What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Character. Wild was a girl in another short I had written, one that I might post if I ever find the file. I was writing with the prompt, “Your character must protect what is hers” and I wrote about this feral woman protecting a field that people were trying to develop. In that versaion, she was much older, much more feral, and she could transform into a lion. She was also ginger. I took her, made her younger, made her more fair, gave her a dog and an uncle, and then decided from her personality what the plot would be. I am most certainly a plotter, so I need to get outlining to hammer out the details.
Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”?
It’s called Colors of the Sky and here is the terrible description:
Wild has been running her whole life from the power she never asked for. She does everything she can to push her dark secret from her mind, determined to fill her life with excitement and fun. When a band of outlaws comes to her with a proposition to infiltrate the royal castle and switch places with the princess, she immediately accepts the job.
Daivat’s life has always been structured and orderly. He wakes every day at dawn and practices tirelessly at his sword work and archery. His dream is to be a member of the king’s personal guard, but first he must prove himself by keeping an eye on the imposter princess while she fools visiting nobles into thinking she’s real royalty.
Wild and Daivat’s personalities collide. Can Daviat bring order to Wild’s life, or will Wild awaken something Daivat has never felt before?
What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
Completely finished? 75,000 – 85,000. I probably won’t get much further than 50,ooo at the end of November though.
Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
A wild girl has to learn to be proper in order to impersonate a princess. She falls in love with her guard while the real princess must deal with the outlaws that kidnapped her. When Wild’s secret is exposed, she’s threatened to go on the run once more, evading those who seek to end her life.
Sum up your characters in one word each.
Wild (since I assume I can’t use her name): Enthusiastic
Roseabel (whose name I forgot): Spoiled
Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them!
Wild, for sure. She is super excited about everything in life, and she thinks that pretending to be a princess is just one big game. She’s naïve enough to constantly get herself in trouble, but she’s quick-witted enough to get herself out again. Because of her, the book is going to be full of energy and fun.
What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
There isn’t really a villain. Quade is a bit of an asshole, but in his own way he wants what’s best for Wild. In the end, she’s hunted down, but that’s still not really out of maliciousness. The outlaws are obviously outlaws, but none of them are overtly evil.
What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
Wild just wants to have fun. She constantly fears her secret coming out and revealing itself, so she is her own worst enemy.
What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
An injured outlaw staggers into Wild’s field. She takes him back to her cave to heal him, and then takes him to where he was supposed to meet with his outlaw friends.
Where is your novel set?
The medieval fantasy world of Arium. Specifically, the kingdom of Eskia.
What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
- When the queen decides to allow Wild to continue pretending to be the princess instead of having her put to death. Not only does the queen come to care for Wild, but Roseabel (I am totally spelling that wrong) was promised to the crowned prince of Blairford, and since the kingdoms have been on the verge of war for years, the queen is afraid that if they don’t produce a bride for the wedding, Blairford will call it off.
- When Wild jumps Daivat. Literally jumps. He is not amused, but he softens up eventually…
- When Wild’s secret is revealed. No, I’m not telling anyone what the secret is. Y’all will have to read it when it comes out.
What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
I have to say with Quade. Her relationship with Daivat is pretty straightforward, but Quade is different. She doesn’t know he’s her uncle in the beginning, and she gets quite mad when he reveals it, because she’s never had any real family, and in the end he tells her that her mother is actually alive. The entire time, he’s been raising her waiting for her to display her secret, though he thinks he nature of her secret is MUCH different. He’s been doing it out of duty, not love, so the feelings between them are a little complicated.
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
She learns to be much more level-headed. She doesn’t push people’s boundaries as much and she learns to just be calm sometimes.
Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?
I see Wild running away with Daivat with hounds at their heels. Quade finds them and takes them to his secret hideaway, with lots of interesting spoilers. Her and Daivat decide to see the world and sail away, waving to the readers as they go (not really).
What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
I just hope that it’s as fun for the readers as I envision it. It’s going to be a lot of the character finding herself, so I hope that girls of that age (18-25) will be able to connect to it because of that, but also that people will be drawn in by the characters and the plot. I’m not aiming for anything deep here, I just want to write an enjoyable book that others will like.