Today I am doing the Beautiful Books link-up from Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up And Further In. I’ve never done one of these before, so I’m pretty excited to do this. I will be introducing my novel(la) that I’m working on for this NaNo and that I’m currently attempting to plot out and worldbuild. The working title is Arevik, but as soon as I complete my first draft I want to change it to something that fits better. It’s not going to be a full novel if all goes according to plan, more like a long novella. (About 50,000 words or something.)
What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
Last winter, an small scene appeared in my mind. I have no clue why it came, but it was around February. In it, a young woman returned home to her mother. I didn’t know why she had left, but it was because of some disagreement that she and her mother were actively avoiding in their conversation, and I knew that she hadn’t come home to stay. Originally I thought that it would be the opening scene, and then I thought it would be in the first half of the novel, and now I doubt it will be in there at all. But that little image did give me the idea for Arevik.
Describe what your novel is about!
Basically a rebellion, but hopefully it’s not like the typical rebellion in a book. I’m not trying to be “different” but I am taking note of common aspects in books about rebellion/overthrowing the current government and trying to avoid doing the same as so many other books.
So. Arevik is a mostly-desert country in a fantasy world that was a monarchy up until about 100 years before the story begins. 100 years ago, people got sick of the monarchy and overthrew it, replacing it with an democracy-esque system called the Ealdraed that was supposed to remove such things as nobility and a large class divide and make the country function better and not become corrupt. The Ealdraed is a group of people who are elected, but I’m still figuring out the particulars.
Unfortunately, a country that was a monarchy for centuries doesn’t switch over so quickly and easily. The strains of the previous government continued, the class divide was as large, and everything sort of settled back into its previous ways after a few years. It took a very short time for the Ealdraed to become solely for the wealthy and the powerful and those with old families.
It’s about a century after the first rebellion, and people are getting restless again. My main character, Amala, is a university student in the capital city who joins the second rebellion.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
I don’t know if those really make up an aesthetic, but that’s pretty much the state of Arevik right now.
Introduce us to each of your characters!
Oh goodness. My characters are one of the least-developed parts of my world at the moment, which really isn’t good at all. I’m going to skip this one for now and either come back and edit it in the future or just let you meet my cast through Character Studies, Beautiful People, and other things like that.
How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
Stocking up on tea. Lots of tea. Preferably a specific type (vanilla comoro) but that’s beside the point.
Erm… I am also frantically attempting to worldbuild and plot and have a cohesive idea before November strikes, so there’s also that.
What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Definitely the political-ness. At first I didn’t know why my novel kept getting more and more political, when I didn’t really care for that, but after a long discussion with my brother about the politics and the history and stuff like that in Arevik yesterday, I am hyped.
List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
- It’s very sandy and dry because it’s a desert.
- It’s very full of tension because there’s a ton of people who have joined the rebellion, and they all disagree but they all want to do something about the Ealdraed.
- It’s fantasy, but non-magical fantasy with technology levels from around the 1400s.
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Amala wants to reform the Ealdraed (along with a bunch of other people in the rebellion). History, and its ties to the present, sort of stand in her way. She’s also blocked by the government, and sort of by tradition?
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Amala realizes that the world isn’t as simple as it seemed, but she learns that there is more hope in it than she expected. She also learns that even if she disagrees with someone violently, they’re still a person with feelings and flaws and love–not an opinion that walks around.
What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
I don’t want to be all spoilery, so I’m going to be very vague answering this. The themes include different types of happiness, I guess, and the different ways people achieve them. Trying to change the way the world works is another theme running through the book. It’s ambitious and doesn’t always do what you expect.
I want the reader to feel fulfilled and slightly hopeful for the future of my characters. I don’t want them to be disappointed, but accepting and realistic, I guess?
I’m not that sure.
But my answer to the second part, especially the “disappointed” bit, make Arevik sound like it’ll be fine, and only fine, and not better… which is certainly won’t be if I can help it.
So what do you think of Arevik? And if you’re doing NaNo this year, what’s the project that you’re going to be working on?