2015 PitchWars Mentee Blog Hop: The Story (Or Lack Thereof) Behind the Story

Yay for the mentee blog hop! This contest is amazing, and what with last year’s being so awesome (you can read my old post over here) I couldn’t resist joining in this one. Same topic as last year, too: the inspiration behind the novel that got me in. Though there’s a little problem — I don’t remember what inspired the story.

Seriously, no idea where the plot bunny came from. I remember that I came up with the concept early on in my writing exploits, but thankfully didn’t write it then.

The only inkling of an idea I have of where it came from is one my all-time favorite authors: Diana Wynne Jones. Not only is one of the character’s named after a secondary character in the second Howl’s Moving Castle book (shhh), I’ve always adored Jones’s plot and world building. Her worlds are so vast and complex and deep that I can only aspire to be like her one day. Every time I re-read any of her books, I notice new things, I laugh at loud at the jokes, I believe every word she writes, I’m transported to a world that isn’t my own.

So, I don’t have a particularly amazing story behind my novel. It’s just my little love letter to an amazing author that managed to bring a little real magic into this world, and my promise to try and do the same.

Okay, done gushing. If you’d like to hear more stories of inspiration, check out the other Pitch Wars novel origin stories:

  • Amanda Rawson Hill
  • K. Kazul Wolf
  • Vanessa Barger
  • Michelle Tran
  • ES Wesley
  • Cindy Baldwin
  • Ashley Martin
  • ​Michella Domenici
  • Tracy Gold
  • Brian Palmer
  • Julie Artz
  • Joan He
  • Kyle W. Kerr
  • Ashley D. MacKenzie
  • M.C. Vaughan
  • Bacon, out.

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    PitchWars Blog Hop: The Story Behind the Storm

    Alright, so I’m here to talk about why I wrote the novel I got into PitchWars with: Summer Thunder. But the story is a little bit more of a how than a why.

    I got the inspiration from the story from a few direct sources (Thunder Clatter by Wild Cub, my weird love of thunder storms in the heat of summer, the idea of someone being persecuted for killing a dragon — which I wrote a very depressing short story about, too — and this prompt from a friend: “What if he has no voice, he’s a social outcast, he doesn’t look that good and he’s not that funny?”), but I need a big kick in the butt to start a novel. The only thing I really had to start plotting this story was that tagline you’ve probably seen around if you were following me this time this last year:

    She’s on the run for a crime punishable by death: killing a dragon.

    So what did I do with that? The most sane thing possible: I wrote a chapter every day for NaNo, and put the entire story in my reader’s hands. I didn’t expect anything legible to come out of it, but thought it would be a challenge to have people give me prompts every day to direct where the story would go, or throw challenges in my way. And boy did people take advantage of that. I’m still scarred from the chapter that I had to work in an ’80’s baby blue tuxedo, duck and pudding, and an allergy to sand. Did I mention that it’s a high fantasy, set in a desert? Yeah.

    The site I wrote it on still exists, if you want to check out the fan art — and see proof that I’m totally insane. It was a ton of fun, and stress, and I learned so much. But I was completely prepared to scrap the story at the end.

    If it weren’t for a few particularly persistent friends, it’d still be buried in a corner of the internet, a rotting file on my computer. But everyone kept pushing, so I did an insane, month-long revision to enter it in PitchWars, and, well, here I am. Ready to see what comes from the alternate round and have a list of agents to query after that.

    I’m forever thankful to Evelyn Skye for being my brilliant mentor, Brenda Drake for being so generous to run this contest, iwriteforapples.com for hosting the alternate round, and everyone else who’s pulling the strings behind this extraordinary contest that’s taught me so much, and brought me to know some absolutely amazing people. (One of those amazing people being Carleen Karanovic, who’s organizing this blog hop!)

    Okay, okay, I’m done gushing. Now time to write two Novels for NaNo. (Yay?) Anyone else joining the insanity? Hoping to write your own PitchWars novel?

    More “Why I Wrote my Novel” PitchWars Stories!

    Bacon, out.

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