An Introduction to My Latest Novel [the NaNoWriMo 2018 edition]

I shouldn’t technically be writing this post because I haven’t finished the first draft of this novel. I have this unspoken rule that I don’t post about my novels until the first draft is done.

But here I am because we are in the middle of April Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 and I’m still trying to finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo 2018 novel. Yeah, the one I started in November 2018.

“You can write the flashy, here-are-a-bunch-of-aesthetic-collages, also-playlists, I-finished-the-rough-draft-of-my-novel, mwahahahahahah post after you finish this draft,” I told myself in November.

And here we are mid-April, and I’m writing the post with an unfinished draft anyway. You do the math (not that there’s actually any math to be done–I just wanted to say that).

It’s not a terribly long book (at least not right now in the first draft)–only 55,000 words at this point with probably another 10k to go before the end. I just… have been terrrrrrrible about finishing it (the number of r‘s used increases the weight of a word like “terrible,” in case you didn’t know).

But I’m trying to finish it this month.

Granted, I’ve only written a grand total of 1300 words since the start of the month, which isn’t the most auspicious start, but this book and I already have a history of rallying after an unimpressive start (like that time I wrote only 13,000 words in three weeks and hit the last week of November and wrote like 37,000 words so I could actually finish NaNo… even if I didn’t finish the book).

ANYWHO. Enough of this rambling introduction. Enough waxing eloquently (or not so eloquently) about where this novel has or has not gone. Enough looking back on the set and failed goals of the past four months.

*goes on to say “enough” this or that for another few paragraphs*

I give you my NaNoWriMo 2018 novel (no, I’m not actually giving it to you; that would be awful because it’s still a mess; I’m introducing you to it)!

latest novel 1

Title: Ritter André or To the Red Oceans and Beyond.

Genre: Sci-fi, space opera, aliens, interpersonal drama, space battles, etc.

Wordcount: 55k and climbing (in case you forgot, I haven’t finished the first draft yet).

How long have you had the idea?

I’ve had the idea for almost two years now. To the Red Oceans and Beyond is actually set in the same storyworld/galaxy as my flash fiction collection (Stars and Soul, for the uninitiated), and I got the idea at the same time as those stories.

At first, I thought about it as a flash fiction…. but it was too big. So I started thinking about it as a shorty story. And then a novella. And then finally a novel when I realized how much was going to go on.

Describe what your novel is about!

Hahahahaha, this is the part where I give you as little information as possible because I’m terrrrrrrible at talking about my books and stories (note the r‘s again).

To the Red Oceans and Beyond is about a young criminal investigator who goes to the end of worlds to rescue his kidnapped best friend from a mysterious criminal organization.

Plus, like, aliens, intergalactic drama, and a shipload of interpersonal drama.

Describe your book’s aesthetic!

This is really what this post is for: giving aesthetics, moods, and visuals and not any real information about the story.

~ cityscapes puncturing the atmosphere ~ glowing wires ~ ringed planets ~ solar flares ~ sleek black ~ blue and red tech ~ desolate moons ~ aliens ~ space walks ~ red oceans ~

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Ritter André: my main character and intergalactic criminal investigator. Sometimes I think he’s a product of my mad genius; sometimes I think he’s cardboard. Time will tell.

ritter collage 1

Ritter’s collage; I own none of the pictures

Erick Ikehara: intergalactic criminal investigator and Ritter’s best friend (the one who gets kidnapped); fierce with lots of past hurt; legendary reputation (not that I’m going to tell you why he’s got a legendary reputation, though).

erick collage 1

Erick’s collage; I own none of the pictures

Oberon: a smol, mysterious hackery genius who teams up with Ritter.

oberon collage 1

Oberon’s collage; I own none of the pictures

Philippa: an exiled contender for the throne of the empire spanning half the galaxy; possibly a sociopath.

philippa collage 1

Philippa’s collage; I own none of the pictures

Agrippa (I clearly need to get these names out of my system before I have offspring): a dangerous hacker; also happens to be an Artificial Intelligence with questionable intentions.

