Monday, October 26, 2015

Beautiful Books - More Black than Night {October 2015}

Guess whaaaat? NaNoWriMo starts next week!

*waits for screaming and flailing and panicking to quiet down*

I know. O_O I’m trying to wrap my mind around the fact that we only have a week of October left. Craziness! Next time you hear from me I’ll be plunged right into the depth of the insanity that is NaNo. So while I still have a tinge of my sanity left (I’ve never had much to begin with, but it all gets shipped far away during November) I’m actually going to talk about my NaNo! Because I shockingly haven’t done that yet. Usually by October, NaNo conversations are the only kind you can get out of me. Buuut I kinda wanted to finish plotting my novel so I could talk intelligently about it first. Heh. And from here on out you probably won’t get anything but NaNo related posts until, like, mid December. So I’ll make up for not much NaNo chatting. *grins*

Anywhoozle, fun things are going on within the blogsphere. You know Sky and Cait's Beautiful People monthly linkup? Wellll, instead of characters, this month, in honor of NaNo season, they’re doing Beautiful BOOKS. They did this last year and it was the best, so I was thrilled to see it back and renewed this year. And I doubt I’m telling you anything new since I’m probably the last person to join in, and just a week before it ends. That’s how I roll. *puts on sunglasses*

BUT if you haven’t done it yet, you can grab the questions and link up on Sky's blog or Cait's. And it’s by no means for those who are just doing NaNoWriMo. You can answer the questions for any novel you’re writing!

Beautiful Books Banner

So here we go! Introducing my NaNoWriMo 2015 novel. . .

More Black than Night Book CoverCover made just for fun from Pinterest pics and things

1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
That’s a complicated question, because I technically came up with the idea back in 2010. But I didn’t know the plot for this particular book until this month.

See, this is the 6th book in my Colors of a Dragon Scale series. I started the first book for my first NaNo (in 2010) and have written each book for each NaNo since. And since this is my 6th NaNo (good grief, my first one feels like yesterday!) I’m on the 6th book. Basically, all I’ve ever written for NaNo is this series.

What sparked the idea for the series is a picture I found online of a white-haired elf, my decision to try NaNo for the first time, and my sadness at having never written about elves despite them being my favorite fantasy race. Once I saw that picture, it all came flooding in and exploded into a 7 book series. In like. . .5 minutes. Such is my brain.

For the actual plot of this particular book (since I really only figure out the plot of each book once I get to it), I was thinking about one of my favorite characters in the series and pretty, shiny black-scaled dragons and how I could make my characters’ lives miserable and it took off from there. Normal stuff, ya know.

2. Why are you excited to write this novel?Black Dragon
Multiple reasons. I’m basically always excited to write the next book for the series. NaNo is my favorite time of year, and for me it means continuing my Colors of a Dragon Scale series, which is always fun. I’ve loved spending time with this series and watching it evolve through the years. It’s become really special to me.

But the main reason I’m excited for this one is because it’ll be the first book to feature all the characters. How this series works is I have five pairs of dragon riders, and with each book, it features one duo of dragon rider partners and follows their journey. Then the next book basically resets to the beginning with another pair and is about their adventures, etc. But I’ve written about them all and am now down to the finales (this series has become so monstrous I’m giving myself two books to wrap everything up). And now, instead of resetting with new characters, I’ll be continuing where I left off everyone and featuring them all. I finally, finally get to continue everyone’s journey!

It feels a little surreal. When I started planning this series in 2010, the idea of making it this far seemed unrealistic. I can’t believe I’m actually here, on the next to the last book where I can toss ALL my beloved characters together and lead up to the finale. And just writing about certain characters again, some I haven’t written in years, thrills me. It’s gonna be a blast!

Also, dragons. Need I say more?

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
The title is More Black than Night. Each book has a color. You can find the others on my stories page if you’re curious about them.

And I just wrote a synopsis for it two days ago so. . .

Ever since the ten young dragon riders of Sivral were sent out the day after their initiation as riders to find their captured princess, their lives have become entangled in the peril and treachery found beyond their peace-loving region. Dangerous plots that have been hidden deep in the shadows of Aerigethel have surfaced, and with each shadow, Aerigethel's future becomes darker.

As Vithen, king of the dark elves, grows closer and closer to ripping apart the allying binds of the regions, it's a race for the Sivral riders to get their loved ones out of Vithen's clutch and stop Aerigethel's greatest war from transpiring. But Vithen's plot goes deeper than they ever could have imagined, and preventing a war that has been set in motion for decades may be impossible.

Just as the world is falling into chaos, a deadly beast thought only to be legend surfaces from the earth, and Aerigethel's last flicker of hope is doused. Loyalties waver, faith is shaken, and strength falters.

For how can a small group of new dragon riders ever return the light to a blackened world?

