Beautiful Books 2017 - Of Traitors and Tricksters

   We all know what month is coming. No, not just November. National Novel Writing Month. The month where writers go crazy trying to write 50,000 words of a story, stay up late or get up early to frantically type, whine about lack of sleep and bad writing, and come together as a community. It's both crazy and amazing.

   For this NaNoWriMo, I'm going to try and write half of the draft of Of Traitors and Tricksters. And yes, I say half, because most of my stories end up being over 100K. But November is already going to be crazy, so we'll see!

   To help me prepare for it, I'm going to be linking up with Beautiful Books, similar to Beautiful People, except it focuses on the story as a whole instead of a character. It's hosted by the wonderful Cait@Paper Fury and Sky@Further Up and Further In.

  To the questions!

1) What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
Of Traitors and Tricksters (OTAT) came to me with a single word: traitor. According to my writing progress/idea journal, the idea came on the 4th of July (interesting timing for all you Americans!), and these were the first few lines entered about it.
Story Idea: About a traitor, who starts the story about to be executed. The opening line is something along the lines of---"The execution papers are all in order."


2) Describe what your novel is about.


Here is a blurb that you can find on the recently updated My Writing page:

Bakari is a traitor. Promised to be healed of a condition that makes even walking difficult, he kills the prince, his master. When he's betrayed and caught with a bloody knife, the royal family sentences him to execution by magic at dawn. Yet as the sun rises, the magicians discover he may be harder to kill than they thought.


       Ebonee is an entertainer. Having fled from a rogue magician gang with her younger sister, she now dances for their food in the palace. But old friends and enemies are not finished with her yet, and want one last favour... A favour that could free her from their clutches forever. All she has to do is perform one tiny trick.

How harmful could it be?



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

Since I am horrible at finding appropriate images, here are some word aesthetics for you:


Red dust + broken leather sandals + sunset setting pyramids aflame + cold limestone and hot hands + bones cracking + bare feet dancing + strings fingering shards of shattered souls + red painted knife + star littered balconies = Of Traitors and Tricksters


4) Introduce us to each of your characters!


Here are the major characters!

Bakari: Traitor, murderer, past servant, loyal son, lover of nights full of stars.
Ebonee: Trickster, dancer, protector, one with swirling feet to pounding drums.
Princess Belili: Sorceress, voice soft as smoke and just as potent, fearful of night.
Prince Raad: Heir, inferno heart of hate, back of his mind whispers hopes of true love.
Danyal: Leader, eyes as sharp as his wit, actions grounded in strong beliefs.
Lapis: Dreamer, dancer, thirst for soft linen and necklaces of precious stones.


Ebonee
5) How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I let my ideas simmer in my mind (it's already been four months with this one) and over time bits and pieces come together in my mind. I like starting with characters, then questioning them: "Why would they do that? Did someone make them do that, or was it their own decision? What do they fear? What or who do they love?"

Often I find acting out (in private) scenes between characters, conversations they might have, where they're standing, helps me figure out potential scenes. Do I outline? Pssssh. Maybe three beginning scenes, but after that, it's all a mystery!

6) What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Everything.

Can I not say that? Uh, probably the characters. I'm loving the way both the MCs and antagonists are shaping up, and there is plenty of conflict to be had between them, so writing the conversations between them should be fun!



7) List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

#1--  Ancient Egyptian inspired, with a magical twist.
#2-- Hot during the day as the sun burns through dust, to reflect off limestone palaces, and cool during the evening, when the desert burns from red to blue.
#3-- Buildings etched with stories of a proud kingdom.

8) What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Bakari: Keep his father alive. And...everything stands in the way. I'm not joking.
Ebonee: A peaceful life for herself and her sister. Her past presents a huge obstacle though.

9) How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Well, now you are asking for spoilers. *zips lips shut*



10) What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

Oh dear, it's the dreaded theme question.

The importance of family, and what you will do for them, is a thread that runs through each part of the narrative. As is discovering what defines you and who you are, and the sacrifices you are willing to make to stay true to that, or to become someone else.

As for how I want readers to feel...satisfied, shocked, wide-eyed, and hopefully happy (but considering I have no idea how it will end, we'll have to see about that one).



