Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Beautiful Books: Introduce your Novel

I've seen these writer's questionnaires before on other blogs, and they seemed like a good idea.  I'm going to be answering based off the novel I'm currently working on,

The Last Generation

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

I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to write a novel that was not just entertaining, but that tackled a problem facing our world today.  One of the biggest problems I see around me is that people are oftentimes very numb to the big questions.  I often see people that just don't care or think about the big things in life, and I think it's really a problem in our generation.  Humans are by nature inquisitive, and I want to bring a bit of that idea into my book.  

This is one of the main themes I want to incorporate, and so I needed to imagine a place like our world today, where big questions are largely ignored, but on a bigger and more dramatic scale in order to call specific attention to the problem.

I've had the idea since mid-July, when I came up with the basics in the middle of the night and scrawled it down in the dark.  Since then I've been stewing around with it and making points finer and more specific, but I have had the general concept for awhile now.

Describe what your novel is about!

 One of my pre-writing steps is to write a little blurb about the book, the type of thing that would be on the back of a book so I'll share that summary here:

Estella Juliette has lived aboard the Bullet--a spaceship hurtling through the vast unknown--her entire life. The days of Earth-living are ancient history; and Juliette’s ancestors have lived aboard the Bullet for centuries. And now, the goal of the mission--reaching the edge of the known universe and entering the multiverse--is fast approaching. A mission a million years in the making is about to be fulfilled. But memories from the past and questions of life and love make Juliette question if the mission is all it’s cracked up to be. Can she turn her back on all the work done before her? It will be up to her and her people; they are The Last Generation.

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

The overall look is very white washed with lots of fluorescent lighting and smooth, cold surfaces. I visualize the setting to look like a building version of a Stormtrooper suit; very white and severe.  

Image result for jeanine divergent

Everything is very pure and white, but also very fake and plastic.  The main character finds a relic from the past aboard the ship which is very different from the sleek design of the ship.  The relic is like a brown, rough, canvasy material (I don't know that I want to reveal what the specific item is yet) and it basically contrasts a lot with what the character is familiar with. 

Image result for stormtrooper

Everything looks pretty similar because the ship was built for efficiency, and design was not really a major priority.  We all know how tiresome it can be for everything to look the same, which the main character comes to recognize throughout the story.

Image result for peacekeeper hunger games

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Oh my, am I ready to do this?

I'm really not--I only have three characters barely sketched out because I've been focusing mainly on plot rather than characters and character development.  But I'll take a crack at it...

Estella Juliette

Estella is the main character.  She is actually writing the book as a sort of diary recounting her discoveries aboard the Bullet.  She is the first passenger to really begin to question whether the mission they're all a part of is really the most important thing to life.  She is also the person to find the relic aboard the ship which helps her learn more about what the past was like and exposes her to history, literature, music, art, etc.

Her personality is very resigned in the beginning, her main motivation is just to keep her head down and get her job done to help the mission.  As she begins to learn things from the relic, she begins to be a bit more skeptical of the rules and pushes the boundaries of what's allowed on the Bullet.

I would describe her as contemplative, intelligent, caring, sensitive, and hesitant.

I think she will have cinnamon brown hair and blue eyes and be on the short side of average for height, though I haven't decided yet.


Matthew is Estella's best friend, who also becomes the love interest of the story.  He is first introduced in Estella's diary as the smartest person she knows and indeed is shown to be very intelligent through his dialogue, and the fact that he got his job assignment earlier than the rest of the teenagers.  He works very closely with the captain of the ship, and has a lot of power over the mission.  We first meet him at age eighteen.

Matthew is quiet and thoughtful, has a very mathematically oriented mind, but he is also pretty perceptive and humble.

I have been having a hard time thinking of what I want Matthew to look like, but I am leaning toward dark brown hair and green eyes, and tall.

The Captain

I don't know much about the Captain at this stage, only that she is very strict and kind of rigid.  I know I need to somehow make her seem human, so she'll need some flaws.  At the point of the draft I'm in, she doesn't really have a major part.  She'll be developed further later.

For physical appearance, I can't decide if I want her to be really thin and tall with whitish silver hair, or very muscular with light hair.

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

I have written down whatever random thoughts pop into my mind for the past couple weeks, and I've done a bit of research on space travel.  I'm trying to keep the specific details about that subject very vague however, both because it's hard to actually seem realistic with that kind of thing, and I don't want it to become obsolete in the future since the field of science changes so quickly.

I have been drinking lots tea, burning many candles, and sitting outside for awhile.  I've also looked up some Google images to help keep me inspired and make me think deeper about my characters.  A lot of times I just imagine my characters completely faceless, but looking at art helps me visualize them more clearly.

Image result for teenage boy drawing
Image result for boy and girl art cammie
Image result for teenage girl drawing
And of course I've been listening to lots of great writing music:

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

I'm really excited for the very ending--I obviously won't reveal what happens at the conclusion, but let me just say that it is going to be the most gratifying and simultaneously upsetting ending ever.  Mwhahaha!

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

  1. It's space
  2. It's a spaceship
  3. It's a very efficient space ship

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

There are a couple goals, obviously, but the main one is to learn more about the past, art, music, literature, etc. because she feels like there's more to life than the mission her space ship is completing.  The conflict is that she doesn't have access to resources that can teach her, plus there are lots of laws restricting certain things she is trying to do.

Oh, and a couple other major things pop up too, that add stress to her goal and make it close to impossible to fulfill.  Again...mwahaha!

Image result for somebody wanted but so

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

My protagonist changes loads because she begins to recognize that things are not all they seem, and that there is more to life than she previously thought.  And of course there is that one major thing about the main character and the end...I can't reveal that!

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

I've already described the major theme of asking the big questions in life, but of course there are smaller themes I haven't really developed so far in my manuscript.  

I want my readers to feel disturbed when they read the book; like they realize that the spaceship is not so different from their world and they need to start asking the right questions.  I also want them to feel inquisitive and I want the text to be thought-provoking.

I like this little questionnaire--it's actually helped me think about certain things I hadn't considered before.  I'll keep you updated on the progress of The Last Generation!!

Image result for space
This would make a perfect book cover!
All the ideas and names concerning The Last Generation are my creative property, and may not be used without permission.  Thank you.


  1. Ooh, this sounds like a great book! Keep up the good work! ;)

  2. This sounds super interesting! I would love to read it sometime so make sure you publish it :) It actually sounds a little like Voyage to Alpha Centauri by Michael O'Brien. Have you read it?

    1. Thank you; I will certainly try! No, I haven't read that one :)

  3. Cool, can't wait to hear more. I'm a sucker for good science fiction.

    1. Thanks a lot! I too appreciate good sci-fy :)

  4. Awesome story! Sci-fi, huh? I never would have guessed that about you, what with you being such a LOTR gal. But I love sci-fi, so that's great. I don't know how I missed this post before.... it must have come on a busy day for me.

    1. Thank you! It came as a surprise to me too, to be honest, but the idea just popped into my head and I had to follow it where it went :)