This is it, blogglings. I’m doing NaNo. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
I’ve nearly done NaNo every single time it’s happened, but something always stopped me. No excuses this time. I will NaNo or expire trying. Okay, well, a little dramatic, but I am a writer. I’ll tell you all about my glorious WIP (work-in-progress) with the aid of Beautiful Books — which is a meme (hosted by yours truly and Sky) designed to help us plot our books for NaNo.
And if you are clueless to what NaNo is, let me aid thee. It’s short for “National Novel Writing Month” wherein hundreds of people across the green globe write 50,000-words in 30 days.
By the way, if you want to be buddies with me, my username is CaitGrace. LET US WRITE AS ONE, FELLOW AUTHORS!
Also feel free to grab these 15 questions from the linkup, answer them on your blog. We want you to. Your presence would be awesome.
1. What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a planster, which is a fabulous combination of plotting and pantsing. I usually write 2-pages of synopsis before writing (plus some character charts) and then I’m off!*
I almost always get the plot first. This one was mildly inspired by Supernatural, Inkheart, and the question “if someone threw a hardback book at my head, would it kill me?”**
*I used to be a dedicated plotter, though. I once wrote a 10,000-word plot. Yep. You heard me.
** Don’t look at me like that. I know you’ve asked that question before too.
2. Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”?
It’s called…ready for it? I call it: The Dead Boy and the Paper Cut (hereafter called TDBatPC…gosh, who titled this thing?)
I’ve got a little somethin’…
Seventy years ago 16-year-old Thomas Murphy was murdered with an orange hardback book. With his ghost bonded to the 457-pages, he becomes a cantankerous poltergeist. (Kill a cat. Break a window. Mild stuff.) But it’s eye-for-eye. If he kills his murderer, his ghost will rest. Except Thomas can’t move his own book.
When Moxie Smith, deaf and lonely, picks up the orange hardback, Thomas haunts her home. If he can convince her a) not to burn his book and b) help him find his killer, he’ll be on the way to freedom. And, bonus: Moxie’s deafness doesn’t apply to ghosts.
As they track down Thomas’ murderer, the two build a friendship on books, coffee beans, and lessons on how-to-walk-through-walls. Moxie can hear again! Her life is perfect!
Until she realises she just signed up to help a ghost kill a dude who’s about 80-years-old.
It sounded better in her head.
3. What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
The aim of NaNo is 50,000-words. That sounds good to me.
4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
A boy is killed by a book.
A deaf girl wants to hear.
Coffee is slurped.
5. Sum up your characters in one word each.
I love this question. Just sayin’.
Narrator #1 – Thomas Murphy: angry
Narrator #2 – Moxie Smith: curious
Dad – Jon Smith: weary
Youngish Uncle – Luca Smith: bounce
Moxie’s BFF – Khalida Gola: nerd
Thomas’ sister – Ava Murphy: hermit
Thomas’ killer – Unnamed: gone
6. Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them!
This is so hard. I’m desperately excited for both my narrators (yep, it’s dual narrated), Thomas (the ghost) and Moxie (the deaf girl).
I’ve been researching deafness and sign-language and lip-reading and accents…and I get to write a bookworm? YES PLEASE. But Thomas is a snarky, angry, vengeful little guy and will writing him causing a ruckus? Sign me up.
Can I plead both?
7. What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
I can’t tell you who he is, because it’s Thomas’ Big Secret. BUT YOU WILL FIND OUT. But the dude killed a 16-year-old with a book. Who does that?!
8. What is your protagonists’ goal? And what stands in the way?
Thomas’ goal: find his killer. Bop him.
Problem with that goal: Thomas is attached to a book he can’t pick up and can only go 25 metres from.
Moxie’s goal: get her hearing back.
Problem with that goal: reality
9. What inciting incident begins your protagonists’ journey?
Moxie walks into the library where Thomas has covertly organised his book to go “missing” under the shelves. She finds his book and decides it looks interesting.
Thomas begins his snarky commentary on the degeneration of her hair.*
Moxie hears him, which she should not be able to do, and (once heartattck is finished) adopts this wayward ghost.
Thomas continues snarky commentary.
*There’s nothing wrong with her hair. Thomas is just mean.
10. Where is your novel set?
‘Straya, mate. There aren’t enough Australian books in the world. I mean to change that with my magnanimous genius and superpowers.
It’ll also be in a city. Probably unnamed. Because I haven’t been to many cities.*
*Fun fact: I’ve been to the capitol of China, but not the capitol of Australia.
Funner fact: There are more people in the capitol of China than in THE WHOLE OF AUSTRALIA.
11. What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
a) Moxie enlists the help of her nerdy friend, Khalida, (who is coincidentally from Pakistan if you’re interested) to help her figure out how to get rid of a ghost. Khalida suggests burning bones. Thomas declines.
b) Moxie’s uncle (who runs a comic-book-flavoured coffee shop) makes a mint mocha the day someone is murdered.
c) Thomas informs everyone he is living proof that books do, in fact, kill.
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?
While I consider it equally Thomas and Moxie’s story…I have to admit, Moxie has more to work with. She has a great relationship with her dad and uncle*. And Moxie has a fabulous friend who will solve all her problems.
But Moxie and Thomas have the most electric relationship, since they depend on each other hugely. Moxie can hear when Thomas talks. And Thomas can’t go far unless Moxie carries his book.
* She also has a good relationship with their delicious coffee shop…gosh, she has a fabulous relationship with their chocolate chip biscotti.
13. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Moxie grows a little taller. Thomas doesn’t because he’s…you know…dead.
I also hope Thomas learns manners and Moxie realises she can still have a wild and glorious life even if she’s deaf.
But no promises.
14. Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?
If I get inspired, I’ll change it. But for now…OH MY SWEET WOOLLEN SOCKS! I do have a wicked ending. It includes:
– a graveyard
– a family reunion
– a Batman coffee cup
– another murder
15. What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
Cait is neck deep in edits of her sci-fi. She meant to write it to limber up her fingers for NaNo. But…she grossly overestimated her abilities. She’s got 20K down, and 50K to go. Calculations indicated she needs to write at least 5K a day and HA. Let’s just say that ain’t happening. She just finished a Terry Pratchett graphic novel. She’s thinking about coffee.