Taking a break from NaNoWriMo to participate in this fun little tag, which my friend and fellow “scribbler”/NaNoite,* Melody Muffin, featured on her blog recently. The tag originates on Christine’s blog, Musings of an Elf. Check out her post for more details.
Sadly, the link-up for this part of the tag is now closed, but Christine says she’ll post Part Two this month.
* NaNoite = Participant in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo/NaNo)
Below, I’ll share tidbits about my current NaNo WIP, Princess Starflower. I had already started jotting down some notes and a couple snippets (which I will be re-writing word-for-word to keep my project “legal,” LOL) a year ago, but not much. I chose it as my NaNo projects because it seemed like something I could write a bit less intensely than Prince Nácil or any of my other Ýdära books.
Shout-out to Shawn P., a long-time friend who suggested (last Summer, but hey, better late than never, wot?) that I participate in NaNo . It was kinda cool he even remembered I write books, so...here we are. 😊
OK, enough rambling. On to the Tag!
~All photos via Pinterest~
1. What first sparked the idea for this novel? A dream I had in November 2017, which was a mashup of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but also featured a live Nutcracker. It seemed like a cool basis for a novel, so I started jotting down ideas and snippets. I know it’s kind of a strange mix, but it totally works!
2. Share a blurb! *Suddenly realizes she stinks at thinking up blurbs* Um...y’all can read the one I wrote for my NaNo page....
3. Where does the story take place? In the fictional Kingdom of Ardonia, ruled by the Moon King and Star Queen.
What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting? *Sheepish* I...actually haven’t given much thought to the setting, apart from the fact that Our Heroine and her family live in a Castle, and there’s a creepy wood at the border of the kingdom called the Forest of the Night. As usual, I’m focusing more on the characters and the interactions more than the world they live in. *So lame*
4. Tell us about your protagonist. Princess Starflower, AKA the “Snow White”/“Clara”-character of this story. Our Heroine is a bit shy and prefers quiet activities like reading, embroidery, and playing Let’s Pretend with her toys, but she can be friendly and outgoing with people she knows.
Oddly enough, the male lead in this story—Liam, the character inspired by Drosselmeir’s apprentice—gets quite a bit of POV, too, so I guess he’s the secondary protagonist. I hadn’t intended it, but...well, it just felt right. ;-P Liam is quiet and thoughtful, a bit shy, but kind and empathic. He has a highly-developed power of observation and justice. (Really, so many of my “boys” are such sweethearts!)
|(LOL, this reminds me of Diana Rigg's|
portrayal in the Cannon MovieTale film!)
5. Who (or what) is the antagonist? Starflower’s aunt, Frau Ratzenburger, a bitter, scheming woman with ambitions for setting up her eldest son, Fritz, as Moon King...no matter what it takes.
6. What excites you the most about this novel? Finally making a literal dream into a reality!
7. Is this going to be a series? Standalone? Something else? Standalone.
8. Are you plotting? Pantsing? Plansting? Totally Plansting. I wrote out a basic outline/list of plot-points I wanted for the story, but actually writing the actual story between the plot-points has proved...*interesting.* “Filler” always seems to have a mind of its own....
9. Name a few things that makes this story unique. Probably the fact that it’s a mash-up of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the Nutcracker Ballet, with nods to E.T.A Hoffmann’s original story. I’m weaving in bits from the live performances of the Ballet my family have seen, and scenes inspired by them (the interaction between Our Heroine and the Nephew/Apprentice in particular). Also, the Evil Queen in this retelling is the protagonist's aunt, not her step-mother, and the Fritz-character is her eldest cousin, not her brother. (Fun fact: In my dream, the Evil Queen/Queen of the Night actually was Starflower’s stepmother—she tricked the King into thinking the real Queen was dead so he’d marry her—but I decided that might be a bit...awkward...for a children’s story. And I just realized I gave y’all a spoiler. Aw well. ;-))
10. Share a fun “extra” 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 want to share!). My Pinterest board for this book: ~Click Me!~
The Nutcracker Suite.* I listened to this several times while writing the Royal Christmas Party scene. I usually don’t listen to music while writing—the images conjured up move more quickly than my fingers can type!—but it was necessary to get the “feel” of the dances, and their basic chronology.
* We actually have this on CD, but I didn’t want to lug the player u pto my room. Plus my headphones have better sound, LOL. My only beef with this version is that it omits several of the Party Dances and the Waltz of the Snowflakes.
Enjoy some of my favorite snippets so far:
The Queen jumped and threw a saucy grin at her husband. “Ah! My lord, I did not hear you approach. Fie, for shame, to startle a woman with child.”
“I’m certain you shall come to forgive me in time.” He kissed her tenderly. “As for our Small One yonder”—patting the Queen’s belly—“I would be very much surprised if it looked aught but how you’ve described, considering our own complexions.” He gave her dark locks a playful tug and pinched her rosy cheek as he spoke. “The real question will be whether God shall bless us with a fair daughter to inherit your soft curls and dark eyes, or a strapping son blessed with my manly physique.” He struck a heroic pose, meriting a laugh from the Queen.
“But she’s so pretty, Uncle,” Liam protested. “That is—well, they do say she’s the fairest maiden in the kingdom. She’d never even look at a plain fellow like me.”
“Pish-posh!” Herr Weisskopf chuckled. “You’re not so plain as you style yourself, my boy, and in any case, you’ve not done growing yet. Remember; every majestic oak-tree was once a spindly little sapling. Like them, you’ll soon grow out of your awkward stage and rise to become something better. Just keep telling yourself, ‘I am an oak-tree.’”
Starflower glared up at him. “I don’t want to dance with you, you great bully.” A tear slid down her cheek, and she hugged the nutcracker to her heart.
Fritz began to reply, extending his hand to her in a way that made her anxious.
Liam stepped protectively in front of her. “The Princess says she doesn’t want to dance with you,” he growled.
Fritz stopped short, eyes wide in astonished outrage.
Liam gulped, but stood firm.
“Hold your tongue, little man,” Fritz sneered. “You forget yourself. Or do you not realize whom you are addressing?” He looked down his nose at Liam, head held high, his whole being radiating hauteur.
Liam lifted his chin. “I may not be of noble birth, mein herr,” he retorted, “but I’m more of a gentleman than you are.”
The air around her and Liam seemed to sparkle, and a blueish light shone about them. Liam suddenly jumped up and extended his hand, and to Staflower’s astonishment, she found herself taking it. She and Liam skipped and spun across the dance floor, waltzing in unison as though they’d been taking lessons together all their lives.
“Princess!” Frau Ratzenburger’s sharp voice scolded.
The blue light disappeared. The sparkles vanished. Liam and Starflower halted in mid-step and stood looking at each other in confusion.
I don’t tag anyone, because the only two people left on the Blogosphere that I actually know have already done it. :-P Eagerly awaiting Parts Two and Three!
Until next time, Gentle Readers,