Saturday, October 18, 2014

Beautiful Bookishness

 Not doing NaNo, for probably obvious reasons XD but I very much like Cait and Sky's new link-up. We'll see how crazy I am by November and especially December. But maybe I'll find space there join. We'll see. Anyway, click the box to join. Because it's fun.

Hey, Ellian. Yes, that's you.
and you've heard of this story before. you know you have. so if you're confused about something...well, I should have made a tag for it. :P oh, well, leave a question in the comments. XD

What came first: characters or plot idea? 
Characters. Rather, character. Specifically Ellian Roya. Starting with his name, which was something I pulled out of thin air for a naming contest. (I periodically google the name and make sure the author whose contest I entered [and won 2nd place in] hasn't decided to use the name.)

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am most definitely a pantser. Though the plot tends to come to me in major scenes, which I then write towards. So...yeah.
oh. that looks like a good plot point.
I'll add that.

Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”? 
Contract to Time Travel is the original title. Though given that the contract is mentioned very little and the ability to time travel being lost is what the story is about...we'll see how that goes. No back cover blurb yet.
{though if you want to see cover-y things, look at my blog header. XD}

What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
*looks puzzled* I don't aim for wordcounts...I just write until I can't stand the story anymore...which in this case is way too long. I already wrote one ending, slaughtered my favorite characters and beta readers in a few fell swoops, and...couldn't bear to stop there so kept writing.

Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
A time traveling thief who only wants to get home to his sister.
A girl on the run, desperate to save her stolen twin.
A genetically engineered assassin and enforcer after them both.

Bam. 3 sentences, 3 main characters, back cover blurb. 
This is why I don't write back cover blurbs.
I will learn to. 
Not today.

Sum up your characters in one word each.
Snark. Gentle. Silent. Leader. Lost. Martyr. Wild. Youngest. Fire. Evil. 

[:P too easy for those of you who've read them. XD and yes, youngest encompasses one's personality too well not to use.]

could you GET any further from Ellian? Though they both have quite
the flair for the dramatic. But Ellian freely admits there really is no
contest. He finds the eye-makeup disturbing. 
Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them! 
Obviously Ellian had me pretty excited in the beginning. The fact that he can't be serious to save his life and every epic moment he was part of had to be undercut by him being obnoxious was actually rather endearing to me. XD
Probably the character that has ended up intriguing me most, though, is one of the villains. Ja-Il, leader of the Five and right hand of the main villain.

Though I have to say that only happened because one of the Five got a POV, and, despite the fact that they're the bad guys, the respect and love he had for his leader make me stop and think. 
So it's all Hae-Jin's fault that I even knew about Ja-Il. 

What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
Main villain: behind the scenes {mostly} just your typical dictator, intent on ruling the interest in science, got something of a god complex, and all-around terrifying. Amon's built himself an empire on the ruins of a country, and no one had better stand in his way.

But it's not his story. 

So we'll go with the Five. 
Goal of Ja-Il? to obey his master, to keep the country and every citizen of it in check and train/command/take care of the rest of the Five. And enjoy himself as much as possible while he's at it, whenever the threat of failure/torture/imminent death is not hanging over his head.

he just wants to go hoooooooome....

What is your protagonist’s goal? 
Ellian's goal - get home to his sister. Or actually, to get home to continue working for the ex-friend who kidnapped his sister in order to make Ellian do what he wants. In order to do which he must help these rebel people he just met rescue their genius member who was kidnapped. So she can fix things so he can go home. 

Echo Fire's goal - rescue her stolen twin. To do which she needs this time traveler's help. Except that he's pretty helpless, so mostly she has to keep him from dying so she doesn't have to feel guilty over more people's deaths. Also to keep her two orphans safe and fight Amon as long as she can.

Hae-Jin's goal - find the rebels, bring in Echo Fire and those with her, play peacemaker between the Five, and try to keep his leader from as much pain as possible. Which is quite difficult.

And what stands in the way?
Ellian's time travel device is broken. It's a problem.
As for Echo...well, endless patrols, the mastermind who took her twin not wanting to give her up, the fact that his five Angels of Death are currently hunting her down, trying to deal with her diabetes while on the run, and the unfortunate realty that her twin's been brainwashed and doesn't want to be rescued.  
Hae-Jin...well, himself, for one thing. He's not supposed to care as much as he does. He's never supposed to hesitate. The Five don't fail. So if he can guess how that goes.

