the day? You should write 1,667 words a day at the very least for NaNoWriMo in order to achieve the 50k words by the end of November. It’s good to know when is your best time for writing, that golden time when your mind is just bursting at the seams with plot twists and beautiful dialogues.
- Read Stephen King’s “On Writing” and Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” this early. Read those, absorb, and digest. You’ll thank me later.
- Just write. Turn away distractions, be in the zone. Word vomit like crazy. You can worry about it all coming together to make sense later, like in DECEMBER (so far away!). For now, just write what comes to mind and heart. You can always edit later. Okay?
Tangent but totally fun!
I usually get inspiration or ideas from websites like Reddit’s /nosleep. Happy writing and best of luck!