Hmmm… Isn’t there something important starting tomorrow? Now what could it be? National Eat a Burrito Month? No, no. National Ride a Giraffe Month? Nooo. Oooh yeah. It’s only National Novel Writing Month. Psh. No big deal.
NANOWRIMO STARTS TOMORROW HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE????
So…yes. Apparently NaNo begins TOMORROW. And guess who hasn’t really talked about her novel yet? This giiirl! In my defense, I’ve been super busy plotting it ALL. MONTH. Turns out plotting a finale to a 7-book series takes some time. Who knew, right? I only just finished all my plotting this week, so now I feel prepared to actually intelligently talk about what’s going on with this book (or pretend to).
Thankfully, the world has been blessed with Sky @ Further Up & Further In and Cait @ Paperfury who gives us Beautiful Books, which is much like their Beautiful People linkup, but instead focused on our books instead of characters. They roll it around every NaNoWriMo season to get us talking about our noveling endeavors, but it’s there for ANYONE, not just NaNo participants! So do get yourself over to Sky's post or Cait's to snag the questions and join in yourself. (Even though this is the last day of the month and I’m pretty sure I’m the last one to do it, but… *cough*)
As I babbled and reminisced over in THIS POST, I shall be writing my 7th and FINAL book in my Colors of a Dragon Scale series. You know, that series I’ve been working on since my FIRST NaNo. I’m still in total shock 7 years have already passed and I’m about to write the finale, but here we are.
So, without further ado, allow me to introduce…
MORE GOLD THAN SUNLIGHT
1.) What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
Long before I discovered the joys of Pinterest, I used to peruse DeiviantArt.com (and by peruse I mean stalk like a fiend). It was there I found a gorgeous drawing of a white-haired elf (this one, in fact), and my imagination just ran with it. That elf very quickly became Bryth, my poor tortured elf, and seconds later Eryth, Bryth’s sweet half-elf best friend, came into existence. (And yes, I do realize their names are only one letter apart. My naming skills back then were ridiculous and pathetic.) About one minute after Bryth and Eryth appeared in my brain, they became dragon riders, and that turned into a whole slew of dragon riders, and then an entire fantasy world with the beginnings of a plot.
I’m pretty sure this whole series came into being within five minutes of thinking about it. It just…was. Sure, I had to discover the full plot, but the general idea and pretty much all the characters were instantly there.
It was sometime in 2010 I found this elf picture and these ideas came. I suspect maybe during the summer, because I know it was a few months before NaNo. I had decided that year I wanted to participate in NaNo for the first time. I had graduated from highschool that May, and suddenly had much more free time, so what better way to use it than try NaNo out? When this story idea sprung into existence, I knew it was what I wanted to do for NaNo. I quickly had the idea of writing each book of the series for the next few NaNos. Annnd, here I am!
I honestly think all this happened in one night. I distinctly remember laying in bed, trying to sleep, when Bryth and Eryth and then the whole story idea came into being. And I think it was right after it appeared that I had the NaNo idea. There was never any deciding. It all just happened instantly. Kinda crazy to think about now that I’m here, 7 years later, still writing this series…
2.) Describe what your novel is about!
Well…if I told you specifics that’d pretty much spoil all the OTHER books. This is a finale after all. But I do have a handy-dandy, (mostly) spoiler-free blurb all written out!
“Velnoroth's forces have succeeded in taking over Aerigethel's most powerful regions, and with the Father Dragon on their side, they are nearly unstoppable. Kingdoms are enslaved, allies have fallen, and the enemy only grows stronger. Yet, even as the last gleam of hope diminishes, the dragon riders of Sivral and their friends, old and new, will stop at nothing to liberate their loved ones, and fight to return Aerigethel to the free land they once knew. But they cannot do it alone.
Only if the regions come together, can Velnoroth be defeated. But with so much already lost, so many bonds broken, and the enemy almost in full reign, can the riders ever succeed in unifying the people?
In the finale to the Colors of a Dragon Scale series, Aerigethel is racing toward a new age. Vithen seeks to bring about the age of the dark elves. But a few young dragon riders from the humble region of Sivral fight for something better. Together, with the strength of their Creator, they fight for an age of bravery, an age of unity, an age of hope.
Will Aerigethel fall forever into its darkest days? Or can it finally stand as one, and from the ashes raise a better world—a golden age?
Ya know, dragon riders, cliché high fantasy things, death, pain, war, destruction. All the fun stuff!
3.) What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
Metal swords, sleek dragon scales, leather saddles, broken cities, bursts of fire, stone towers, weary warriors, clinking chains, barrages of arrows, a dusty canyon, earthy tunnels, starry nights.
You can peruse my Pinterest Board for more pics.
4.) Introduce us to each of your characters!
I maaay have gotten carried away in the character making process when I first created this series, and even more have cropped up here and there while writing the books. I sorta kind have some 15 main characters and a gaggle of side ones. Yeeeah. It will tear me apart, but I think once I rewrite these monsters I’m gonna have to cut characters. It’s just gotten to be too much…
But ANYWAYS. Let me see if I can do this. I’m gonna try to be organized here and section it off for each main character of each book. Because the first 5 books were about separate people, and then these last 2 bring them all together. So yeah, lots of peeps. o.o Feel free to skip over this ginormous part.
