Q: What came first: characters or plot idea?
A: the characters, by far. I really had to think hard about what sort of plot to spin around the spirits I had created, and so it's been an interesting experience. To my knowledge, I can't remember creating characters so greatly and having 0 plot ideas whatsoever.
Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A: a little bit of both. I like to have a skeleton idea for my novel's plot, but I tend to fill in details as I go and sometimes, my skeleton is abandoned for ideas I came up with on the spot.
Q: Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”?
A: I do! My title came about the same time as the characters (so yes, I had a title and a cast of characters before even knowing what this book was even going to be about). 'The Arrival of January' has always seemed like an extremely important title, before knowing exactly what January was arriving upon, and why she needed to arrive. Its very interesting, really, how well this book fit its pieces together.
As for blurb...
its a rough one, and when written down on hand, took up a full page. I can't do this blurb thing. help.
Q: What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
A: um. I have literally no idea. hopefully more than 50K, because I would like to finish NaNo, but I can't see this particularly novel being incredibly long winded.
Q: Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
A: one beautiful tragedy.
Q: Sum up your characters in one word each.
A: Channer: Loyal
Q: Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them!
A: Oh definitely January! I really do love all four of them, but Janaury has a special pop that really clicks somewhere deep down inside me, like a sister in the house of joseph (raise your hand if you get that reference, btw). January Jenkins is...remarkably unusual. After the death of her parents, she took to submersing herself into a fantasy world, and despite various therapists and medication, she remained determined to ignore reality, causing her brother, Channer, to realize that his sister's condition was self induced as a way she had chosen to cope with the world.
Years forward into her and Channer's adulthood, she's still just as reclusive and whimsy as before, and Channer has learned to accept his sister's decision to live half in, and half out, of the real world, and in fact, he could be given fault at encouraging.
What I love about January, is that at any time she could choose to wisen up and accept the world, but she's decided to see things differently, and even while being a young woman, she looks for fairies behind every flower and fern, and has a sort of childlike innocence that is so uncorrupted by reality. January is a very competent young woman, but she only insists on staying happy in her own fantasy rather then let her heart be broken by the world. She's refreshing to me.
Q: What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
A: actually, this is the first novel I have where there isn't a villain. If I had to say there was a 'villain', it would be an idea, not a man or a person. Though, January and Channer's aunt is definitely evil too.
Q: What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
A: January's goal is happiness for Channer, she wants her brother to go on and grow wings and not be shackled down by her 'disability'. But of course, her reluctance to let go of her fantasy/reality complex is forever going to stand in the way of Channer ever chasing his own dreams and desires for his life, because to him, his little sister always comes first.
Q: What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
A: meeting Rio is the beginning of January's 'arrival'. Meeting Rio and Ayla makes January realize that reality and the world, while sometimes terrible, must be experienced in order to be happy. hurting is just as much a part of life as loving.
Q: Where is your novel set?
A: somewhere in the south. I'm thinking perhaps Alabama or Georgia? I need sweet tea, cicada noise, lemonade, and peaches.
Q: What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
A: January being introduced to Rio, Ayla and Channer's first date, and a scene towards the end that I can't disclose because, spoilers sweetie.
Q: What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
A: January and Channer's relationship as a family is definitely the strongest. It shows a love that you can't get from anyone else but your close family. As orphans that only had each other, they became each other's worlds, and tied themselves to each other so closely that it isn't at all surprising that later on, their dedication to one another became destructive towards their own happiness in life.
Q: How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
A: she has opened up a lot to the world, to being hurt, and hurting others when its best for them in the long run. She is less selfish with herself, and...she's finally willing to let free the person she had chained to her out of fear of losing that person.
Q: Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?
A: oh yes I do.
Q: 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 your mission statement, one you can look back on when the road gets tough.)
A: is it shallow if I say I want to bring my readers to the highest pinnacle of grief, and then smash their hearts brutally on a rock with a flint hammer and sit back smiling?
hopes and dreams, I just want to break hearts.
sounds about right.
good lord I need a life.
Want to add me as a buddy on the NaNo site? do so -->here<-- are="" buddy.="" i="" just="" know="" let="" me="" might="" nbsp="" not="" otherwise="" request="" return="" send="" the="" when="" who="" you="">
May the odds be ever in our favor this november!
Also, if you are interested, the pinterest board to TAoJ is open to any viewers who want a visual slice of the novel