Beautiful Books Linkup Thingy

7:02 PM

I'm so good at titles, aren't I?

Anyway, while scrolling through fellow writerly/bookish bloggers' blogs, I came across this. It's a three-month long blog linkup thingy, as my title so eloquently states, focusing on plotting, writing, and editing for NaNoWriMo. I'm new to this sort of thing so I could be doing this all wrong but here goes.

What I'm Doing (I Hope): 

The post I linked back to explains it much better than I have, obviously, and gives you more information (hopefully I'll get around to doing their Beautiful People linkup for characters sometime!). But each month questions will be posted about your NaNo plot/characters/etc.

The Questions! 

Here goes!

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

Self-admitted ultimate pantser, right here. I've written four novels and haven't plotted a single one beforehand, because I never have the plot before I start writing  I like to let the story develop on its own. In the case of my NaNo novel, the plot idea came first. Or, more of a vague concept/what-if, really. I don't have a solid plot but I'm super excited to see where this is going to take me.

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

Currently the working title is Io, after the main character. That may change, but it works well for now, so we'll have to see. I don't have a blurb written out, but I'm going to think up one right on the spot as I write this to give you a general idea.

            " When Io is kidnapped by rebels who would destroy the Cities' way of life, she makes her escape and finds herself navigating the land of peasants and scavengers on a quest to get back home and warn her father and her people. Traveling with Cassander, the handsome historian, and Yarrow and Wren, the peasants who may not worship her every move as they are supposed to, Io discovers secrets about the land she is to rule in the future - secrets she isn't sure she likes. "

Eh. It'll do.

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

Somewhere around 100k, probably, but we'll see.

4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.

Royalty in a post apocalyptic setting.
There may also be bandits and scavengers and gangs and fun things like that.
I don't plan endings beforehand so it'll probably be totally surprising.

5. Sum up your characters in one word each.

Io - Clever.
Cassander - Honorable.
Yarrow - Scheming.
Wren - Innocent.

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

Oh, gosh, what a decision.

Probably Cassander. For lack of a better title, he's technically the love interest, but also so, so much more than that. Have a picture:


Cassander is a historian. The people of this world don't have any records of life before they moved up to the floating cities - which will receive a cooler name at some point, I promise - and Cassander is one of the esteemed people sent down to the surface to recover artifacts and piece history together. In other words, one of the coolest jobs I can think of. He's a little stuck-up and obsessed with honor and traditions, but he has a good heart, and I'm absolutely thrilled to start writing and explore him more.

I also may be doing a good deal of shipping with him and Io. Just sayin'. Sue me, but it's not my fault they're adorable and awkward. 

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

(you knew a GIF was coming, didn't you?)

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

All poor Io wants is to get back home to her palace and warn the people there of the rebels about to attack or whatever. See, I told you I didn't do much planning. She has people who want to help her, but unfortunately they're all stuck with her in the middle of a ruined, war-ravaged land with no way to contact anyone and a long way to go before they reach civilized people. All sorts of time for misadventures and run-ins with gangs and other such interesting things, there. 

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

I already gave it away, really, but as of now she's going to be kidnapped by the rebels out to disrupt the balance of the floating cities, and then escape. 

10. Where is your novel set? 

A post-apocalyptic somewhere. Also floating cities because floating cities are cool. 

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

*sheepish laugh as I begin to wish I did a little more planning* 

But in all seriousness, I have no idea. I know how it starts, and I know where they'll end up, and I've got a few ideas in the middle, but I'm planning to let this develop on its own. Also, more spoilers. 

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?

Probably the relationship between Io and Cassander. Io is basically royalty, the highest of the high. Cassander's just a historian. Respected, high-up as well, but he's a real stickler for the rules. I'm thrilled to write their relationship as Io grows increasingly more and more frustrated by his sticking to the codes and traditions even when it puts them in danger, and Cassander slowly coming to realize that honor, or what he knows as honor, isn't everything. They don't hate each other at first (*looks at other YA books*), they're not vastly apart in importance and therefore prohibited from having an approved future together, they're just discovering that customs aren't everything and perhaps they're each a little more lonely than they'd like to admit. 

Also, did I mention they're adorable? 

In the way of interacting with others, there's Yarrow and Wren, peasant siblings who are supposed to practically worship Io but are maybe secretly a little resentful. Io ignores them for the most part at first, treating them like she should considering their ranks, but their relationship shifts gradually from inferiors to allies to maybe, just maybe, friends. 

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

Io's pretty mature already, but all the trials I'm going to put her and the others through will really shape her and make her see the things she's going to have to change and keep up with when she inherits her father's position of power over the floating cities and the world below. She'll also be lighter, happier, freer, having realized that not everything hangs on being the perfect ruler. There may also be acquired fighting skills involved because why not. 

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

I'll give you three guesses. 

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

This is a hard one. I guess I'm hoping/dreaming to write something original, something I've never done before. I'm hoping this novel, like the ones I've written before, will help me see things in a new light, give me a new perspective on something that perhaps I wasn't anticipating. I'm also hoping it will make me a better writer, but we'll see about that. I want to leave myself, and potentially future readers, with something to think about - it's a fantastical concept in itself, but all good books, no matter how bizarre, have a piece of real life in them, and I guess I'd like to try to do that with this like I aspire to do in all my writing. 

And there you have it! I'd encourage you all to participate in the linkup, which as I've said earlier I provided a link for. It's a lot of fun and really got me thinking. 

A question for the readers: Are you participating in NaNo this year? Have you in the past? What are your goals, hopes, general comments, or ramblings on the subject? Comment away! 

P.S. You can find these links to the right of this post, but I'm on Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Check me out, connect with me there, do be lovely and follow me, etc. I'll certainly try my best to follow you in return! Of course, if you liked this post please consider sharing it, but don't feel obliged, and also follow my blog. There will be prizes, like digital cake and imaginary hugs. 

P.P.S. For those of you interested, this upcoming week I'm going to be posting about Pariah, my WIP. Stay tuned for that!  


  1. OOH I love this, floating cities and post-apocalyptic royalty?? I would read it! (Also Cassander. That picture. I'm a fan.)

    I really like your character names, and your blurb is fab! I failed trying to write a blurb. Fail, fail, fail.

    As for NaNo, I'm not participating this time around cause school. I have done it in the past though - I did Camp in July last year. My wordcount goal was only 20k though. I'm not a ninja-writer like some in this blogosphere!

    1. Thank you! I'm kind of a big fan of Cassander too, if you couldn't tell. :)

      Ah, Camp! I did camp last year, too, but I don't think I made my word goal either. You'd think that with more time to write during the summer it would be easier, but apparently not. Sigh.


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