It’s time for an update on Promise’s Prayer!
1. Be honest: how is your writing going?
Writing is honestly going well. I surprised myself with over 10,000 words on Day One, with more than 10,000 more since then (for a total of 20,264 as of 11/6/14 5:00 PM) despite serious computer issues, new work projects, and other various unexpected interruptions. My characters have risen to the challenge and begun leading the plot themselves with only as much help from me as necessary, and they have even managed to surprise me a few times.
2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?
“Kaelan!” The call floated across the breeze from the direction of the second ox-barn.
The young man named bit back a scowl. After all, he’d been called half a dozen times already that very morning. It didn’t lessen the calling one iota. Sighing, he headed for the barn.
3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?
A few pictures to give the setting:
More images for the book are collected on Pinterest.
4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)
This is Carita.
Here is my favorite picture of Carita, along with Mrs. Jaelrven and baby Judae:
It has been difficult to find pictures of Kaelan, but this one is very close:
They both have younger siblings:
Kaelan’s sister Laelara
Kaelan’s brother Kelton:
Kaelen’s brother Kethin:
Kaelan’s sister Liliora:
Carita’s sister Ellisia (she’s a little older than this, though, and not so fancily dressed):
Kaelan’s friend Caeleb:
The two kings, Thaerre and Daemien:
And lastly, one of my favorite characters, Ellrick:
5. What scene are you most excited to write?
It sounds terrible, but probably the scenes of failure. Also, I look forward very much to writing about Carita after she has gotten past her fears and inhibitions and giving herself entirely to the work of Adon Olam.
6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.
How about a dramatic one and a funny one? The second one wrote itself when Kaelan got carried away, and perhaps it will be edited out, but I did really enjoy writing it.
“Kaelan!” His mother suddenly called. Her voice held energy and passion. “Kaelan! Do not do as I did! Do not neglect your calling until it is too late! Do not become complacent! Kaelen! You are my son, and no one else can fulfill that which I failed to do. Your brothers and sisters are too young, and your father is busy caring for them. He has no blood ties to the line of kings. It must be you! You must accomplish this! You must do something to reverse the damage your great-grandfather caused! Do it—now!” she nearly shrieked, “Promise me—promise me, Kaelan! Say you will do it. Be my hero—my one consolation for my wasted life. Save our land, Kaelan! Promise me!” She sat up entirely in her intensity. Her eyes like gleams of candlelight waited for his answer.
“Doing is better than talking,” he said to his horse as they turned onto the road the home farm was on. “Never get anywhere if you just stay home!” he called, “Time to see the world—to save the world! The darkness of our time is fading. The light will surely dawn. No more starvation; no exploitation in the coming salvation; all will be peace in Taernan nation! No more crime; no more homelessness; no more—” He broke off suddenly, then laughed, “Nothing else to rhyme…”
“I’m not cut out for a musician, that’s for sure,” he patted his horse again and cantered homeward.
“Why can’t you just be normal?” he asked himself in an exasperated female voice.
“No more normal for me!” he sang at the top of his lungs, “Sure, the passersby think I’m crazy, but that’s better than normal, I say! Normal is dangerous; normal is lethal; I’ll be normal tomorrow but never today!”
“Please! Be normal. Don’t go crazy,” he said in his female voice.
“No!” he spoke slowly, but firmly, “I REFUSE to be what you call normal! Action leads to success. The alternative is stagnation!”
“I will not be a stagnant pool, wasting my life away; not fit to wash, not fit to drink, crying, ‘Here in this wood I’ll stay.’ The world is dark; the world is vast, and it moans for a man like me! I know I can do it; I’ll somehow get through it—” His voice dropped. “My mother believed in me.”
He reigned in his horse and sang loudly again. “And the whole world will one day see!”
He galloped to the barn, put his horse away, and sprinted to the house.
But he still had to talk to Laelara.
7. Now that you’re writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?
Yes. Most of the details made themselves up as they went. I did expect the story to move along much faster than this. I was amazed how the short sentences of my outline caused the characters to run away with the details in the middle. And as I’ve asked various people for ideas, I’ve thrown in a random forest, a group of hoodlums, an injured ankle, a plan to cause citizens to begin farming, and a described breakfast so far. I still may have to work in the suggestion for a talking horse, once my character heals and returns to riding…
8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that’s difficult to write?
Yes. Saving the world is a delicate and difficult subject. It has been difficult to move the plot along with the appropriate amount of conflicts and resolutions. My characters have hours and whole days to intricately plan their next steps, but I have a very short amount of time to try to work out the details thoroughly. Plot refining later on might not be the most fun…
9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?
Surprisingly, I’ve enjoyed writing Carita. She has a faith and trust in Adon Olam that I didn’t expect. She challenges my own life, and I am encouraged, inspired, and uplifted by writing her story. I relate to her in obscure ways I would never have expected.
Ellrick is a most intriguing character. I’d love to write his back story because it must be most interesting. I also can’t wait to have more scenes getting to know Liliora.
10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and characters?
Most of it is from personal thoughts, experiences, and observations.
11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?
I have an instrumental playlist in iTunes consisting of orchestra, instrumental hymns, soundtracks, instrumental Christmas music, and other non-lyrical music.
12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?
I would go to Carita’s house first. But she probably wouldn’t be there, so I’d accompany her to Kaelan’s house and have fun helping out Laelara with her. I think Carita and I would become good friends.
I would also love to listen to Ellrick talk.
13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)
Two words: word wars.
Interspersing it with work helps.
And I do it for the characters. I simply couldn’t leave them stranded.
14. What’s your favorite writing quote or piece of writing advice?
I don’t have a favorite. But here’s a good quote:
Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains;
God composes, why shouldn’t we?
And one that I find especially true:
And an identity quote:
15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?
I am slightly puzzled because I don’t have strong, inspirational ideas for carrying on the plot, but I am confident that Kaelan and Carita will not fail me. I am happy with where I’m at and where the book is going–and that it is getting written at a good pace. Seeing a book grow is most satisfying.