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
Uh-oh. This could be a problem. Remember when I said this is continuing everyone’s story? Well. . .there are a lot of “everyones”. A LOT. In fact, I’m thinking when I rewrite this series I’m going to have to drop a few. Which destroys my heart, but there’s just too much going on in this thing. It’s overwhelming. Not to mention some of the characters are way too similar to each other.

Okay, I’m gonna try this. I’m separating them by dragon rider partners and then other characters who aren’t riders.

Dragon riders-

Eryth: Soft, Bryth: Tortured

Naidren: Homebody, Nyria: Energetic

Eldoren: Spoiled, Riana: Callous

Darven: Melancholy, Leiden: Chatty

Iavin: Insecure, Sayleth: Hopeful


Airen: Funloving, Iraila: Fiery, Erra: Mistrustful, Rem: Loyal, Cael: Unpredictable, Ritholv: Heedless, Visance: Skeptical, Terreth: Spiteful, Vithen: Cunning

Too. Many. Characters. And that’s not even all of them! Also I’m the worst at describing things in one word, so excuse my lame attempt.

Cavern5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favorite to write? Tell us about them!
Oh man, I’m so excited to be returning to all these characters! I really, really look forward to revisiting my girls Eryth and Bryth, because their book started it all and I haven’t written about them since my first NaNo.

The charming, silly prince Airen is one of my favorite characters period (just don’t tell him, goodness knows his head is big enough), so I’m always happy to write about him.

Cael is also my favorite, which, if you followed my blog during last year’s NaNo, you heard plenty. His and Iavin’s strange friendship is way too much fun and, even though it was only last year I wrote their story, I’m sitting on pins and needles awaiting for November 1st to get here so I can continue it.

But then there’s my crazy twins, Naidren and Nyria. And Darven and Leiden is one of my favorite duos. And. . . Okay, I’m excited to write EVERYBODY. This is going to be one crazy but awesome NaNo!

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?

There’s so manyyyyy! *collapses* I guess I can just say they all, in general, are working toward getting some loved ones out of the villain’s castle and, ya know, stopping him from taking over their world. No biggy.

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
The high fantasy world of Aerigethel. And they travel all over the land, from mountains, to castles, to great cities, to shabby villages, to an enormous silver bridge, to green fields, to forests, and everything in between. There’s a lot of traveling in these books. This one especially since I have so many points-of-view and different plotlines going on.

Dragon and Castle

Dragon in Mountains

Rocky green fields

White Dragon

You can see my Pinterest board for more pics if you’d like, but I have a sad lack of them in there for some reason. I keep meaning to remedy that.

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
*chokes again* I repeat: Too. Many. Characters.

I guess each other’s friendship with their dragon rider partner and dragon alike is very important for them to work as a team to stop their world from falling into war. In general, this book has a lot of focus on friendships and family bonds. Some of the characters will stop at nothing to get their family out of the villain's control, while others need their dragon rider partner to keep them from acting rashly. Things like that. The other book might focus on a couple romances, but this one for the most part is friendship and family relationships. And, to me personally, they’re all important.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?Ready for Battle
XDDD I really don’t know how to answer these questions with this story. They’re pretty much all the protagonist.

There was a whole lotta character development in everyone’s individual books. In this one we kind of see how they’ve changed, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. With their world falling into utter chaos, many are falling back into old habits and questioning their friendships and faith.

Since this book is the lead up to the real finale, it’s kind of the “dark moment” for the series. When everything that can go wrong does and things are looking pretty hopeless. As a result, I leave a lot of the characters in a mess. I’ll have a whole lot to clean up in the final book next year. *grins*

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
Strangely, this book doesn’t have quite as many deep themes as most of mine do. Probably because it is the dark moment. Don’t worry, there will be better themes and a lot more hope in the final one.

But, still, I think this one will have a lot of themes on courage and taking a stand even when the world is falling. Never giving up, no matter how dark things are. That’s my guess anyway. My themes, and character development really, usually only show up while I’m writing, no matter how much I’ve plotted. So we’ll see.

11. NaNoWriMo BONUS: Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
1. Coffee. If you don’t like coffee, find another caffeinated drink that you do. Just trust me on this one.

2. Love your story. Trying to work through a book you’re not crazy about for a whole month is not fun. Make sure your story sends a thrill inside you. That you want to spend an entire month with your characters and inside their world. And if you’re halfway and just not liking your story. Don’t give up. Instead change it, throw in something you DO love even if it doesn’t fit the story. Which leads me to. . .