More Blue than Sky (Book #1)
Eryth: My kindhearted half-elf. She struggles a lot with bravery and self-worth, but she’s also the most devout follower of the Creator (my world’s God-figure). She’s very soft spoken, tenderhearted, and a total sweetie. She has a blue female dragon named Neriin.
Bryth: Bryth is basically the total opposite of Eryth. Very standoffish, gruff, and hardly trusts anybody. She can also probably kill you in 2 seconds flat so let’s stay on her good side, shall we? Her dragon is also female and named Reshin.
Ritholv: I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned Ritholv before, probably because he’s a big spoiler. But sheesh, he’s been around for 7 years now, I think he’s worth mentioning! He’s a very carefree sort, but also can be extremely deadly. He’s a bit of a wanderer, not the type you can pin down, and sometimes he may seem a little aloof, but deep down he has a big heart.
Iraila: The princess of Sivral—the kingdom all my dragon riders are from. She’s the best friend to Eryth and Bryth (they’re a close threesome, and she and Eryth are the only two people in the world Bryth entirely trusts). Spunky is the best way to describe Iraila. She’s full of life and laughter with a fiery spirit.
Airen: The crown prince of Sivral, Iraila’s older brother,
hopelessly in love with Eryth, and just an all around fun guy. At first Airen may seem way too full of himself, but in reality he’s the total jester and loves it. Making people laugh is his permanent mission in life, and he’s quite good at it. Carefree and fun-loving, you can pretty much always find a friend in Airen. (And he’s one of my favorite creations.)
(Airen and Iraila also played pretty major roles in the next book.)
More Pink than Sunsets (Book #2)
Nyria: Sometimes I like to describe Nyria as a 4-year-old running on 5 cups of coffee. Her energy…never ends. She and her twin brother, Naidren, are the cousins to Airen and Iraila. Nyria has much of Iraila’s spunk and fiery spirit. But where Iraila can control herself, Nyria has no boundaries and is always the life of the party and embarrassing her brother to no end. Her dragon is a female named Afayleth. (And yes, it’s a pink dragon.)
Naidren: Poor Naidren… Unlike his twin sister, he’s very quiet and would much rather stay inside all day reading than going on adventures. He’s the long sufferer of the Savriella clan (Airen, Iraila, Nyria, and him), being as how the others are energetic and outgoing and drag him into all sorts of trouble he wants no part of. His dragon is a female named Ferrleth who is also pink (bright pink) and Naidren hates me for it. *grins*
Erra: Erra popped up in the midst of writing More Pink than Sunsets and came to stay. She’s quiet and a bit standoffish, but with good reason being as how basically everyone she loves died. She’s a broken soul, and it takes a lot to crack open the wall she keeps around herself. She eventually gains a green dragon named Edria due to complicated circumstances. (She and Naidren may or may not be a thing.)
More Purple than Amethysts (Book #3)
Eldoren: At the start of his story, Eldoren is a pompous jerk. Coming from a rich family, his life has been nothing but high society and pleasures (aside from some daddy troubles…). But like the good author I am, I destroyed his life and broke him until he came around. He’s a much sweeter person here at the finale. He has a male purple dragon (seeing a pattern here?) named Irevik.
Riana: Riana has a Mysterious Past We Do Not Speak Of that has left her…reserved, to put it lightly. She does not speak to anyone, keeps to herself, and is not exactly thrilled when she’s paired off with the rich jerk known as Eldoren for her dragon rider partner. All around, she’s not a very nice person (at first). Ah yes, those two have fun together. Her dragon is a female called Razel.
More Green than Envy (Book #4)
Leiden: Leiden, my precious elf. Leiden can talk a mile a minute and basically never stops talking, and he pretty much has a permanent smile on his face. He’s friendly and fun and all around a really nice fellow. His dragon is a female named Gaelasil.
Darven: Darven is quiet and…hard. Life has hardened his heart, and though he’s not a bad fellow by any means, he just likes to keep to himself and not meddle in other people’s business. But he’s strong and brave and does care about the wellbeing of others when it comes down to it. Also, overly perky people can grate on his nerves. So…him and Leiden are obviously one of the most fun pairs I’ve ever written. Their friendship amuses me endlessly. Darven’s dragon is a male named Barveris.
More White than Stars (Book #5)
Iavin: To this day Iavin is my favorite point-of-view character to ever write. I don’t know why but I love being in this awkward baby’s head. Iavin is a half-elf, but he did not inherit the tall, gracefulness of his elven mother or brute strength of his human father. He’s tiny and shy and the most awkward little bean I’ve ever written. Saving the world was not on his list of things to do with his life. But hey, we all gotta get out of our comfort zones sometimes. He has a female dragon named Nemayn (who is playful and perky and loves embarrassing her poor rider).
Sayleth: Unlike her dragon rider partner, Sayleth is the picture of grace. But she’s also a mute (erm…sometimes, it’s complicated) which doesn’t help poor Iavin have non-awkward conversations with her one bit. Sayleth has a very calm personality. Her sweet, quiet nature is very pleasant to be around, despite a mysterious aura surrounding her. Daeomin is her male dragon.
