The Next Big Thing (Week 26) ~ Marissaanne’s Travels

I was tagged by Laura VanArendonk Baugh for The Next Big Thing blog networking share, showcasing published and upcoming writers for those who want to find something new and different.

I don’t know if I really count for this, since I am not published and I am not 100% sure I will publish the novel I am writing currently.  But, I am writing a book, (currently in the rough draft stage) and I may end up sharing it—chapter by chapter—here on my blog once I complete the editing process. 🙂

I am supposed to tag at least one author for next week’s blog post, but I forgot to ask any of my writing friends (oops!).  Stay tuned–I will try to add links in the next couple of days if any of my friends are interested.

1. What is the working title of your book?

Marissaanne’s Travels.  I picked this title because it introduces the main characters name, and it gives the briefest summary of the book—traveling.  There is much more to my story than simply traveling, but if you read question number two (below) you will discover how it ties into my story and that it is the reason I started this writing journey.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

It all began on a swing set in the park near my home.  My favorite outdoor activity is swinging, and one day I was imagining what would happen if you were sitting on a swing and suddenly transported to another world.  That was the one and only idea I based my book on.  Now it has grown to include many other ideas taken from parts of my life, books I have read, and movies I have watched.  

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Hmm… I am not really sure yet how I will categorize it.  At first it sounds like realistic/modern fiction, then it begins to look like fantasy, and finally it feels like an adventure book.  Call it what you will, it includes multiple different genres.  

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is a really hard question for me because I do not know very many actors by name (aside from Julie Andrews).

For my main character, Marissaanne, I would want the actor to look like a slightly younger version of this actor:

Kahlan Amnell (Bridget Regan) in Legend of the Seeker

For my semi-main character, Gleb (a middle aged swordsman), I picture him looking something like this.

MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson)

Minor character: Ryan—captain of Alena’s special guards.

Aragorn, son of Arathorn (Viggo Mortensen)

I think I’ll stop here.  Sorry that I don’t have more actors to pick from.  I have not seen enough movies to know which actors to choose for my characters.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Only one sentence??  Not two, or three, or even… four??!  Okay, here is my best shot.

A girl travels to another country, fulfills an ancient prophecy, dethrones a tyrant, and learns about herself and her background.

Slightly longer version:

When Marissaanne Claire Pennington begins writing her NaNoWriMo story, she suddenly finds herself transported into the country of Tsvetlyn. While there, she must discover her past and use her knowledge (along with a group of other adventurers) to help the people of Tsvetlyn and fulfill an ancient prophecy by deposing Alena—the current oppressor.  

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

If I get it published (and that is a very big if), then I would probably go with self-publishing.  Honestly, I have not given it much thought yet since the book is still being written. 🙂

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I have written the first fifty thousand words in a month, but the manuscript is still not complete.  So, it will take me about 2 months to write the basic rough draft of this novel.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Good question.  *tries to buy time to think of an answer*… I really don’t know.  It does not exactly fit with any story I know.  I suppose it sort of fits with the Deltora Quest series (by Emily Rodda), because in both stories the adventurers must find something to dethrone the evil ruler and replace him/her with the rightful heir.  Beyond that, though, the stories are different.  It is hard for me to compare my book to those of my favorite authors’ because their’s are so excellent, and mine is still in it’s infant stages. 😀  

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) inspired me to actually write down my ideas.  Without the support of people and friends in NaNo, my story ideas would still be floating around inside my head, never to be shared with anyone.  

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

  • No bad language/questionable scenes
  • Use of foreign languages (with translations)
  • Daring escapes
  • Bold break-ins
  • Heart melting puppies
  • Real information on self-defense (knife fights, staff fighting, and more)
  • Colorful descriptions
  • Creative new ways to world travel
  • Sacrifice
  • Suffering
  • Love
  • NaNoWriMo Dares  (more information on these coming soon!)

To view my story statistics (for NaNoWriMo), click here.  What do you think about my story from the answers above?  Would you read it?  Why or why not?  🙂  Are there any other questions about it that you have that weren’t included in this post?  (I’d love to answer them for you!)

NaNoWriMo 2012!!!

NaNoWriMo Banner

I should not need more words than are in the picture above.  But, just in case you have never heard of NaNoWriMo, I will explain it in a little more detail.


It is a program organized every November by a group called The Office of Letters and Light.

Put simply:  you sign up and write a 50,000 (or more) word novel in the month of November.

You’re probably thinking, ‘WHAT!  Are you crazy??!  How can you write a 50K novel and complete all your other obligations? (school, self-defense class, AWANA, and so on and so forth).  Not to mention that I have never heard you write a story before and I thought you only liked writing for your blog.’

Well you’re at least half correct in thinking that.

First off, yes, it is somewhat crazy to sign up to write a fifty thousand word novel in the month of November and keep up with school and everything else I have going on.  What I have discovered, however, (in the first 7 days at least) is that I needed this to give me incentive.  Also, it gives me something useful and physical to do in my spare time.

I used to spend my spare time playing games, watching movies, or doing other equally unproductive activities.  Now I write.

So, although it is a completely mad and insane thing to sign up for, it has actually turned out to be an advantage to me.  I no longer waste my extra time, and at the end of the month I will have something tangible to show for my work—hopefully a draft of my first novel.

You’re second thought—that I don’t even write stories—would also be correct.  I have never written anything story-ish (unless you count the embarrassing fifteen page handwritten story I wrote when I was eight or nine).  To top it off, until this past year (when I discovered blogging and journaling), I really did not enjoy writing.  Everything I wrote was for school and half the time I was not interested in the subjects I was writing about.

Discovering how much fun it could be to write, I have changed my statement from I don’t like writing to I really enjoy writing—especially stories and blog entries.  🙂

Honestly, before this month, I never even thought I would write a book.  Yes, I had a few ideas running through my mind and hiding in the darkest recesses—but I never planned on actually bringing them to life in a book.

If you want to read a very brief synopsis and excerpt from my novel go here: Marissaanne’s Travels (working title).

I added a widget to the left (bottom) side of my blog that will show how many words I have.  There’s also a really neat section (in the link above) that shows the statistics of my writing progress.  (I LOVE statistics… <3)

I think that’s all for now.  I am off to finish two more essay drafts for my college application and write 500 more words of Marissaanne’s life.