Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Beautiful Books Linkup: Introducing Clockwork Apprentice

Hallo my people (you are my people now, yes)! I thought I would drop by with a fun thing I thought I'd try. Some may know, others not, but Cait and Sky do a Beautiful People linkup, where they have a set of questions about the darling characters we write and love and force to suffer, and other people can answer them and link back to their blog posts. I've seen it around often, but I will admit I have not kept up with it. But this month, the questions revolve around a novel as a whole, as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, or just NaNo) looms just days away.

This year will be my first go NaNo, and I'm both excited and nervous. I'm committing to writing a full-blown novel in one month, all. One. Month. One. Novel. I'm sure at some point I'll be trying to find the exit door. But I have a friend doing it with me! So I'm not alone in this insanity! B)

But anyways! I'm doing NaNo this year. I saw Cait and Sky's linkup on Aimee Meester's blog. Her NaNo novel this year sounds absolutely hilarious, and you must go and read about it on her blog. For now, I thought I'd finally try one of these linkups, as it's my first go at this month of craziness and writing.

How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I'm not sure how long I've had the idea, but I came up with it by poking at a character I've had for a while. He has a short story I wrote for a college assignment, and I loved it. It was my first steampunk, and the MC was my darling boy and he makes me emotional (ya'll should know by now my characters can do that to me). Later on, I wanted to do something more with him. I started one, but it spluttered off amidst other writing projects. So after struggling to decide what novel I'd write for NaNo (the struggle was real, people), I decided to try again with this one. This time, it's a little more fleshed out.

Why are you excited to write this novel?
Because steampunk. And clockwork toys. And the man who makes the toys is my darling and I love him. And drama, and feels. And a glass armonica. And a quite insane villainess. And all the things. It's gonna be madness, but hopefully there will be some semblance of order at some point. I'm excited to just dive in and develop him and the POV character (not sure yet who is the main character, though). And some foreshadowing. I might try that too. I'm excited for the feels I know will come. The climax, all. The climax will be amazing, I am sure. In all its first-drafty-ness, but still.

What is your novel about, and what is the title?
My novel, Clockwork Apprentice, is about a young lady named Mariel, who becomes apprenticed to clockwork toymaker Liam Killian, a man with a tragic past he won't speak of. But Mariel isn't the only one after his expertise, and one of the handsome darlings of society is being attacked by clockwork machines. But Mariel's concern lies more in coaxing her mentor out of his shell, determined to remedy his dormant love life.

Or something like that. ;)
(Images courtesy of Pinterest)

Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
Just one word? >_>

Liam: Devoted
(Image courtesy of Pinterest)

Mariel: Eager
(Image courtesy of Pinterest. And also here, for original source.)

Angeline: Insane
(Image courtesy of Pinterest)

Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
Ooh… Liam, I think. There will be some scenes from his POV, and he's so much fun to explore and write. He was fun to write in his short story, and it will be fun to watch him and Mariel interact, and watch her adjust to his ways and personality. Liam's life has taken dark turns, and it's taken him a while to recover. I've loved his quiet heart, but also how it's a caring one too. Writing him both from Mariel's POV and his own will be fun.

What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
I suppose that depends on which of the two is the protagonist. Mariel's goal is to apprentice under Liam for a project over the summer, but she takes on a new goal of finding Liam a lady friend. Standing in her way is Liam's frustrating indifference. Liam's goal is to simply go on with life, making commissioned clockwork toys and making children smile with them. Mariel's coming into his life makes it a little harder when she's trying to get him to do the thing called socializing.

Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
Uhh, I'm going the usual Victorian London? This is my first go at a full steampunk story, and I feel most familiar in that setting, I suppose. It's set more in the lower class areas of the city, which is where Liam lives.

It was as close to a steampunk clock tower as I found at the time. (Image courtesy of Pinterest)

Feels inspired by a gorgeous instrumental cover of The Music of the Night go down in here. (Image courtesy of Pinterest)

More feels here too. (Image courtesy of Pinterest)

What is the most important relationship your character has?
Mmm. I'd say it's Mariel and her uncle. He's also Liam's best friend, and he has more or less raised Mariel and also helped Liam through his things. That man has been a support, I think, in both of their lives. He's a darling, too.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Mariel learns to listen, to be more aware of other people and their needs. Liam learns to open up a little, and not close himself off to the world. But to appreciate the things in life outside of his work and interests.

What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
I'm not sure yet of the themes. Perhaps similar to the things my protagonists learn, but I haven't set any specific themes. When it's over, I hope my readers will feel hopeful. Satisfied and content that everything will be okay. Or something like that. :)

BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
I don't know if I have any advice, since this is my first time through. But here's a few things to keep in mind, whether you're writing a novel in a month or not:

1. Don't worry if it looks like garbage, or if it's too wordy. Pretty sure words are your friends during NaNo, so you need them. And outside of NaNo, first drafts are allowed to be wordy. Too many words gives you plenty to edit out, instead of having to come up with more because you wrote too little before.

2. Relax. Step away from the words for a bit every now and then. Cool off if things become too frustrating. It's not the end of the world. Things will get figured out. Do chores or chill with family and a movie. Don't stress.

3. Be prepared. My friend gave me this advice, and it's probably what's gonna save me. Worldbuild and develop as much as you can before you launch into NaNo. Even if you like to write by the seat of your pants, indulge yourself in at least a couple paragraphs of outline. It doesn't have to be extensive, just something to run with so you don't run into a wall midway through. Develop and plan. I like spontaneous writing, letting my characters do what they want (sometimes), but I also like to have a fair idea of where I'm going. Especially now, when I have only a month to write this.

What about you? Who out there is taking in this crazy challenge of NaNoWriMo? Is this your first go or are you a seasoned NaNoer? Tell me all! :D


  1. Ooh I do love your advice and OMG YOUR BOOK SOUNDS AMAZING!! Steampunk can be so so fun with all the clockworky (that's totally a word) things. Particularly clockwork toys, omg. Plus being attacked by clockwork machines is always exciting. ^_^ I hope this is tons of fun to write and you have the best of luck during NaNo!!
    Thanks for joining in the linkup with us!! :D

    1. Aww, thank you. :3 I'm excited to try steampunk. ^_^ I hope it turns out to be exciting. I'm expecting the climax to be full of feels. o.o

      Good luck in your NaNo too! :D And this was a fun linkup. ^_^

  2. Wow, this novel sounds so fascinating! Definitely the sort of thing I'd want to read. Best of luck on your first NaNo experience! :)


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