I prattle on about dragons a lot for someone who has NEVER WRITTEN A BOOK ABOUT DRAGONS. It’s shameful. I am ashamed. So when I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year, it’s basically only* to rectify my shame and fix the dragon shaped hole in my writing life.
* Also last year was ridiculous fabulous and I wrote The Dead Boy and the Paper Cut and had the most fun of my life. That too. That teeny tiny little thing too.
Today I’m introducing you to my NaNoWriMo novel! I’m linking up with my own link up, Beautiful Books, because a) it’s fabulous, and b) the questions are seriously awesome, and c) I’m absolutely modest and humble about Sky and my abilities to host a link up. You DON’T have to be doing NaNo to join in, though! Jump over here and grab the questions and link up whenever you want!
You can also friend me on the NaNo website if you like. Although juuuust so you know I will be finished my book in the first week. I AM ANNOYING LIKE THAT.
1. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR YOUR NOVEL, AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD THE IDEA?
It was a dream! Which makes no sense, because the dream was about 3 siblings on a roadtrip and contains no dragons, no Japan, no wars, and no snow. SO BASICALLY THE DREAM = NOTHING LIKE MY BOOK AT ALL. It doesn’t even have three siblings in it anymore. What is my life. What is inspiration.
Apart from that — my idea also sparked from the shame that I had NOT written a dragon book. I love dragons. They like shiny things, they like to eat annoying people, they live in caves…what is not to love here? There’s a 98.9% chance that I am a dragon.
Once I get an idea (aka: dragons) I just start layering in things that amuse me until I have a book.
- dragons that breath ice and frost
- set in a sort of dystopic Japan after a dragon war
- an abundance of sushi
- a roadrip
- a murder mystery
- so. much. sushi.
And here we are.
2. WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO WRITE THIS NOVEL?
BECAUSE DRAGONS! Is there anything cooler?! And I’m excited because it’ll be my first murder mystery. I have studiously studied a LOT of Sherlock Holmes, Elementary and Psych episodes and am totally prepared.
3. WHAT IS YOUR NOVEL ABOUT, AND WHAT IS THE TITLE?
I’ve unaffectionately called it Did You Lie About The Dragon? because I’m horrible at titling. Now, as a massive surprise, I’ll tell you what it’s about — there are LIES and DRAGONS. (You did not see that coming!)
You can read my full blurb on my NaNo Profile, but if you’d like it briefly and badly summed up:
It’s about 16-year-old Matsumoto Mo who wakes up to his family frozen to death by an ice dragon. Since he is an ice dragon and looks guiltily suspicious, he decides to be an idiot and runs away, taking his little brother and BFF with him. Teenagers are smart and make good life decisions, don’t you think? It’s a roadtrip to find the murderer. Everyone is an unreliable narrator. I am an unreliable writer. You will not see the twist coming because, if you ever read this book, you’ll close your eyes 99% of the time because it’ll be scary and terrible.
4. SUM UP YOUR CHARACTERS IN ONE WORD EACH.
- MO (16YO PROTAGONIST): lost
- PATRICK (5YO BROTHER): imaginative
- RUBY (16YO NEIGHBOUR AND CHILDHOOD BFF): hiding
- RUBY’S PA (WHO NEEDS NAMES?): duty
- TARK (FATHER OF MO): vengeful
- SUMI (MOTHER OF MO): devious (also dead)
- GRANDPARENTS: deceived (yup, dead too)
Look, half the cast is dead after the first few chapters. I’m sorry. These things happen.
5. WHICH CHARACTER(S) DO YOU THINK WILL BE YOUR FAVOURITE TO WRITE ABOUT? TELL US ABOUT THEM!
It’s by the point-of-view of Mo, who will be sassy (I HAVE TO WRITE THEM ALL THIS WAY, IT JUST HAPPENS) but also incredibly awkward and clumsy. I always look forward to sassy/awkward characters.
6. WHAT IS YOUR PROTAGONIST’S GOAL, AND WHAT STANDS IN THE WAY?
His goal is to find the murderer. Everything stands in his way — including not knowing who the murderer is. And also, he has like half the country trying to track him down. Also he has epilepsy and can’t drive which is awkward when one goes on a roadtrip.
7. WHERE IS YOUR NOVEL SET? SHOW US PICTURES IF YOU HAVE THEM.
I shall leave you with my glorious pinterest board! But, also, it’s set in a re-imagined futuristic Japan. My world has the “after-the-dragons-destroyed-everything-and-then-humans-got-the-rule-back” sort of set up. My fictional city is VERY multicultural, with most people being like mixed race. (Both Mo and Ruby are mixed race…Mo being 1/2 Japanese, and Ruby being 1/4.)
8. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP YOUR CHARACTER HAS?
It’s probably the relationship between my brother duo. There’s quite an age gap between Mo (16) and his half brother Patrick (5) and they do NOT get on to start with. Mostly because eeeeverybody loves Patrick. (He is human.) And everybody is scared of Mo (he is half dragon). A roadtrip with a side dish of murder sorts them out.
9. HOW DOES YOUR PROTAGONIST CHANGE BY THE END OF THE NOVEL?
Well he spends a lot of time thinking he’s going to be killed, but he DOESN’T DIE! So that’s fantastic! He also stops trying not to be a dragon, and accepts himself for who he is. Because that’s mushy and adorable.
10. WHAT THEMES ARE IN YOUR BOOK? HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR READERS TO FEEL WHEN THE STORY IS OVER?
OH WAIT. NO! I REMEMBER! I have several themes, all of which I’ll share:
- Don’t be mean to dragons or they’ll eat you.
- Don’t run away from a crime scene, duh.
- Don’t take your best friend on a road trip when her dad is in the military because a) her dad will come to get her back, and b) she’s probably heavily armed with guns, ammo, and knives and that’s not good news when you’re trying to look innocent.
- Always take care of your little brother, because you’re family.
I want my readers to come away feeling devastated and betrayed by me, a wondrous author, who will let a dragon eat their feels.
BONUS! TELL US YOUR 3 BEST PIECES OF ADVICE FOR OTHERS TRYING TO WRITE A BOOK IN A MONTH.
- Don’t edit as you write! JUST WRITE. Even if it’s rubbish, even if it’s full of adverbs and passive wording and you know your character changed outfits like 359 times in one chapter. JUST WRITE. Edit later.
- Make writing fun for yourself! Whether it’s finding pins on pinterest, or tweeting a snippet or a goal, or blogging about your book — do IT. Although don’t let it become procrastination.
- Bribe yourself. Dudes, if all else fails, totally just bribe yourself. You get cake after 10,000-words. You get your own dragon at 25,000. You get to buy a planet at 40,000. Once you reach 50,000, you can get one of those super cool and shiny villain capes and then start your evil rule.