Here’s the rest of my answers to the NaNo questions!
Day 15 - Do any of your characters have a disability or mental illness? If so, how does that affect their development throughout your story?
Hmm…there’s a bit of magic used as self-harm so I would say one of my characters become very depressed and sort of obsessive. It changes him so much so that he becomes the villain of my story. I don’t want to reveal too much—you’ll just have to read it for yourself.
Day 16 - At around the half-way point, it bears mentioning that most of us wrimos have other obligations beside simply hitting that elusive word count. What else do you have going on in your life (work, school, children, neurotic pets, etc.), and just how much are you shafting it to win NaNo?
To be honest, I am a high school teacher so usually I would spend godforsaken hours to plan and grade. I sometimes spent time after school until 4:30pm to hang out with the kids and sometimes tutor them. Not that I completely ignored these responsibilities (because as you will see on my chart that I hardly wrote on weekdays and mostly wrote on weekends and also I had like fifty parent meetings in the month of November), but I did make an effort to not think about work at all during the weekends. I was also more efficient with planning and tried to get stuff done as fast as I could without losing any of the quality. I planned a lot of fun friendship activities around writing as well so that was actually a lot of fun.
Day 17 - In what time period is your novel set? Is it in this world or another?
My novel is, in my opinion, set in modern time. It’s in a kingdom that is part of our world but no one can really see it. People wander into it but that’s not super important. It’s like Brigadoon or Once Upon a Time—people who are looking for it may find it, but it’s mostly a place that knows a little bit of the outside world but aren’t too bothered by it.
Day 18 - Who is the antagonist in your novel? What drives their actions?
I haven’t really been able to figure out the antagonist in my novel—at first it was definitely the witch, just like in Hansel and Gretel, because that’s what my story is based off of. But then I made her more of a regular person who was sacrificed herself into being a villain, which kind of sucked. The other antagonist would be Grey, but again I don’t really want to talk too much about what happens there. I haven’t even really gotten there in my writing yet!
Day 19 - Which authors or books have inspired your own writing the most, and why?
Gosh, I have a lot of favorite authors and books but I don’t know how much they’ve influenced my own writing. That’s hard to pinpoint. In terms of the actual writing, I think it can be reminiscent of translated Chekhov and E.L. Konigsburg, though I aspire to be Paul Murray. As far as the content and the genre, it’s somewhere between Susanna Clarke and Tim O’Brien.
Day 20 - If you could meet one fictional character from any book you’ve ever read, who would it be, and why?
I would love to meet Hermione and talk about books all the time. I would also love to meet the caterpillar from The Very Hungry Caterpillar and share our lunches.
Day 21 - With about 10 days left to this arguably traumatic experience, what are your plans and goals for your novel, should you successfully complete it?
As I have posted previously, I do not plan to give up on the book. I will finish writing it and edit it a billion times to make every sentence perfect like I do with my poetry. Then I would try to get it published the old fashioned way; if that doesn’t work out, I’ll just have to self-publish.
Day 22 - If you’ve participated in or won NaNo before, what happened to your other novel efforts? Still in the revision process/querying publishers/scrapped it immediately/etc.
My other novel efforts have been completely ignored. I plan on going back and taking a gander at a couple of the ideas that I had. I literally had like two different ideas in July and neither of them worked out.
Day 23 - Do animals play any part in your story? If so, how do they add to it?
Oh yeah, I totally have a magical pug in my story. He basically plays a really important part but he just comes and goes as he pleases and after a while, none of the other characters find it too surprising that he’s sort of just there. I can’t really reveal the role that he plays because it won’t ever be mentioned in the actual story.
Day 24 - Is religion featured in your novel at all? If so, which ones? If it’s/they’re your own creations, describe it/them and how it/they play(s) a part in your characters’ lives.
There’s some mythos involving the volcano so the characters sort of worship the mountain gods. They don’t actually do very much and I haven’t decided whether they actually exist or not. Probably not, but it’s something for the characters to pray to and curse at. But if it becomes unnecessary, I may just take all of the references out.
Day 25 - What are the names of at least two of your main characters? How did you choose their names?
The names of my two main characters are Hans and Grey, obviously in reference to Hansel and Gretel. Not really a lot of other symbolism, but I believe that Grey is generally a grim character.
Day 26 - Was any research involved (historical or otherwise) in your NaNo prep?
I did a lot of research involving different Grimm Fairy Tales because a lot of the same characters show up in my story. But mostly I wanted Grimland to be sort of stuck in the medieval times, sort of like Shrek how there are a lot of modern things like the way they talk.
Day 27 - What’s your word count now? Are you satisfied with your progress or panicked that you won’t have enough time to finish by November 30?
Still the same, as I haven’t written any more. I think by this time, I was really satisfied with my progress because I had hit 40k, but I did panic much of the time because I never really wrote during the weekdays.
Day 28 - Name one thing you shafted all month in favor of participating in NaNo.
I shafted cooking. Why spend the time to cook if you can just get Bojangles and Wendy’s? It was such a waste of money because I never wrote on the days that I ordered food.
Day 29 - Name one thing in which you indulged as a treat to keep yourself motivated and writing that you wouldn’t otherwise have done.
I watched TV after a thousand words or so on some of the days where I wrote over 5k (which happened actually three or more times). But my boyfriend just got me champagne now that I’m completely done, so that was exciting! I never have champagne.
Day 30 - Share a link to either your NaNo profile or a location on the internet where your story can be found. If someone offered to beta read for you, would you be willing to do the same for them during the subsequent editing process?
Message me if you really want to know who I am on NaNo. You can find some excerpts of my story here on my Tumblr. If someone offered to beta read for me, I would definitely do the same for them!
And that’s it, folks!