Today, I'm joining in the linkup, Know the Novel, hosted by Christine Smith. It is directed at those who are doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but you don't have to be doing that to do the linkup (I am one of those people). It is in three parts. So expect another in November and in December.
So, I am going to use my current WIP, Our Scattered Ashes. Since I am working on that one the most right now.
And onto the amazing questions:
1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?
Well, it all started when I had an image of my protagonist, from my first novel, as a cyborg soldier. He was running around in snowy woods, possibly scouting for any threat. Everything kicked off from there.
2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary if you'd prefer)!
This reminds me I should update the blurb on the blog. Things have changed. But the main idea is still the same. Which is...
A young cyborg male has his purpose stripped away when the war ends. Not only that, but his kind are forced to be put asleep - a state where they are still alive but unable to wake up again. His base commander has other ideas though. Instead, he finds himself and his kind are made either to hide away or hide in plain sight - he is the latter.
While still adapting to his new lifestyle, he learns that his twin sister is alive and well - when she should be dead.
This is the rough draft of my new blurb. 😊 When I have polished this up, this will be my official blurb.
3. Where does your story take place? What are some of your favourite aspects about the setting?
It takes place in a dystopian Japan, probably in an important city besides Tokyo (I haven't figured out the details yet). Favourite aspects of this setting is that (1) it has a really different culture from my own, (2) it will have a Japanese style in the worldbuilding, and (3) it is futuristic as well as dystopian, so I can invent and destroy a bunch of things (within logic of course).
4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).
I have only one protagonist, who is a Japanese boy called Smoke. He has been a cyborg soldier for two years, since he was seventeen (he is now nineteen). Being a cyborg is big part of his identity. He is a good fighter, introverted and loves a girl called Blossom. 💕
5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?
I have two antagonists, and they are basically characters who (1) get in the way of the protagonist's goals, (2) and provoke him to anger and frustration. One of them is the villain but I'd rather not say which one it is. I feel I have hinted at who it is around this blog somewhere, but I don't really know if that's the case. If you have no idea, cool. If you do have an idea, I won't confirm it for you. You'll have to live to not knowing (hopefully not forever).
Antagonist 1#: Lon, who is super smart in politics, science and warfare. He is a hard foe since he can argue nearly any case you throw at him and is very logical. He cares deeply for cyborgs and their wellbeing, making it his life goal for them to have a good life, to be more than just weapons or tools in the war. (He is one of my personal favourites. He's been so fun to develop. 😀)
Antagonist 2#: Kayo, who happens to be the younger brother of Lon. He is a cyborg soldier but is also a scientist-in-training. Recently, he was so badly injured in a battle that he can no longer hide the fact he is a cyborg. Which is a huge deal. He personally hates Smoke with a passion for two main reasons, which have actually affected his whole life. So... he has a good reason to hate. (Good job, Smoke, you not only ruin his life once but twice.)
6. What excites you the most about this novel?
It is so many little things. I can't think of just one main thing that makes me excited. I think that using the old, but beloved, cast from my previous novel is exciting. I love that I get to do dystopian, a new genre that I have fallen in love with. I am so excited to create my own take on cyborgs and their situations. And having Japan as a setting will be such an exciting journey to explore and discover.
7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?
It is going to be a four-book series called FHE. It also has a prequel short story that has gone through two drafts already and needs a rewrite (again). And it now has an alternative flash fiction piece too. Who knows what other extras it may have in the future. I have some ideas.
8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?
I am doing both at the moment. I did an outline, wrote, changed the plotline, took a break to brainstorm more, wrote again. Now I need to do another outline but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I have been writing (mostly fixing the scenes I wrote before taking the break). I've been all over the place, but that's part of experimenting the process. I wasn't so chaotic with my first novel, and hopefully I won't be with my next.
9. Name a few unique elements about this story.
I'm not sure if this is unique, but it is set just a little after the big war that changed the whole world and made it reset. My characters are the middle of the reset instead of centuries after the reset. There is no such thing as Utopia in this world. There are barely any rules or laws or a proper society. People who have power are fighting for control rather than they have control. There is no big lie or a huge flaw that everyone accepts. The revolution is morally grey. I haven't read a lot of dystopians yet, but so far none of them have this approach.
It is set in Japan. I have never heard of a book being set in Japan.
There is a disease that can turn people into a cyborg (still figuring out the logics behind this idea, but I love it so much. It's so terrifying cool.)
10. Share some fun "extras" of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you've made, a special theme you're going to incorporate, ANYTHING you what to share!).
I have a Pinterest board and a playlist (technically two, but the second only has the instrumental songs from the first).
The Pinterest board is a work-in-progress. So it is a bit of a mess. The sections are organised by the most important to the least important. https://www.pinterest.com.au/ribbonash/fhe-wip/
And lastly, I want to share my main theme of the series: the value of humans.
And that's it. You can also check out the characters page (also a work-in-progress) if you want a little more information about the characters in this series and the writing projects page for also a little bit more detail about the WIP.
Have a great afternoon.
So what do you think of my current WIP?