Cael: Ah Cael. I’m pretty sure you all know by now he’s my top favorite character ever. (Yes, even a smidge more than Airen. Shhh, don’t tell.) How to even describe Cael… He’s a villain but at the same time not. Because he actually has a huge heart and can be very polite and tenderhearted. He does have a sassy side though, and a bit of a warped sense of morality. But he’s also just fun. He can totally be the fun-loving, life of the party. Somehow he is Iavin and Sayleth’s best friend while also being their arch-enemy. Only Cael can manage this…
Whew! Okay. Now we’ve come to More Black than Night (#6, NaNo 2015) and THIS book, More Gold than Sunlight (#7 and the end, NaNo 2016), where all those first five stories and characters come together and a big party of trying to save the world is had! Honorable mentions go to Vithen, my main villain, Visance and Terreth (a couple of other villains who showed up in book #3), King Aidred and Queen Rayalien (Airen and Iraila’s mom and dad and Naidren and Nyria’s aunt and uncle), Rem (a friend of Naidren and Nyria’s), annnd probably a dozens others I’m not thinking of. Not to mention all the dragons. The dragons in this world don’t talk exactly, but they do all have very distinct personalities. But we will not get into that…
I told you I had a lot of characters! It’s gotten a little out of hand. *cough* And I should have made this character introduction section a blog post of its own! Wasn’t I doing a Beautiful Books post? MOVING ON.
5.) How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
Sooo, before my NaNo days, I used to be a hardcore pantser, and I still am sometimes. But NOT for NaNo. Since the first CoaDS book, I’ve made a very detailed outline for each book before NaNo. That way I can write like a fiend and never once have to worry about figuring out what happens next. And with the first book, before my very first NaNo, I made a big map, a races and species chart, some info about all the different kingdoms, detailed character bios, EVERYTHING. All of which I still refer to often. But now I just outline for each book.
This year I spent alllll of October making an 18k word, 46 chapter, scene-by-scene outline. Erm, yeah. I always make detailed outlines for each book, but this one won in length. It’s gonna be a long book! But hey, it is the finale, and I do have a billion characters with a thousand different plot threads I’ve got to fully wrap-up. A little length is inevitable.
6.) What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
EVERYTHING. And I mean it. I’ve been working on this series for 7 YEARS and I’m finally at the end. It’s like the whole book will be one big climax, and I CANNOT WAIT.
More specific things would be certain ships finally shipping (FINALLY!!!), allll the emotions (this is gonna be such an emotional book and I’m a weirdo and LOOOVE writing emotional scenes), a dozen awesome character reunions, and just ACTUALLY FINISHING THIS SERIES. So, yes, everything!
7.) List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
A broken city (as in buildings torn apart and scattered everywhere, cracked roads, just totally ruinous, its fun!), the countryside blurring by below from atop a dragon’s back, and a big ol’ stone dragon keep (which is like a barn just bigger and nicer because, hello? it houses dragons).
8.) What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
TO SAVE THE WORLD.
But…literally. Vithen, king of the dark elves, and his enormous army is trying to take over the entire continent of Aerigethel. (Can we just laugh over how cliché this story is? I have managed to spice up the plot over the years though.) So…that kinda gets in my characters’ way as they fight to free their land once more.
9.) How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Oh gracious! Another character question. TOO MANY CHARACTERS.
Honestly though, most of my characters have already grown and changed drastically in the other books. There’s still plenty of growth in this one though. Some learn to be braver, others to trust more, one or two turn their lives around completely. There’s a lot going on!
10.) What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
I suppose good vs. evil is a pretty big theme for this series. In this particular one, there’s one message of how hardships can be turned into something good, how God will love and accept you if you’re repentant no matter how many mistakes you’ve made in the past, how family is much more than just blood relatives. Again, a lot going on…
How do I want my readers to feel by the end? Wow. I want them to feel…everything! I want them to feel like reading through an entire monstrous 7-book series was worth it. I want them to have a hard time saying goodbye to the characters. But, most importantly, I want them to feel satisfied. As they close the book, I want them to feel as though they read an amazing, epic tale that will stick with them for a long time. (Even though if I ever even hope to accomplish this I’ll have to utterly rewrite the series, but let’s dream for a minute here!)
WHEW. We made it to the end. Congratulations!!! I feel like I just wrote a mini NaNo-novel in this post. o.o Sorry for this monstrous thing! This series is…large, and very close to my heart, if it isn’t obvious. Thank you for putting up with my many, many rambles!
HAPPY NANO-EVE!!! It’s almost here guys! I hope you have the very bestest NaNo yet. Next time you hear from me, we’ll be a week into NaNo-land. It’s gonna be awesome! *raises laptop and charges*
If you’re still here, I applaud you. What do you think of my massive series? Do you like cliché fantasies? And, important question here, if you could have a dragon, what color would you want it to be??? (I’d be all over a pink one myself.) Happy NaNo’ing!!! Or, if you’re not joining in NaNo, I hope you have an amazing November!