What are you working on for NaNoWriMo? Which of my characters would you prefer to have tea with? How is your writing going?
Have a wonderful day! <3

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, this sounds so cool! The aesthetic is beyond tantalizing. :)

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    1. Thanks so much!!! Glad you like it. <3

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    1. I take that as a massive compliment, thank you Skye! :)

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  3. Oh interesting! You don't see many stories based off of ancient cultures. Makes me really curious about the world building! And I like the idea of word aesthetics ( I may snag that technique if that's okay).

    Catherine

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    1. It's certainly been a different process to my past world-building experiences! I've needed to do a lottttt more research. xD Go for it! I don't think I own that phrase haha. :) Thanks for commenting Catherine!

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  4. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. it's a different story, I know, but this makes me even more excited for Golden Revenge!!! XD XD

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    1. THANK YOU LILA! <3 Ahhh I'm excited for you to read Golden Revenge too! Thanks for commenting!

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  5. Ooh I'm so intrigued by this and I LOVE your title!! Also ancient Egypt?!? I'M SO EXCITED FOR THAT. I also think your names are super awesome and very unique. ;D I hope this is super fun to write!!

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    1. Thank you Cait!!! :D I AM VERY EXCITED TOO. Aww thanks, they're all actually Ancient Egyptian names, and I just picked ones that I liked from lists of them. :) I hope so too! Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Ooooooh man, Ancient Egypt. *adds to book watch list*

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  7. Eek! This book sounds so awesome, I'm so excited for you! *jumps up and down*

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    1. Eeee thanks Gray! I'm pretty excited too. xD Thank you for commenting!

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  8. WOWOWOW xxx *jumps up and down* this is a genius book in coming and I know it...THAT SNIPPET MELISSA YOU HAVE SO MUCH TALENT. And those word aesthetics and all those hints *dies* Let's just say "I'm eagerly awaiting this book" doesn't even cover how much I want to read it... :) <3

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    1. THANK YOU, YOU ARE SO LOVELY. I'm so very excited to write it and share it with you one day. <3 Thanks for commenting and your kind words Anna!

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  9. Very cool! The book sounds most interesting and YAY for fellow word count rebel! I've only written 2 books but both are at over 100K. Good luck next month. I'll be attempting NaNo myself for the first time, so we'll see how things go.

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    1. Thanks Meka! :) Yay, another word count rebel!!! Glad to know I'm not the only one who has long books haha. xD Good luck to you too, and thank you for commenting! <3

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  10. One question: WHEN CAN I READ IT?!?!? xD

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

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    1. Haha I take that as a really big compliment, so thank you! xD My answer is: as soon as it's ready. ;) Thanks for commenting!

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  11. Ancient Egyptian inspired? Yes please!! I love the sound of your novel, the aesthetic and themes and the SETTING? Ah! How gorgeous! Best of luck next month :)

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    1. Thanks so much Rebecca! I'm very happy you like the sound of it! Best of luck to you too if you're doing NaNo, and thank you for commenting! :D

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  12. I LOVE your characters names! The quotes and descriptions are SO intriguing, and this story sounds like it will be really fun to write!

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    1. Thanks Jameson! :) I'm very glad you like the sound of my story and the characters' names! Thank you so much for commenting! :D

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  13. This sounds so cool! I look forward to reading it when it's done! I can tell from your excerpts and images that you're an excellent writer. :)

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    1. Thanks so much! :) That means a lot. <3 Thank you for your kind words and for commenting!

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  14. I love the Egyptian inspiration! I've always wanted to write a book set in an Egyptian-fantasy world. And that last quote is super good as well! I need this story now, :D. Good luck with NaNo!

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    1. Thanks Chelsea! I've been burning to write one too, which is why I decided to write this story haha. xD I'll be sure to let you know when the book is ready! Thank you for commenting! :)

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  15. I've been hearing about this book for months now and it sounds like a really fun read! Anything set in an Ancient Egypt-like environment catches me interest. Best wishes!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Victoria! I'm glad it's caught your interest. :) Thank you for commenting and best wishes with your writing too!

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  16. This sounds EXCELLENT, Melissa! Good luck writing it. I love that dancing is going to be part of it; I love reading about dancing. My NaNo project is about travelling and realising that you can belong to more than one place, and the exploitation of wild places and it also involves fantasy journalism.

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    1. Thank you Shanti! :D I love both dancing and reading about dancing, so I decided to incorporate them into this book. :) Your NaNo project sounds great! Good luck writing it, and thanks for commenting!

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