Backwards Book #2

Hey, guys! I’ve got another Backwards Book for you today.

If you don’t know how to participate, here are the rules:

  • I create a book cover and post it.
  • You write a summary based on the cover.
  • Post the summary in the comments.
  • If you like your story idea, write it!

Here’s the cover:

backwards-book-2

Stop reading, scroll straight to the comments, and type up a summary. When you’re done with that, come back up to the post to read my idea!

My summary:

We Were Strangers

A young man keeps popping up in Eden Pike’s life. She sees him at college, at her job, on the bus, skulking outside her apartment. Then one day, he disappears. The only sign that he ever existed is the note and photograph of him that Eden discovers in her mailbox. His last message draws Eden out of her sheltered life and thrusts her into a perilous quest to find him. And, as it turns out, the stranger isn’t the only one went missing . . . someone close to Eden’s heart has vanished as well.

I look forward to reading your summaries!

 Loren

NaNoWriMo Prep

NaNoWriMo Banner

With NaNoWriMo 2016 starting in just over a week, now is the time to panic!

Whenever I have a bad day, I just remember that someone cosplayed the wacky waving inflatable tube man.

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Now then. I’ll be making a list of some things you should do before November 1st.

Buy Dark Chocolate

I don’t care if you like dark chocolate or not, it is necessary for your survival. Eat so many pieces of chocolate once you reach your daily wordcount goal — or you could eat while writing, too.

Most Glorious notebooks

I don’t know about you, but having a pretty notebook dedicated solely to my story is really helpful. Once you pick a notebook, carry it with you everywhere! You never know when inspiration will strike.

Plot, plot, plot!

Even if you’re a pantster, it’s nice to have at least a vague idea of where your novel is going. I did a post about how to make a plot board last year — check it out here.

Develop Your Characters

No one wants to read about another Mary Sue. Try to make you characters as lifelike as possible, which means they need flaws, fears, and dreams. Character questionnaires are a great way to make realistic characters. In the Resources section of the new YWP website, you can access the Novelist Workbooks. Pages 12 – 14 of the high school workbook has a nice questionnaire.

Shout it out

Announcing that you’re participating in NaNoWriMo does wonders for your confidence and motivation, especially if you have writer friends that will cheer you on. Make a post about your novel, and give updates throughout the month.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? What is your novel about? And what would you add to this post?

Loren

Beautiful Books

beautiful books

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, Cait from Paper Fury is hosting Beautiful Books. It looked fun to me, so here I am. :) I’m going to be talking about my NaNoWriMo project, which is currently being called Courageous Hearts.

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

In my co-op class “Making a Difference,” we were supposed to pick a problem in the world and see how we would fix it. I chose mental health and decided to write a novel to raise awareness. I’ve only had the idea for this book for about a week, but I’m very excited to make it a reality.

Describe what your novel is about!

*chokes on spit* Don’t ever ask a writer what their novel is about, please.

Um . . . it’s about two teenagers with mental problems navigating their way through life and helping each other along the way. idk.

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

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I think the feel I’m going for is sad and lonely, yet hopeful.

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Skylar Wolff:

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This is one of the MCs, Skylar Wolff (who suffers from depression). She’s fifteen. She has long chocolate hair, gray eyes, freckles, and usually has circles under her eyes from lack of sleeping. Her hobbies included drumming, hiking, skateboarding, listening to music, and later photography. She can be stubborn, secretive, lazy, and disconnected, but she’s also very accepting of others and inventive. Skylar lives with her mom (Kristie), Dad, (Jeremy), and eleven-year old sister (Leona).

Austin Keats:

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My other MC, Austin Keats, who has social anxiety. He’s sixteen, but had to repeat a grade, so he’s in Skylar’s class. He has auburn-brown hair, hazel eyes, and is really quite tall. Austin enjoys playing guitar and drawing. He’s caring, persistent, and observant, but is also indecisive. He lives with his mom (Emmaline) and Dad (Samuel).

Brisa Rey, Skylar's best friend.:

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The last character I’ll be introducing is Brisa Rey, Skylar’s best friend (who is also fifteen). She’s short, has naturally curly raven hair, and onyx eyes. She likes helping animals, biking, shopping, and babysitting. Brisa is dramatic, enthusiastic, chatty, and sometimes bossy. She lives with her divorced mother (Paulina), two older brothers (Ricardo and Sebastian), and her goldfish Greg.

There are more characters, of course (like the characters’ families, their English teacher Mr. Penguino, etc.), but I haven’t fleshed all of them out yet.

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

I will definitely be stocking up on dark chocolate. I foresee lots of staring at the blinking cursor.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

I’m excited about writing a morbid scene, and I would say what it is, but I don’t want to give away the whole plot. ;)

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

I guess the three main settings are the high school, the skate park, and the lake.