3. Make a mess. NaNoWriMo is not about quality but quantity. It’s about throwing as many words as you can out there as fast as you can and seeing what happens. Do NOT worry about perfection. First drafts are not about perfection, they’re about exploring. Explore your story, make crazy things happen, throw insane words onto the page. Just WRITE. Later you can sort through it and pull out the gold. But for now just write and have fun and give yourself complete permission to make a disaster. Sometimes that’s half the fun. And sometimes what you think is a disaster is the first spark of a bestseller. During NaNo, anything can happen.

Well, I think that’s enough (or more than enough) babbling about my NaNo. So now I’m going to (finally) hush because I want to hear about YOURS. Are you doing NaNo this year? What’s your novel about? And if not, what current project are you working on? Annnnd how is November NEXT WEEK???



    Ahem. Now that I got that out of the way...

    This series looks absolutely amazing! Dragons, elves, epic battles? What else could you ask for? (In case you haven't noticed, I really want to read your books.)

    Good luck with the craziness of NaNo! I have yet to embark on that suicide mission--I mean, adventure. I sadly don't have enough time to spend writing for an entire month so I will probably have to jump on the bandwagon another year. It looks marvelously exciting (and insane, which is perfect for me), and I will definitely try it one day. For now, my charries will have to be satisfied with the tidbits of randomness my brain concocts. Although I'm sure they're VERY eager for an entire month of their author's madness. *nods*

    1. Eeeee, thank you!!! I do so love writing this series. I've evolved a LOT as a writer since starting it, so when rewrites come it'll need soooooo much work. Just so much. o.o But I'm still fond of it and love spending every November in my fantasy world.

      Suicide mission. Hahaha! So true. XD It's DEFINITELY insane, but the good kind! But yes, I understand not having the time. I think this year may be the hardest for me. Life has just become a lot busier, so I hope I survive.

      The characters of this series are very spoiled, since they get their books written in one month and my full attention during that time, instead of being dragged out for months like my other books. XD

  2. This is so exciting!! LOVED reading about it all. I wish you the best of luck in this challenge, m'dear! I just know it'll all be FANTASTIC. :D *thumbs up*

    1. Thank you so much, dear friend! I'm quite excited myself! ^_^

  3. "Love your story" and "make a mess" -- great tips! I love it! Your novel (and the entire series, really) sounds great, and I love the pictures you used in this post. I'm doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, and I can't believe it starts on Sunday already! I'm writing about a hippogriff, because last time I watched Harry Potter I said, "Someone should write a book about hippogriffs." Apparently "someone" is me...

    1. D'awww, thanks! I enjoy my series, even though it needs a lot of work. XD

      You are? Eeeee!!! That's so exciting! I love, love, looove when people decide to join in. NaNo is such a great thing.

      Sadly, I've never read/watched Harry Potter, so I had to look up hippogriffs and am now shameful I've never heard of them, being the fantasy lover I am. But they're like GRIFFINS! :D I looove griffins. I had some griffins in last year's book in my series. I might bring them back for the final book. But how cool it's like a griffin but with horse parts. Aaaahhh, that's going to be so awesome! I hope you have the best first NaNo!

    2. Haha, thanks! :) I'm not surprised you hadn't heard of a hippogriff before -- they're not very well-known, which made research rather difficult. Basically, there will be lots of creative liberty taken!

    3. Creative liberty is my favorite! :D

  4. Love all the pictures, and just the story idea in general, DRAGONS :D
    How do you keep up with so many characters?
    The few that I have are hard enough, good luck with Nano!

    1. Thank you!!! Yes, DRAGONS. ALL DA DRAGONS! :D

      Lol. I think it helps that each pair got their own book. So I got to know two or three at a time through an entire book before tossing them all together. But, trust me, I still get so confused. I have character bios and things that I'm constantly referencing to keep up with everyone. Especially the dragons. I can never seem to remember whose dragon belongs to whom. It's horrid. XD

      Thank you! I'm excited!



  6. Aaaaaahhhh I reeeaally want to read this series. :D Please get it published someday....please please please. I can tell how much love and thought has gone into this series for the past six years.

    I'm doing a superhero retelling of Peter Pan. I'm soooo excited!!!! Woohoo!!! The only problem is NaNo can't be my first priority in November...i have school and other stuff. But i think I can do it. :D

    1. *beams* Thank you!!! I do love it. It's gonna need a LOT of work. I'm talking a lot. o.o But it's close to my heart and I think it'll be worth it.

      A superhero retelling of Peter Pan? :O :O :O That...that...THAT SOUNDS SO UNIQUE AND EPIC. Peter Pan is one of my favoritest things EVER. And who doesn't enjoy a good superhero story? So put them together... THAT IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.
      I know you can do it! Best of luck to you! :D

  7. CHRISTINE, IT'S BEAUTIFUL. I love this, all of it! The name, the cover, the charries, the dragon pictures, the summary, the big dark moment... I mean, this is practically almost the climax of the series you've been creating for six years now!!!! :'D It's not even my story, yet my heart is swelling with proud happiness anyway. Go you!!! Best of luck with Nano this year!

