I’ve come to a point in editing Written By The Stars where I have to decide whether or not to pull out a cool plot point.
The concept of this part of the plot is awesome and it would be a great way to show the differences between Fanta’s home world (our own) and the world she ends up in. On the other hand the only way to solve it in this book is to either change a part of the story’s climax I don’t want to change, or make it part of the driving source for a sequel novel.
I’ve idly toyed with the idea of a sequel to Written By The Stars almost since its completion, but have never had a strong enough plot idea to make me want to commit to it.
Now I haven’t got a choice. If I keep this plot thread in, I need to resolve it in the second book (because all first book resolution options make me want to barf for entirely non-pregnancy related reasons), or I need to remove all mention of it and stick with a stand-alone fantasy novel. This means I have to pause in editing to see if I can make a plot outline worth committing to.
Which is a pity since my editing momentum has been great the last few weeks since I restarted working on this revision back at the writers retreat.
Since I told you all last time about my current WIP, Keys, Clocks, Quests I decided to pick the novel project before that, currently in second draft phase, Written By The Stars.
1: What is the working title of your book?
Written By The Stars. Yes, I purposefully said ‘by’ not ‘in’. If you want to find out why you have to read it 😀
I’m not making it up, milk flavoured Fanta.
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had an image in my mind of a world where everything was predetermined, and when you came of age your destiny was tattooed on your hands for everyone to see. That was how the world was born.
My protagonist came into being when I briefly thought how nice it would be not to have to choose anymore. I thought a girl who wants to run away from a tough decision would be the perfect person to throw into that world of fate. At the time I was drinking ‘milk’ Fanta from Japan, so that’s how she got saddled with the name ;p
3. What genre does your book come under?
Cross dimensional fantasy.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I don’t know about actors, but the girl playing Fanta MUST have this hair. That is why I pinned this photo in the first place. Karen Gillan would probably do a smashing job, but until I see her in something else my brain just sees her as Amy Pond (sorry Karen, I’m sure you’ll break that mould in your next gig, I just have a funny brain).
Some of my actors are going to be way too famous to actually be possible (unless I’m unwittingly the next JK Rowling), but you get an idea of looks I’m imagining.
That. Right there. Auriga.
Christian Bale with a beard could do a damn fine Auriga (the Once-King), but he’d need to go back to the Batman Begins muscle/bulk to really fit.
Caelum’s a hard pick. The closest I can think of is Alexander Siddig, but he needs to be younger, Caelum’s only 25. He has very Caelum eyes in this picture though.
Tucana is the hardest to pick of all, probably because Hollywood doesn’t do normal women. Tucana is not skinny, but not fat. She’s an Australian size 10-12, short to average height with a blonde bob. If you can think of any actress matching this feel free to share.
Eridanus is easy to get the face of. Totally Jeffrey Dean Morgan – but really tall, and 20 years old. His smile, the way his cheeks crinkle and eyes light up, absolutely perfect for Eridanus.
I feel really mean, I keep telling actors they’re too old, or their body isn’t the right size/shape. You’re all fine as you are, just not identical to my characters!
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When faced with an unwanted engagement ring, Fanta, a young astronomy student, wishes she could run away and wakes up in a world where the Gods make every decision for you. She joins a group of dissidents in the fight against the gods for freedom of choice.
I know, it’s a little long. I’m still tinkering with it.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
I plan on getting an agent, but the work is still rough, not quite at the stage of approaching an agent, so I’m not going to waste their and my time sending it out just yet.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Two months and a couple of days. I actually wrote a few posts about the journey if you want to check them out.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I think the book that comes closest is actually a manga series, From Far Away by Kyoko Hikawa. Or maybe Fushigi Yugi(Yuu Watase) a bit as well. I’ve not really read any books like this.
There is a distinct fairy tale feel to the novel, it starts off with a sense of Alice In Wonderland, then turns into Sleeping Beauty for a short while – so you can see I’ve got a bit of a thing for fairy tale undertones.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I pretty much covered this in ‘where did the idea come from’. Milk Fanta, the weirdest thing ever.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
When I’ve been telling people in my personal life about it every one really seems to dig the Hyakan, the destiny tattooed onto your hands. Personally I love the fact I’ve stranded an astronomy student in a world with almost no stars, I like the little bit of symbolism that provides too.
Kirstie Olley is an award-winning speculative fiction author and the full-time wrangler of her children Xander and Harlequin.
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