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

I think Skylar’s goal is just to survive, and Austin’s goal is to help her overcome her depression. Their mental illnesses are the antagonists.

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

Ooh . . .  much emotional change. The severity of Skylar’s depression will change a lot, and I think Austin will be slightly more confident.

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

I know it sounds kind of bad, but I’d actually like the readers to be kind of sad when the book is over. I’m hoping that it will connect with them emotionally.

Loren

Storm Song

Hey, guys! In my scouting program, American Heritage Girls, I’m currently trying to earn my Freshwater and Marine Biology Badge. And let me tell you, it is HARD. But my favorite requirement so far was definitely the one that allowed me to write a short story!

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Storm Song

A young man was aroused late at night by the storm raging outside his beach house. He tried to go back to sleep, but the din of the waves wouldn’t allow it. Finally, restless, he climbed out of bed and padded across the carpet to the window that faced the sea. Black clouds crowded the sky, and the darkness was pierced periodically by splinters of lightning. The agitated ocean churned and frothed. And in the gloom, the young man spotted something moving in the surf: a shadow dancing on the waves.

            The tumult caused by the storm suddenly increased tenfold. It was all he could hear: howling wind, rolling thunder, shifting tide. Mixed in with the uproar was a fair voice, singing an alluring melody. The song whisked through his mind until it was all he could think about.

            The young man’s feet stumbled toward the door. He burst into the tempest. The freezing rain soaked through his clothes and skin, until he was trembling uncontrollably, but the man staggered on. He had to find the singer. He stood on the beach, letting the wet sand squish up between his toes. “Where are you?” he cried frantically. Desperate tears streaked his cheeks.

A shadow drifted toward him, walking through the shallows. It seemed to almost float above the water. The song became deafening, and the man knew: the shadow was singing.

The swirling sky above parted just enough to let a beam of moonlight slice through the night. It illuminated the shadow, and the young man could finally see: it was a woman, with jet black hair. Her tresses formed a curtain over her face and trailed in the water at her feet.

The woman pushed her hair out of her face. She had ethereal beauty: porcelain skin, bottle-green eyes, high cheekbones, and delicate features. In a silvery voice, she said, “I am De Marea.”

The man wobbled toward her, his hands outstretched. The woman gave him a thin smile, and a great wave reared up behind her. It crashed over them, leaving De Marea unharmed, but sweeping the young man to his death.

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I had a fun time writing that. ☺ And I made up De Marea, just so you know.

Loren

My NaNoWriMo Project

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year (my username on the YWP site is SecretKeeper001), and I’ve been trying to figure out which story to work on (I’ve got loads of ideas). Today, I picked one: I’m going to be writing a novel about a girl with depression.

Why? You see, in my homeschool co-op, I have a class called MAD — Making a Difference. Our assignment these past two weeks was to choose a problem we’re passionate about and come up with a solution. I chose mental illnesses.

After writing down how mental illnesses are problems (mostly how people treat those with illnesses) comes the hard part: solutions. It had to be something doable. I thought, What am I good at that could make a difference? and came up with writing a novel. Yeah, it is doable.

I don’t know entirely what the novel is going to be about, but at least I have a month to figure things out! I’m going to write it from the POVs of a girl with depression and a boy with social anxiety. One chapter would be told by the girl, the next by the boy, and so forth. The boy will be a stranger at the girl’s school who notices her scars.

I’m really excited to write this novel, because if I get it published, I think it could help lots of people realize that mental illnesses are a real problem.

Also, I need some help with this project. Is there anyone who has depression/social anxiety, and is willing to talk to me about it? In order to write a realistic novel, I need to know more about what it’s like to live with depression/social anxiety. If anyone is willing, email me at happyhouseofag@gmail.com, please.

Loren

Backwards Book #1

Hey, guys! I’ve been brainstorming new features for my blog, and so far, I’ve come up with two things: Hobby Hero (which is currently a WIP; I’m hoping to team up with some other bloggers on it, so it’ll take a little longer) and Backwards Book — which is what this post is about!

Let me explain this to you. I’ll create a cover for a book, complete with a title, and post it. Then you can write a summary based on it (like what you would find on the back cover of a book) and post it in the comments. If you like your idea, then begin writing the story!

Are you ready for this? Here’s the first cover:

tsos

Are the wheels in your head turning? Stop reading, scroll straight to the comments, and type up a summary. When you’re done with that, come back up to the post to read my idea!

My summary:

The Summer of Silence

It’s the beginning of summer, but instead of hanging out with her best friend Dakota, Tessa must wave goodbye to him as he heads off to a three-week sleep-away camp in California. Tessa tries to keep in touch with him while he’s gone, but he won’t reply. And when Dakota doesn’t come back from camp, Tessa knows that something is seriously wrong. Determined to find her friend, Tessa sets off for Camp Stormgaze in California, where things aren’t quite right.

I look forward to reading your summaries!

 Loren

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