Beautiful Books: A Link-Up for Writers

So, I saw this over on Paper Fury and decided, why not? This way I can easily tell you more about my NaNoWriMo novel. Shall we get started?

First off, the name of my NaNoWriMo novel is Goggles, Corsets, and Cyborgs. Here's the cover. (What do you think?)

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I first became aware of the genre steampunk when I went to a talk at the Library of Congress by a steampunk author. The idea intrigued me and I decided one day I'd write a steampunk novel one day.

Last year I started a novel course (which I never finished; it didn't work for me), and I decided to write a Victorian novel. When I looked for an idea for this year's NaNoWriMo novel, I went back to that idea. But instead of simply being a story set in Victorian England, I turned it into a steampunk adventure. So I haven't had the idea that long, but I'm excited to write it.

2. Describe what your novel is about!

A high born girl+machines+cyborgs+a bit of love+traitors+gears+mystery. Here's my official synopsis.

In England, the 1890s, with cyborgs, automatons, and flying machines, lives Elle, daughter of a lord. Unlike other young ladies of her station and age, she has a dream to build machines. In the upper class where women are simply meant to be ornaments of grace and gentility, that's something likely to get her shunned forever. However, Elle's never cared about what they think. She gets her father's begrudging permission and heads off to a school to achieve her dream.

At the same time, a cyborg lord named Whitlock begins to put in motion a terrible plan to exterminate machines throughout all England as revenge for ruining his life.

As Elle discovers, school is hard, especially since she is the only girl and must deal with the doubt of the male students. Before she can truly become comfortable, the school is shut down due to recent mechanical mishaps. Elle, along with several friends, sets out learn what's going on. The plot she discovers runs deeper and farther back than anyone realizes. She and her friends must stop the mastermind behind it, Whitlock, before his deadly plan kills thousands.

3. What is your book's aesthetic? Use photos or words or whatever you like!

Lots of steampunk has a gritty feel. Mine is more smooth. Shiny metals, with a mix of steam and gear technology. Lindsey Sterling's video, Roundtable Rival, has a similar clothing look to my novel, except not in the west. I have a hard time finding pictures that I like, but here's a few.

4. Introduce us to each of your characters.

Ellenor "Elle" Beechworth is the main character. She's the daughter of Lord Beechworth. Her mother was killed in a mysterious accident. Her personality type is ENFJ. She's the sort of person to act before thinking, using her heart more than her head.

Lydia White is her best friend. She's middle class and has her own shop. Elle gets most of her corsets and hats from Lydia. Her mother and Elle's mother were best friends and passed that on to their daughters.

Nathan "Nate" Green is a student at the mechanical engineering school Elle attends. They eventually fall in love, despite the fact he thought a girl could do as well as a man (the poor misguided soul.) He can also cook.

Ethan Connell is another student. He's from a pretty poor family and abusive father. He's had to work hard for everything he has. Ethan is mean to Elle at first, but only because he thinks she's another stuck up Crat (the name the middle class call the upper class).

And Roderick. I can't tell you much about him without spoilers, so you'll just have to live with the mystery.

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

I like to do plenty of preparation. I write character sketches, worldbuild, and outline. I also like to have rewards for myself, whether it's chocolate or playing a game for fifteen minutes. I love making Pinterest storyboards and I'm trying to start making novel soundtracks. So far the one for this story is eluding me.

6. What are you most looking forward to in this novel?

Writing steampunk. I can't wait to write about crazy inventions like flying machines and automaton butlers. I'm also looking forward to writing about Elle. She's more outgoing than a lot of my characters, so it'll be fun to try something so different.

7. List three things about your novel's setting.

1. Major class division. There's the upper class, called the elite by themselves or Crats by the lower class. They're extravagant and love to show off their wealth. The middle class, called Commons by the upper class, do most of the work. Then there are the poor people, called Low Lives by everyone. They have only the worst jobs, like chimney sweeps and factory workers. Each class hates the ones above and looks down on the ones below.

2. Cyborgs. Many people, especially if they're poor, have been in accidents that take limbs. With the technology available, they can get mechanical limbs.

3. Victorian-type England. The story takes place in and around London.

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

Elle's goal is to build machines that can help lots of people. What stands in her way is a man named Whitlock. He's a cyborg himself and wants to destroy all machines. They ruined his life, and despite the fact he has machines in his body, he wants them gone.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

In the beginning, she's too emotional and doesn't think enough. She wants to do great things but she doesn't have the skills she needs. At the end of the story, she's learned to keep her emotions in check. She's become a more capable person and able to do more than she cold before.

10. What are your book's themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

My theme is kindness. If more people in my story had been kind to other people in different classes, then many of the problems would have been avoided.

I want people to feel hopeful when they finish my story. I want them to think more about how they treat others.

There you have it. My novel. Before I finish, I've got a quick announcement. Starting today, I plan to post a simple Halloween costume on Facebook each Friday. Be sure to like my Facebook page if you want to see them (there's a button in the right sidebar).

So, what do you think? What's your novel for NaNoWriMo about? Let me know in the comments.


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