Beautiful Books| I JUST REALLY LOVE THIS BOOK + Meet the Characters

Well hello there friends. 

NaNoWriMo was super fun. I won (go me!), and I could have won a lot earlier but surprise surprise, I AM LAZY.

In the first 5 days I wrote 30,000 words, and more words until the 14th. And I won on the 19th! It's my best NaNo yet. Next year I'm going to see if I can win on the 15th.

Anyway: I didn't have to time to participate in Beautiful Books during November, so I'm doing the October Beautiful Books December. Why yes, I am behind, thank you for noticing.

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
Over a year ago, I had the lovely idea for a book that strayed from my usual ideas (magical creatures and the fantastic in far away lands). So instead of that usual boring old stuff, I'm writing about magical creatures and the fantastic in Portland! Ever since then, I've plotted and prepared this novel, dying to write it! I couldn't wait for NaNoWriMo to start it, so I began writing in September (though I have more than enough story to write 50,000 words. I have enough story that if my book became a sentient monster, it would be Godzilla)

Describe what your novel is about!
The elevator pitch (which I have learned does not mean you have to work an elevator into the story) is the best synopsis I have right now. 
A magical murder mystery in Portland. 
There's nothing like a bit of magic to spice up a murder. My goal is write it for the middle-grade age range, Lemony Snicket-esque (think narrator cloaked in mystery and awkward social habits. Then again, that's usually me every day)

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

raindrop races. skateboarding ghost. older brothers. giant mugs of tea. wild things trapped in pretty packages. death threats on floral paper. 

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
I make a cup of tea, I set an outrageous word goal for the day (which I usually end up reducing by the end of day, or crying and sleep-deprived), and I write as much as I can.

But I absolutely need a fresh mug of tea at all times. It's my whiskey (if whiskey were much nicer to drink, and felt like a hug instead of a punch in the throat)

What are your book’s themes? 
I never go into a story with a particular message that I want to convey, but there's a few that popped up. 
  • Forgiveness is the bravest thing one can do. 
  • Constant distrust is a lonely place.
  • Everyone needs help.
Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?
My mental state now is great. My mental state during NaNoWriMo was great.

I hate to be one of those people, but NaNo isn't stressful for me. Granted, I have no life, so I have lots and lots of free time dedicated to writing.

As far as how my novel is going? It's complicated. I like the length of 90,000 words for a first draft. Right now I'm at 90,000 and I'm only 2/3 of the way done.

And to make matters even better, it's a first draft, so I've let it go any direction it wants. I've let it explore every little fun pathway (and even a few dangerous pathways, too. Like, the paths that lead to bears and death). This is going to be a beast to edit (and not the fantastic kind).

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
Okay, so it's not my favorite, and I'm going to for sure rewrite it. BUT HERE IT IS:

"Silver webs and shining dew coated Sophie’s tights."

Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

Though if I had to pick one (which is very hard because I am a loving mother who has no favorites), I would pick the main character, Sophie. And it's rare for me to pick the main character of anything as a favorite, even my own books.

Meet the Characters + A Few Snippets

Sophie. 13. She is a Gryffindor, desperately trying to prove to herself and everyone around her that she is, in fact, as brave as a lion. She really misses her home in Ireland.

Sophie was alone in the house, sitting at the coffee table in the lobby, equal parts nervous and excited for the moment her aunt walked through the door. She had tried to rehearse what she would say (but then again, she always rehearsed what she would say, even when she was doing something as simple as ordering food).
She took another sip of her tea, keeping her eye on the clock.
The seconds ticked by quickly.
Then the seconds began to drag along.
Sophie groaned, staring at her empty mug of tea. “This is ridiculous. It’s been hours!” She tried to calucate how long it had really been. She scrunched up her face, “Stupid math.”

It had been two hours. And it had felt like two hours.

Aunt Marvella. 36. She is a Slytherin through and through. She's addicted to the feeling of helping people. Edging on the point of self-destructiveness.

Sophie cupped her hand around the to-go cup, foregoing the chopsticks (or utensils of any kind, really) and slurping her rice.
Her aunt snorted. “That’s disgusting!”
Yes it was, and she never would have gotten away with it at home.
Her aunt finished her food and started the car, “Time to go back home.”
“Aunt, where is home exactly?”
Her aunt cut her eyes to Sophie, “You do know my name, right?”
Sophie shrugged, her cheeks burning and her pride smarting. How much more embarrassed could she be? She didn’t know her own aunt’s name? “I forgot.”
“Clearly I am not a hot topic in the Murphy household, but I didn’t think I would be. My name is Marvella. You can call me Aunt Marv.”

Fay. 15. Hufflepuff pride!!!! (despite the fact that I am not Hufflepuff) He's just a smol, half-dryad half-human boy lookin' for some friends. It doesn't help that his mother is very embarrassing and likes to shout about how he has no friends.
He considers his name a cruel joke seeing as "fay" is just another word for fairy (though I think it's spelled a bit differently, like "fae" or something fancy like that, but it sounds the same).