    And I'm telling ya, one day I WILL read these books. I keep saying it, but that's because they keep sounding awesome. ^____^

    1. THANK YOU!!!
      You're is almost the climax. Thinking of it like that kind of blows my mind. o.o I can't believe how fast these years have gone! Thank you so much, Tracey! You have no idea how much you encourage me. <3

      Hopefully one day they'll be readable. XD I don't want them to just be yet more first drafts collecting dust on my computer. Once I finish the series, I will probably take a good break from it, since I've been working on it so long. But I WILL rewrite them and make them readable (and hopefully not so cliche and full of unreadable names XD) someday. I WILL!

  8. Wow your story sounds fun! Dragons and high fantasy worlds. Gotta love those. ^ ^ And I love the titles. That's also cool that this is the sixth book of your series! Wow! I'm on my third of my four book series. It's so exciting! Best wishes to you with NaNo! Happy writing!

    I did the link-up too!

    1. Awww, thanks! I do so love meh dragons and fantasy worlds. ^_^
      Oh how awesome! So you're on your next to last book, too? That's so neat! I hope writing will go wonderfully for you. <3

      Hurray! Headed over there now!

  9. "Love your story." Yes, yes, yes! I'm doing NaNo for the first time this year (with the young writers' program, for 30,000 words), and I've been spending the week planning things out and finding who my characters are and what they do, and I can't wait to get started.

    As for what it's about, here's my best attempt at a synopsis:
    Æschild is her SCA name. A debate about time-travel ends awkwardly, and the bard she'd argued with sent her a ring made after an Anglo-Saxon find to apologize. When she puts it on she finds herself in England in the middle of the eleventh century. The Normans harrying the coasts are the least of her problems. The fact that she was in garb, about to leave for an event, at the time of the change, is her salvation when she finds herself in a strangely familiar other where and time. What, after all, is "home"? Is there more than one way to live the Dream? And, once you've lost something, is it gone forever?

    1. Oh, yay!!! I just know you're going to have the best time. The first NaNo is always the most magical one, in my opinion. That's awesome you're doing it!

      That. Sounds. Awesome.
      I looooove love LOVE time travel stuff. So yes, I am in love with your idea! And I like the questions you ask in it, like how home doesn't even have to be a time period. Very interesting thoughts! That just sounds like such a fantastic story. I hope you have the BEST NaNo! ^_^

    2. Why thank you! I'm rather in love with my story myself, so it's encouraging that I'm not the only one who finds it exciting. After a week of researching (anything from dyes used in the late Anglo-Saxon period to the migration --- peaceful or otherwise --- of the Danes to Mercia and Westmoreland in particular, to the history of the Culdean Church in that same time, I'm beginning to be stuffed with information and ideas. They need to start coming out right now. . . oh wait, I can't start till tomorrow evening or Monday?

    3. It sounds just fabulous! I so admire your dedication to research. That's probably my biggest weakness with writing. I hate the researching part and rarely do it. I must work on that...

      We can start writing at midnight tonight! That second it hits November 1st (our time zone) we're free to start. It's almost heeeere! :D

  10. Hello! Can I just say that I really, really love your blog? I started reading it last December, and it's like one of my favorite blogs ever. Your books all sound so amazing! I can't even explain how excited all your writing posts and snippets make me. Your blog got me out of a writing block, which was great, 'cause writing blocks are sorta terrible. I guess I'm just trying to say thanks for having such a fabulous blog. :) Good luck with NaNoWriMo! This story sounds really amazing!

    1. Oh my goodness, you have no idea how much your sweet comment made me grin! I always wonder if my posts are really even interesting and if people actually care about reading all my silly writing rambles and things. You know? So comments like this are beyond a blessing to me. Thank you so much!!! You are the sweetest. <333

    2. Really? I always LOVE your silly writing rambles and things. :) I've wanted to say something on like every single post of yours, but I'M SO SHY. ACK. It's a serious problem. :) I get what you mean, though: blogging is HARD. I never know what to write about. But you do a fantastic job. :)

    3. Oh my yes! With blogging you're basically putting yourself out there for the world to see, ya know? It's SCARY. I'm publicly posting everything that's in my brain, my own THOUGHTS. And I have some straaange thoughts. So hearing that people are actually interesting in my silly thoughts really helps ease my self-conscious fears.

      Don't be shy! You are so precious and have just blessed me so much. <333

  11. It sounds neat, and I'm so excited for you! I wish you all the best, girlie! I'm not doing NaNo myself, but I did fill out the Beautiful Books thing...

    1. D'awww, thank you!!
      Oh, hurray! It's so fun seeing everyone's. I'm going over there now. :D


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