…but were afraid to ask. Or, more likely, asked anyway.
So, here’s the deal. I’m going to be presumptuous and assume that if you’re reading this blog, then you either a.) like my writing, or b.) like me. (d’aww <3 by the way.) Otherwise, you probably would've stopped reading when I dropped Aspect of the Hare. And I'm further going to assume that if you fall into either (or both) of those categories, you're probably at least a little bit interested in this novel that I've been hinting around at since November. So, I figured I would address a few novel-related questions that I get asked from time to time. A sort of FAQ, if you will. (If you're really not all that interested in my book, that's fine, you can skip this entry =P)
So what is this whole novel thing?
I was challenged by several Twitterites to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so I did. It turned into a full fledged novel at some point. It’d be nice to get it published someday, so I’ve been working toward that goal.
Oooh! So what’s your book about?
I always waver a bit on this question because the answer is just so friggin’ out there. Usually I tell people “Well, it has dragons, airships, and giant robots in it.”
This phrase tends to confuse people, though, and they ask whether it’s a fantasy or a science fiction. Which causes me to hem and haw and waffle before I tell people it’s an “alternate-universe-ish historical science fiction”, which generally just causes more confusion.
Short answer: It’s steampunk. (my possibly bizarre interpretation of it, anyway.)
Longer Answer: It’s an adventure story about anthropomorphic animals in an alternate universe that roughly– though not entirely– corresponds to our late 19th century. A few mythical creatures (in this case, dragons) are involved, although magic really isn’t. I was going for a sort of “His Dark Materials” feel, I think. Some fantastic elements, but not really fantasy per se.
Think of Jules Verne but with fuzzy animals instead of people and you’ll be pretty close to the mark.
Why fuzzy animals?
Lots of reasons.
1.) Easier to draw, and I like drawing my characters to help me in the character creation process
2.) Kind of gives the story a mystical/fable-like quality that I like
3.) Thematic elements (no, really. I’d like to think a classroom of AP English kids could pick up on this, but who knows if I wrote it that well?)
4.) I kind of wrote the book as a tribute to classic Disney animation and the effect it’s had on me and my artistic inclinations.
So it’s a kids/young adult book then?
I wasn’t really aiming at any particular age group when I was writing the book. If anything I think I wanted it to be a book with a wide age range appeal, like Harry Potter or something.
The interesting thing is that since then I’ve had five or six people read the early draft in its entirety and give me feedback on it. Almost everyone has told me it sort of “feels” like a young adult novel, with one problem: my choice of vocabulary is… very not-young-adult-novel. As in, “read it with a dictionary close at hand.”
This puts me in a bit of a dilemma. I’m fine with marketing my book as “young adult”, but I’m really wary about the idea of toning down the big-boy-vocab words. That’s just how I write. Besides, I don’t talk down to kids. I remember being a kid; I didn’t like being talked down to. Ya know?
So I’m just gonna say “it’s for all ages” and call it good.
You’re talking about stuff like feedback… are you done writing?
Yes and no.
“Yes”: The story has a beginning, middle, and end. There is a prologue and there is… well, not an epilogue. But the words “The End” are there.
However, I have a big ol’ list of “things to add and/or fix” that I have been whittling away at for a couple of months now. So, in that sense… “No.”
Can I read the draft?
Maybe. Not now, though, as it’s not ready yet. If I decide later to get “beta readers” outside of my family/close friends circle, I’ll probably post about it on the blog and ask for volunteers, so fear not.
The prologue has been up on my LJ for a month or so now and anyone is welcome to read that if they wish.
When are you going to be done?
Not sure. I’ve given myself a goal of “by the end of the month” but that may be pushing it. Editing is hard. >.>
And you want to get this published eventually, right?
Yep! Well, it would be nice. I’m not going to beat myself up over it if it doesn’t happen. And while I know… pretty much nothing about the whole “publishing process”, I sort of get the inkling that it might take a while. All the rejection letters and what not. But yeah, “eventually”. Let’s hope!
Okay then. Oh! One last thing. What’s it called?
And if you’ve got any other questions, you’re free to ask me in the comments/on Twitter/what-have-you. I appreciate all the interest and support you guys have shown in my book thus far! <3