Saturday, October 18, 2014

Beautiful Books: October 2014

Sky at Further Up and Further In and Cait at Notebook Sisters has started another blog meme:
Beautiful Books. It's similar to Beautiful People but instead of focusing on specific characters, it focuses on the story. It's supposed to help prepare for National Novel Writing Month in November, but it doesn't have to. I'm excited for this. They said Beautiful People will still be around, but for the next four months they are focusing more heavily on Beautiful Books!

Since I plan to do National Novel Writing Month, I'm going to use these memes to focus on that! :) You've already met Arthur Benedict Williams, the main character of the novel I've named, as of now, The Secret Library Society or the Inkling. And I just introduced you to Samantha, the other main character. So let's find out more about this story!


What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I think the idea but I'm not sure. I remember working at the library and as I re-shelved books and shelf-read, the idea of someone reading the spines of books came to be. After that it started as a short story I had to write for a fiction writing class, so it's possible characters like Arthur and Samantha came first. I think I took my characters and the basic plot (a dyslexic kid wanting to read) and combined it with the magic of book spine-reading, among other things).
I'm definitely a pantser. I've tried plotting before but then I get bored and never finish anything. I only plot after a huge chunk, if not all, of it is written. :)

Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”?
I'm still debating between titles (or sub-titles?) but I like The Secret Library Society or the Inkling. It would help if I was writing more than one book (which as of now I'm not) so the overall series/trilogy/etc title would be The Secret Library Society and the first book be the Inkling, but I don't know at this point. I like both, so it's hard to decide!

My back-cover blurb is rough but this is what I have (it's kind of too long):
Arthur Benedict Williams, or just Arthur,  is a nine year-old boy with dyslexia, but he wishes he could read without the words tumbling off the page. Instead, he can hear the books whispering to him, or at least that's what it sounds like to him. When he runs into Samantha, a girl who is a few years older and more experienced in the ways of the library, things change. He might have the opportunity to read. But also to find out why the books talk to him, and what else he can do.

The Secret Library Society aims to protect books. With a widespread influence throughout every library and bookstore in the world, it isn't hard to do. What's hard is the characters, the settings, and the objects that seep out of the books. To keep balance and order, librarians, library pages, and many other people with special, specific abilities keep the books and their contents in check. Some collect books. Some pull characters back inside. Some archive. Some read the spines of books or jump into books to settle the contents back into place.

And some, rare, can have multiple abilities. Even rarer can a person have all the abilities. These are the Inklings. And Arthur Benedict Williams is an Inkling.

What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
Since I'm doing this for Nanowrimo, 50k, but it'll probably end up more!

Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
Arthur is a boy with dyslexia and a special ability in relation to books. Samantha is a girl who loves books and wishes everybody could feel the joy she does while reading. The Secret Library Society has a mission to keep all abnormalities from seeping out of books and entering the earthly realm, not matter the cost.

(this was hard! I don't know if it gives the story justice!)

Sum up your characters in one word each.
Arthur: downtrodden (??? THIS IS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS)
Sam: dreamy

(at this point I don't have any other characters developed or imagined yet.)

Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them!
Since I only have two, I have to say both! However, I am looking forward to figuring out more about Sam's character. She's kind of mystical and she loves books and lives in her own kind of world. But her back story is a bit hidden from Arthur for various reasons (but spoilers!). And I'm excited to see how her relationship with Arthur plays out.

 I adore Arthur though. :) He's the kind of little boy that has the weight of the world on his shoulders and just needs a big, warm hug. He gets bullied, he thinks he's going a bit nutty from the books whispering to him, and he has a few hardships at home. But he's still a dreamer, so he tries and tries again to fix things and make everything better. I just love him.

What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
Curious. It's hard to pinpoint a specific villain (partly because I haven't planned that far ahead, remember I'm a pantser). I think in itself the Secret Library Society is a kind of villain to Arthur and Samantha, as well as book character/abnormalities that seep out. But I think there might be another villain tiptoeing around, which causes the abnormalities to seep out more frequently. But I don't know for sure. I have glimpses of ideas in my head.

What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
Initially, Arthur wants to learn how to read without the words fluttering off the page. But when he learns about being an Inkling, he wants to help save the books and characters from being stashed away, locked in archives. He wants to return them to their rightful places.

The Secret Library Society has a lot of rules and regulations that Inklings don't fit into (because they themselves are anomalies to the code). They have to abide by the rules, so at times they stand in Arthur's way. In addition, the lurking villain that has yet to be formed might sabotage Arthur's efforts to save the books.

What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
Arthur is in the library and is being bullied by a few classmates for not being able to read. He runs from them and into Samantha, who notices his crying.

Where is your novel set?
Mainly in libraries. Ha! I don't have a specific place (as of right now). It could be anywhere. But it's going to be set either in the 40s or 50s, I think. (I have yet to do my research in that regards).

What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
Obviously the first one, when he meets Samantha for the first time. Then, when he enters the world of the Secret Library Society and sees the hidden realm of libraries at work. And last is a huge spoiler, but something crazy and definitely tragic is revealed. :)

What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
I think Arthur and Samantha (though I'm not quite sure what dynamic means in this context). Arthur also meets various members of the Secret Library Society. I don't think he becomes close to any one of them in particular, but it's possible. The other Inklings (there's two) he does meet and they help him along.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
He goes from being a sad, angry boy who wants to read in order not to be made fun of into a boy who can see good in the world, read, and enjoy books for what they are, not what other people say they should be. (maybe that's not realistic or it's a little too "happily ever after" but this is a story where books can talk and characters can seep out of novels, so.)

Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?
Yes. I have an ending. :) It's sad and happy and it's going to be a horrible, wonderful thing to read. :P

What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself? (This is your mission statement, one you can look back on when the road gets tough.)
I guess I want readers to understand the magic of books and writing. I want them to seek after their dreams and find a way to make them come true.

Join me!

-Jaguar Hero!


  1. I love the premise of this! Characters and settings actually leaping out of books sounds quite fun. Good luck with NaNo! :)

    1. Thank you :)

      Glad you like it. I'm excited to figure it all out!

  2. This sounds fun and quite imaginative! I also like the picture of Arthur. :) Good luck next month!

    1. Thank you :)

      I never could find a perfect picture of Arthur, either they were too old or too young... and then I found this and I was like: he's so cute! it's perfect. :) Glad you like it! I squeee to myself thinking about Arthur and his adorableness. (sorry fangirling over my own characters, sheesh i'm lame)

      Good luck to you too! :)

  3. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!!! I'm really digging both of those titles. Just anything to do with books, y'know? :] The premise makes me think of a cross between Inkheart and Chronicles of Narnia, which are two of my favorite book series! I would totally read this if you ever get it published. ;D

    1. Thank you!

      I love both titles to and it's driving me bonkers on which to choose. Maybe both. Probably? :D

      I've never read Inkheart but I've heard good things. :))))

      I'm glad you like it. I hope it turns out as awesome as it sounds. :D