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I was working in a library three years ago, and as I shelved books (or shelf read), I suddenly had the thought of someone sweeping his/her hands over the spines of books and being able to "sense" the magic books held. The basis of the story, a boy with dyslexia, came when I had to write a short story for my fiction writing class. I wasn't "allowed" to write fantasy, so I took out the fantasy and wrote about a boy with dyslexia desiring to read.
But I knew there was much more to this story. I knew my main character was much more special than a boy learning to read (and learning to love reading). I knew the library was much bigger than your average community center.
2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
I've been thinking about this novel for a while now. I wanted to write it for NaNo last year, but my plans changed (I even answered questions about it for Beautiful Books last year before I switched up my idea). I also think the concept is something needed in the world. I want children, dyslexic or not, to come to love reading as much as I do. I want them to experience the magic and wonder books have to offer. I think this story will do that.
3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
My novel is about a dyslexic boy, Arthur, who learns he has a rare gift when it comes to books: he can hear them talking. He soon learns there's a secret society that protects the library system, and he's one of them. Because of his rare gifts, he's known as an Inkling in this secret society. But the Secret Library Society is failing. Their enemies are to numerous and are crowding in. Arthur soon finds himself on a whirlwind adventure to save libraries, something only he, as an Inkling, can do.
The potential title(s) are: The Inkling, or The Secret Library Society (or a combination). I haven't quite decided. If ideas for more stories related to the SLS come about, I could call them the chronicles of the Secret Library Society with The Inkling as one title.
4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
Samantha, or Sam: dreamy
Unnamed Book Page character (I know, I know, the idea is so developed): loyal
The Library Director: mysterious
5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
I know Arthur has a special place in my heart. He's got a tough life and being unable to read only adds to his problems. But he's smart and adorable, so I think he'll be fun to get to know deeper. I'm excited to write about Sam because she's still kind of mysterious to me still. The unknown/unnamed characters will be fun to see develop as well. I've got "glimpses" of characters and how they work in the story but nothing is solid yet.
6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
At first, Arthur's goal is to learn to read. His dyslexia and trouble concentrating hinder him; other children at school bully him; and problems at home tend to dampen his spirits. However, he soon learns there's much more at stake than simply learning to read, so his goals change throughout the story to match the SLS's creeds and then his own approach to protecting the Library and the magic of books. (In the latter goals, enemies of the Library of all kinds get in his way.)
7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
Mainly in a library. XD It's going to be set in the 1950s-ish with possibly time-jumps here and there, depending on how the story goes. The story will go in and out of our world, such as Arthur's hometown library/school/home and the SLS world. There's possibilities of going inside stories as well.
8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
Arthur has a lot of relationships that keep the story intact, but his relationship with Sam is vital to the story and becomes special as the story progresses.
9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
He learns to read and to love books. He learns the importance of stories and the magic of books. And he learns about life and death and saying goodbye.
10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
I definitely want people to understand the magic books hold. I want there to be a special connection to reading and the joy of reading with the reader by the end.
NaNoWriMo BONUS: Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
1. Write. Just write without stopping. Write until your fingers hurt. Write until you've got the story down in some shape or form. Don't stop.
2. Find time to write. This is serious business, writing a book (dangerous, too). You open the door and you don't know where you might be swept off too. Cut something out of your life for one month in order to find time. Swear off twitter or netflix or pinterest, if you must. Set timers for yourself so that you didn't just waste an hour "researching."
3. Take breaks. Write for a while but give yourself time to relax and breathe. Do word wars with people in order to feel like you've accomplished something. But then take a breather: eat a snack, take a walk, get up and stretch, allow yourself a moment. Then dive right back in. (Oh, do your homework too.)
That's it, I guess. Let me know if you've participated this month and whether you're doing NaNoWriMo. (You can find me here.) I'd love to hear about your novel!