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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

In Which I Talk Plot: Beautiful Books #1 (My NaNo Novel for 2014)

I'm super excited to be participating in Beautiful Books, my new blog meme with Cait from Notebook Sisters! (All the info on that is here.) This will also serve as the introduction, officially, to my novel for NaNoWriMo 2014!

left to right: evee, jem
1. What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Honestly, plot idea. I had a dream a month or two ago about a weird spinal surgery thing, and I immediately (of course) wanted to turn it into a novel, because I'm creepy like that. It took a while to officially land on my main characters, though. I thought Luna would be the main character, and I had other side characters and a Pinterest board and everything... but now, I think I'll be using those characters for a different story. (I know, so confusing.) Anyway, I had another creepy-as-all-get-out dystopia dream about taking care of a bunch of girls, and so those combined to make the plot I have now. And coincidentally, those two dreams are both the individual plot threads for my main girl characters! I just realized that. Crazy stuff.

I am usually a pantser. I've outlined before, but it all depends on the project. Mostly I have a road map in my head of the vague points I want to hit, and then I just write and take it from there. (I am not sure if this method is necessarily recommendable, but hey. There you go.)

2. Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”? 
I do! The title is a play off of Peter Pan: Lost Girls. This is due to the driving governmental conflict of the novel, and the group of girls that one of my characters takes care of. 

And yes! Here you go.

In distant-future London, the overpopulation of our planet has turned into a crisis, leaving many girls kicked out on the street. Evee Hawkins is one of them, and she's tried to help as many of the other girls as she can. They have formed their own family. She calls them her "lost girls." 

Jem Marcellis is an intern at one of the most prestigious medical labs on the country. There's just one problem: her rare spinal condition keeps standing in her way. Jem agrees to an experimental surgery that could fix everything, but when she wakes up midprocedure, she realizes that this isn't a spinal operation. Instead, it's something far more sinister. Jem leaves the hospital, branding herself as a fugitive in the process. She brings her politician dad and hacker brother Hal with her, and they all go on the run: straight into the arms of the Lost Girls. 

After Jem's arrival, all of the Lost Girls become the target of a corrupted system and a bloodthirsty scientist. While fighting against a mindset that has left them for dead, will the Lost Girls be able to figure out a way to win, and perhaps be found again?

3. What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
Well, I'm doing NaNo, so 50k at least. Beyond that I don't know. It'd be fabulous to finish up the whole novel during November, putting it around 50-60k, but I hardly ever do that and the story may take me farther than I intended. We shall see. Maybe 70k?

4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
"The world is too full, which leaves lots of girls homeless. In addition, an evil scientist has a diabolical plot. As a result, a whimsical ragamuffin, a reserved science intern, and a bored computer hacker try to save the world."

5. Sum up your characters in one word each.
Jem: Tired.
Evee: Brave.
Hal: Bored.

6. Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them! 
May I say all of them? Mostly my main trio: Jem, Evee, and Hal. Their dynamics are going to be incredibly fun. 

Jem is a science intern and doesn't make friends easily, but is loyal to a fault. She's smart, resourceful, and down-to-earth. She has the spinal condition that limits a lot of what she can do, but to mangle a quote from Red Band Society, it hasn't touched her soul. She doesn't want to be defined by what has disabled her, and so far (I'm grateful for this), in my head, she isn't. (So much so that I almost forgot to mention that in her little character bio.)

Evee is whimsical--lots of floral, vintagey clothing, and her tattered copy of Peter Pan that she carries everywhere. She has a good head on her shoulders in order to survive on the streets, but she retains her sweet and vulnerable nature.

Hal is kind of a jerk, but I love him. He gets bored easily, argues just for fun, and won't help you too easily. Despite that, he has a rich inner thought life and he's a good conversationalist. (And sweet, too, but he wouldn't tell you that.)

I've made these handy-dandy Polyvore sets; they'll give you a good idea of who my characters are, too.

7. What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
My villain doesn't have a name yet, but he's an (evil) scientist. His face is tentatively Matthew Fox (yes, from Lost). His goal is to use the formula he's developed to make something great of himself, to leave his fingerprint on the world in the form of his scientific projects.

8. What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
I haven't quite narrowed down exactly who my protagonist is, and the whole thing might be a dual narrative between Jem and Evee. In addition, I'm trying to treat Hal himself like a protagonist as well in order to develop him. So, in that case...

Jem's goal: Her goal is to fix what she thinks is broken, in society and herself. What stands in her way is mainly the aforementioned evil scientist.
Evee's goal: Her goal is to protect her lost girls at all costs. What stands in the way is the fact that one of her girls becomes a fugitive.
Hal's goal: His goal is to stay out of the world's conflicts. What stands in the way is that his sister, and eventually Evee, keep dragging him into it.

9. What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
For each of them, it's different things. For Jem, it's discovering something sinister going on. For Evee, it's when Jem finds and joins her group of lost girls. For Hal, it's when Jem goes on the run, and he has to go with her. (It's so disruptive to his schedule. *eye roll*)

10. Where is your novel set?
Currently, futuristic London, though I'm hoping I can do an okay job of that. I'm not sure if I picture my characters as British yet, though, so we'll see.

11. What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
One of them involves Jem's accident, which prompts her to the second gamechanger: agreeing to participate in an experimental surgery, and the aftermath of that. The third one involves the Lost Girls, parental figures, chemical gas, and lives at stake.

12. What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
Jem, Evee, and Hal all become pretty close, and that trio is probably the most dynamic. They all have very different personality types (INTJ, INFJ, and ENTP respectively), so I'm excited to write their interactions. Hal is Jem's brother, and Evee and he become close as well. In addition, Evee has a strong bond with all the lost girls she's taken care of.

13. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I want Jem to realize that she isn't broken, I want Evee to learn the meaning of sacrifice (maybe?), and I want Hal to become more apt to being friends with and playing well with others. (Tony Stark, anyone?)

14. Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens? 
I honestly have no idea. I hope with everything resolving itself, and everyone living happily ever after, but I'm not sure if that will pan out or not...

15. 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.)
Oh boy. Hopefully, I'd like to give positive representation to a character with a disability. I'd like to successfully make a role model that disabled people can look up to, without portraying disability as a negative thing necessarily. I really want to explore the meaning of love, particularly when it comes to Hal and Evee. And most of all, I just want to have a heckuva lot of fun writing a dystopia-sci-fi-weird novel for once! I'm excited.

As for impressions, I haven't narrowed down the theme of this novel yet, or what I want it to portray. One of the impressions I want to leave, though, is the theme of family, and love. How can you go wrong with that? (An upcoming blog post will elaborate on both of those things, probably. Stay tuned!)

What about you? What are you plotting? Tell me in the comments, or even better, tell us all by participating in Beautiful Books! You know you want to... ;) Let's party! (I say as I sit at home in comfortable pants with no intention of going out to party, ever.)

all novel information therein is copyrighted to Sky Walden, 2014. if you steal it, i will come after you with a large stick. and possibly my wizard's wand.


  1. Yay for comfortable pants!
    I've got a story about a girl from an orphanage (I know...please don't roll your eyes) who has a chance to be adopted by a real family -- at least, that's what it looks like on the surface. But she's always been treated differently than the other orphans (not bad, just different), and she needs to know why. She won't be able to accept her new family until she can sort through the secrets of her past. Throw in some missing launch codes for top secret missiles, and you've got yourself an adventure.
    Thanks again for Beautiful Books!

  2. Wow, your book sounds really interesting and like it will be really fun to write! I love the change to Beautiful People for NaNo!

    Happy NaNo-ing and I can't wait to learn more of your novel! =)

    p.s. comfortable pants rule. Partying is for losers(no offense) who don't have characters banging around the inside of theirs head, begging to be released into the pages of a book.

  3. I'm seriously in love with this novel idea! I know it's going to be awesome. The nod to Peter Pan is great. As an unhealthily obsessed Peter Pan fan, I deeply approve.

    Your cast sounds like sooo much fun! (Hal may already have my heart now as well...) Evee seems like she's going to be a blast and sounds so sweet! And I LOVE how Jem is disabled but still fights on. My heart always goes out to those types, being as how I struggle with health issues myself. Plus, having a disabled protagonist in this type of novel is really different. It's great how you want her as a role model to other disabled people. I seriously just love all of this so much!

    Hopefully I'll be participating in a week or two, once I have my own novel all plotted.

  4. Your story sounds amazing!! I did the linkup on my blog:) And I love Peter Pan, btw:)

  5. Heey you did a post too! =D I finished my BB#1 questions yesterday. They took me a surprisingly long time, which I'm not sure is a good (well-developed idea?) or bad (indecisive about the idea?) thing.

    Oh man, I can't tell you how many times I get cool story ideas from dreams. But thats actually quite odd because my dreams are terrifying and I don't write horror O_O Your idea is uber cool and seriously creepy, mainly because mad scientists seriously FREAK ME OUT. (I had a dream about one once. It was awful.)

    Aww but what about the boys kicked out on the street? Unless adults were like, 'Boys, you can stay. Girls - goodbye.' LOL! I like that the title is a play off Peter Pan. Peter Pan has a very naive tone, but in your story I feel like these girls would have to grow up to survive. Aw. It's sad. =( I'd like to find out how that ends. Good luck with your novel Sky!

  6. This sounds interesting! And I love that your ideas came from a dream or two. My other WIP, that I am putting aside for Nano, definitely came from a series of dreams.I swear I have movies for dreams, they actually make sense!

    And I'm all for your Jem. I would want to read about her and her disability. I think more representation is absolutely needed in books!

  7. Hey Sky.
    Just wanted to say that I love your story idea ... it's very different and original and sounds like something I would love to read.
    Hopefully I'll do my link-up for Beautiful Books soon.
    P.S. I love your cover. It is amazing.

  8. I'm sure you had no intention of doing so, but as soon as I read the title "Lost Girls" and your description of Evee and how they're a "family" I just got this feeling of coziness among this group of girls, which totally goes against your description of "sci-fi/dystopian/thriller." Haha sorry.

    But seriously, that's pretty awesome how your story came together from a couple of dreams you had. That actually happened to me just a few days ago (not for my NaNo novel), and I'd been thinking about how cool that is, when stories come together like that. It's like your subconscious is trying to help you along. ;D

    (Btw, thank you so much for initiating these Beautiful People memes with Cait. I've been having difficulty maintaining consistency with my own blog, what with all this extra time I don't have thanks to college. But I've always wanted to blog, and really Beautiful People is what's helping it stay alive, as it gives me the confidence to share my own thoughts. Anywho, I just wanted to let you know how much I love this meme. :3 Good luck with NaNo!)

  9. love the polyvore and the pictures and how your story sounds... :)

    thank you for doing the link-ups! I always do them but I am horrible with comments. :P They are lovely. :D

  10. Lost Girls! I APPROVE OF THIS TITLE SO MUCH. Dude.

  11. What font is on your blog? It's so pretty! (I'm sorry to be so shallow omg but I'm really trying not to think about how accomplished and fabulous you and your story are)

    1. Omg, I honestly don't feel very accomplished at all, but thank you so much! The font I use for the main blog text is Roboto, and the post titles are in Rokkitt. If you meant my header, let me know and I can find those fonts for you too. (Also, it's not shallow! I love discussing fonts! Thanks for asking!)


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