agrippa collage 1.jpg

Agrippa’s collage; I own none of the pictures

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

  • Put on a playlist
  • Pin some more pins to my Pinterest board (somehow we’re at 292 pins on this board; don’t know how that happened; probably wasn’t me)
  • Gloat over the portion of the novel that’s already been written
  • Cringe at the portion of the novel that’s already been written
  • Create some character ships that will never actually work in the story
  • Write a completely different story
  • Envision the theatrical trailer
  • Dream of snippets from the sequel
  • Dream of snippets for the epic trilogy conclusion (not that this is actually a trilogy, mind you; it’s supposed to be a standalone, but don’t crush my dream)
  • Etc.

You know, all the usual procrastination stuff.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

A certain stolen starship (yet to be named; when it is named, you can bet it will be named something equally weird brilliant as everything else in this novel).

Red oceans. Designing worlds is one of my favorite things, and sometimes I get a little drunk on power and throw something like red oceans into the mix just because I can. And then it somehow gets worked into the title because it becomes a super huge deal in the book.

Outer space. Gotta love it, my dudes.

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

Ritter André (that name, though [“Ritter” means “knight,” and “André” means “manly” or “brave warrior” {You: “Isn’t that a little over-the-top?” Me: No comment.}]) spends most of the novel trying to unravel the kidnapping of his best friend and fellow criminal investigator Erick Ikehara.

However, Ritter’s own government has given Erick up for dead, so Ritter must go around the system he cherishes to track a criminal organization spanning the galaxy without starting an intergalactic incident.

What are your book’s themes?

Friendship. Extra-familial brotherhood (i.e. – the deep bonds of family that can be shared between those who don’t share the same blood; think David and Jonathan, Holmes and Watson, Frodo and Sam, Kirk and Spock). Endurance. The nature of morality.

That’s what’s shown up so far.

Playlist.

There are actually several playlists, one for each character (I’m known in some circles as The Playlist Queen, so we all had to know there wasn’t going to be just one playlist). There is some overlap in the songs, and none of the playlists are very long yet, but I’m pretty in love with them.

Ritter | Erick | Philippa | Oberon | Agrippa

Now I just need to finish the novel.

Minor detail, but I should actually finish this thing. I’ve been stuck on the cusp of the climax for like four months now.

Part of it is that life’s been crazy (moving and such), part of it is needful rest, and part of it is not being able to press past being uninspired to finish it. But inspiration or no inspiration, I’m finishing this book. It’s going to need some revisions, but I won’t quit now.

So I’m actually go do that for a little bit since I’ve exhausted all avenues of procrastination.

What is your current project? What does your creative process look like?

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – these questions were ripped off of the old Beautiful Books tag put on by Cait and Skye.

p.p.s. – I think I used a record amount of parenthetical statements in this post, and I don’t even care (I was clearly In A Mood or something when I wrote this entire post).

8 thoughts on “An Introduction to My Latest Novel [the NaNoWriMo 2018 edition]

  1. Yessssss, Philippa! (Probably not a sociopath, though, since they tend to be low in intelligence and high in impulsiveness. Maybe a psychopath?) Girl needs some redemption in her life. Or possibly to go full-blown supervillian. Either way. xP

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    • To be fair neither the words “sociopath” or “sociopath” are medical terms anymore. It’s called ASPD — Antisocial Personality Disorder and there is spectrum so some people with ASPD can be highly intelligent, of average intelligence or low in intelligence. But from what I understand many people with the condition are impulsive.

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  2. I’ve been stuck on the cusp of the climax for my draft almost exactly 12 months now. *sob* Part of it’s because life’s been crazy. The other part is because *I don’t know half of the big reveal* and I have an impossible time making myself write when the story path disappears.

    I love the name Ritter André, btw. I love when character names have a meaning that no one would know unless they looked it up. One of my magical races are called Venner – that’s Norwegian for friends.

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  3. Oooo! This story sounds so cool! I love the names and collages. I’m determined to finish Silver Hood this year and get it to betas. I’m currently reading over the book to then start on draft three! I have a feeling this one will be the winner lol.

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