Beautiful books is a meme hosted by Cait @paper fury and Sky @further up and further in in which writers discuss their current writing projects. This time the theme is “Introducing your NaNoWriMo Novel.”
Since I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this November, I’ve opted to write about the first draft I wrote last summer.
Edit 10/25/17: Disclaimer: Everything written here is subject to change.
What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I was inspired by a news article I read about pig embryo with human cells, with the suggestion that people in the future might use pigs as organ donors. An article like this one.
The idea captivated me so much I wrote a short story not long after. At first, it seemed too ridiculous an idea to base a full novel around, but I was still so enthusiastic about these characters and had more positive beta reader feedback than I expected. So, I turned it into a novel length work.
I wrote the short story around last March, so that should give some idea of the timeline.
Describe what your novel is about!
It’s a young adult science fiction novel about Lyle, a teenager who’s only allowed off his parents’ property for doctors visits. Sometimes not even then. One day, Lyle discovers his parents had another child before him. One they intend to sacrifice Lyle to get back. At least, that’s how Lyle sees it, anyway.
Everything Lyle knows about the world beyond his backyard he learned from the few websites he was allowed to visit, his parents’ constant warnings, and peoples’ snide comments about him. Yet, Lyle’s only way to escape a fate he considers worse than death is to find a way to survive in a place he’s only glanced through the glass of a car window.
After running away, Lyle soon ends up trapped. If Lyle doesn’t reveal his identity, he will be killed in two weeks. Now Lyle’s only hope is to escape his imprisonment and avoid being recognized before the two weeks are up.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
I hate to say it, but most of the description in my novel is disgusting. Like, while I was writing the first draft I had to skim on some of the concrete details because the visualization was making me gag. It all serves a purpose of setting up the dark, dreary atmosphere, though, so I guess that’s okay?
Introduce us to each of your characters!
Uh, there are a lot of characters. Twenty-four in my Scrivener character description files, to be exact, and, no doubt, more that I haven’t made a file for. Most of them don’t have names yet. It takes me forever, yes, even past draft one, to pick names out. For the sake of keeping this a reasonable length, I’ll have to sit this one out.
How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
I’m an outliner. In fact, some of my outlines have been known to reach 10,000 words. Fortunately, this outline was only a little over 5,000 words. So, you know, keeping it brief, LOL.
What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Well, I’ve already written the first draft. To be honest, that was what I most looked forward to. Now, I’m looking forward to having the whole thing edited enough I feel comfortable with someone else reading it.
List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
There are a lot of settings.
- One of them is a barn.
- Another is a suburban high school.
- A third is a hospital.
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Lyle wants people, especially those he cares about, to accept him for who he his. His physical appearance and physical ability stand in his way often, as do a number of individuals who literally keep him trapped, and Lyle’s own ignorance.
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Lyle grows more confident, more firm, and less trusting.
What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
I try not to think of themes in my own works. I worry they make my work too preachy. While the story gets bleak sometimes, I want to leave readers hopeful for the future.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo next month? Have you decided not to participate but work on something anyway like me? Anyone revising a first draft?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!