What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
For Ellian, it's the kidnapping of his sister.
For the other main characters...for one it's the abduction of her twin (which is what gets Ellian to actually see her as a person, really), for another, well, I guess you could say it's his own abduction. (I hadn't thought of there being so many kidnappings in this story...maybe I should rename it Contract to Kidnap.) For another...death is a pretty big incentive.

Where is your novel set?
In the future. Somewhere rather closed off from the rest of the world...actually, I've got an idea in my head of where it all happens, but I kinda would rather have readers decide that on their own.

What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
ooooh...I guess when one of the Five is captured. That starts change happening in a rather huge way.
Then...well, I can't really say what of the game-changers is. But basically somebody dies who I hadn't planned on dying.
And then...somebody falls in love. Also unplanned on my part. (But like I said, I'm a pantser. So technically the whole novel was unplanned.)

What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
Oh, if we're talking Ellian...everyone. He becomes friends with one child, protector of another, maybe falls in love with someone, and saves the lives of a few others. I don't know which of those ends up changing him most during the course of the story...his relationship with his sister drives the entire thing, so there's that.

Echo...meeting Ellian changes a lot. I think just seeing someone not completely overshadowed by the inherent trauma of life in Makul is a breath of fresh air. But I think meeting the Five in the flesh changes a lot more things in her life. I mean, they took her sister, and now they're back for her. That makes the dynamic...interesting, to say the least.

Hae-Jin...Ja-Il. As another of the Five says, Perhaps it was Amon that gave me wings…it was Ja-Il taught me to fly. They all have an allegiance to him that is not easily broken, but though they are not related, Hae-Jin has a second-born's hero-worship for and loyalty to Ja-Il that is unlike the rest. 
Which makes things a lot harder for him. 
But hugely drives the story.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
That I'm not entirely sure of. Some see things they never would have believed, and their outlook on life is changed because of that. Some don't seem to change at all. Others...well, are dead at the end.
That's a pretty big change.

Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens? 
Too many endings is the problem. I don't know where to stop.
Or when.
Or how.

What are your hopes and dreams for your book?
That it actually turns out into a decent story that hangs together and I can be satisfied with the ending and my betas like the grand finale I've got planned. 
And then after I let it sit a while...I don't know. 
We'll see how I feel about it later. :) 
Clearly, I dream big.

What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
The epicness of love and the power of truth and the strength of brotherhood/sistership/siblings...what human means and what happens when decent people do bad things and what happens when bad people do decent things...
Mostly to make people think. 
It's not a clear-cut good/bad/follow the rules and you'll be okay. Some of the "good guys" actually aren't that good, and Ellian himself is time-traveling thief when he first meets Echo. Even Echo, something of the story's moral compass, lies under torture. I thought about not letting her...but instead I let it play out. Believe me, she very much regretted that lie the moment it left her lips. 
I don't always agree with my characters and I don't always spell out when they do something wrong or right. I do think the wrongness or rightness of what they do is rather self-evident, and if I make you fall in love with the villain, well good.
And that's why, really, I think the biggest thing I want to come across is the incredible miracle of grace. 
Because whether you're a happy-go-lucky decent American boy who does everything for the right reasons, even if you do get a bit off track at times, or a winged assassin who can kill you as easily as look at you and feel only somewhat worse afterwards, you need grace.
And somebody has to be willing to share that grace with you, no matter what it costs them.

4 thoughts shared:

Jessica Greyson said...

Excuse me while I sit here and bawl my eyes out....

And you did exactly what you set out to's beautiful my darling...beautiful...

*goes off to die again*

Katherine Sophia said...

:) I am glad. slightly sorry. but glad.

Ana said...

You had me at time travel. But you just made me a fan with "genetically engineered assassin"
I love Sci-Fi! This looks like its going to be an adventure :)

Great job & Good luck!

Katherine Sophia said...

XD I've certainly had quite a lot of fun just writing it. Thank you for stopping by!


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