The ghost was sent swirling, spinning wildly. The panic that flashed through the ghost's hazy features suggested that it wasn’t on purpose. As the light returned and the ghost swept up the staircase like a rush of mist, Sophie saw that standing just behind where the ghost previously was, was a boy about her age, holding a hair dryer and comic book. He held the hair dryer -- still on -- in one hand, and the comic book in the other, flipping pages with his nose, reading intently.
Sophie shielded her face. “Okay, you can turn it off now, thank you very much.”
He didn’t so much as glance up, but switched it off and continued flipping through the comic book.
Sophie cleared her throat. “Excuse me?”
He jumped and dropped his comic book. “Gahh! You’re still here? I assumed you ran screaming out the door. It’s not often the customers stick around after seeing a ghost.”
Sophie crossed her arms. “I’m not like most customers.”

“Apparently.” He blinked slowly, as if he couldn’t be bothered to do anything fast paced. “You lost? Or just browsing?”

Nick (aka Spooky). 19. Again, Hufflepuff pride! I was very conflicted over whether he was Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, but then I thought about how in love he is with his kitten and how much he treasures his make-shift tiny sister (aka Sophie). He's such a Hufflepuff. 
Oh, and he likes to put a sheet on himself and pretend to be a ghost to scare people despite the fact that he's already a ghost.

The figure, Nick, got to his feet and grinned. “Sorry, Sophie is it? Well, I guess you know I’m Nick. Nice to meet you.” He reached out his hand to shake her’s, but as she got to her feet from where she sat, he floated off the ground again, gliding towards her with his outstretched hand.
She jerked away, falling back into the couch cushions.
Her aunt swatted at the boy, her hand sailing right through him, sending his shoulder into a small whirlwind before it settled back to it’s proper place. “Be nice! Can’t you see she’s terrified?”
Nick stopped short, lowering his hand slowly. “Oh. Yeah. Sorry. I’m, uh, kind of not alive.” He gestured back to the sheet. “I was trying to scare you, and I’m really sorry.”
Sophie blinked rapidly, “Hold up. Go back a bit. You’re not…”
Nick leaned closer, finishing her sentance when she couldn’t seem to. “Alive. I’m not alive.”
She nodded wordlessly, her mind working hard to arrange everything neatly. “Which means…”

“I’m a ghost.” He grinned. “Love your accent.”

This November really was the best one yet. I am so in love with Strange Sights. It's really just one giant, self-indulgent love-letter to tea, and kittens, and softly lit Venetian mortuaries. I'm actually excited to read over it and start to rewrite it. (Imagine, someone being excited to begin the editing process. AM I HUMAN??? Has my brain been invaded? Has Jerry finally broken down and murdered me in my sleep after one-too-many jokes about his lack of opposable thumbs? Who knows.)

Look at that! My first time posting snippets! Granted, these are unedited snippets from NaNoWriMo, BUT THEY'RE SNIPPETS, so you're welcome. :P How did NaNo go for you? And are you able to pick favorites from your characters?





    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings


  2. 30k in 5 days?! Wow, that's impressive! Congrats on your win!

    1. Thanks! I'm pretty sure I no longer have fingers. XD

  3. I'm still snickering- I love the idea of a ghost pretending to be a ghost! and this piece here is priceless: "The ghost was sent swirling, spinning wildly. The panic that flashed through the ghost's hazy features suggested that it wasn’t on purpose. As the light returned and the ghost swept up the staircase like a rush of mist, Sophie saw that standing just behind where the ghost previously was, was a boy about her age, holding a hair dryer and comic book. He held the hair dryer -- still on -- in one hand, and the comic book in the other, flipping pages with his nose, reading intently."

    1. Thanks, I thought it was quite funny as well. And I love how casual Fay is about the fact that he's getting rid of a ghost with a hairdryer. XD

  4. Your snippets and characters are so good! And well done for completing NaNoWriMo on time with so many words!

    And always remember there are people looking forward to your books in the future. Keep writing <3

    1. Thank you so much! Posting snippets is scARY (especially when they're unedited lol), but I'm glad to hear that you liked them. :)

      Aw, you're so sweet. :) <3

  5. Wow sounds really cool! AND YOUR CHARACTERS!!! <3

    Anyway, hello. I'm Lisa and just followed you recently ^.^ You have a very nice blog!!!


  6. The elevator pitch for your novel is awesome! I want to read it. It sounds whimsical and magical but also edgy and dark. I DIG IT. You're seriously inspiring me to write with your enthusiasm for your novel and all the awesome answers you wrote for the Creatives Projects post. And GAH you slay me with these Jerry quips. Love it!

    1. Thank you! As soon as it's readable, I'll let you know. ;)
      Yay! Go, write, win!! Aw, thanks!


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