Here There Be Dragons! Introducing My NaNoWriMo Novel

Posted November 1, 2016 by Hannah in Features / 8 Comments

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It’s November – which means it’s NaNoWriMo Time!

For those who don’t know what NaNoWriMo stands for, it’s National Novel Writing Month, where crazy people like me attempt (and I say attempt, because the last couple of years hasn’t been very successful for me) to write a novel, or at least, 50,000 words of one, in a whole month that equals to 30 days. Basically, that equals to something like 1,666 words a day. It’s a great place to start if you’ve ever wanted to write a novel but didn’t know where to begin – because NaNoWriMo is all about getting those words flowing! Some amazing authors, like Marissa Meyer, Rainbow Rowell, Susan Dennard, and Erin Morgenstern have written their bestsellers off the back of NaNoWriMo, so it’s a good a place to start, if any, right?

Now full disclosure: I’m not really one who likes to talk about my writing, as I tend to waffle – a lot. For me, writing has always been a bit of a private thing, and it often gives me great anxiety because there are some amazing writers in the blogging community, but I want . . . to share my journey with you guys. So I’m taking my prompts from the amazing Cait at Paper Fury‘s Beautiful People. Which means I guess it’s time to meet my novel!

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Okay, let’s start with the latter first, shall we? I’ve had this story – or the crux of this story – rolling around in my head since 2013. It was around that time I started listening to awesome instrumental music, like Two Steps from Hell. I’m not sure what exactly inspired me, but I knew it was fantasy and I knew there were dragons involved. Three years and a million costume changes later, I finally have a plot. I think. It’s definitely changed a lot of hands to reach this point, but I love where it’s at right now.

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Dragons!! Everybody loves dragons right? Not in my book.

Fire and Ash is set in a world where dragons used to roam freely over the continent of Amaria. Now, two kingdoms have fallen at the hands of a power hungry King who captures and trains what is left of the once docile creatures to become war beasts for his army. Alix Pierce knows that if anyone was to ever find out that black blood runs through her veins, she’d have to answer questions even she doesn’t know the answer to, but being near the King’s dragons day in and day out seems to calm the thing crawling under her skin, itching to break free. After an accident leaves a dragon dead, Alix stumbles upon a smuggling ring – and at the centre of it, her two older brothers. Her only option to prove that she isn’t working as a spy for the King is to kill him herself, and set in motion a revolution that Alix wants no part of.

Caught between her loyalty to a King determined to destroy the continent, the fledgling friendships she makes with those at court, and the need to keep her brothers safe, Alix agrees, if only to stall the demands of Daniel, the leader of the rebellion, who seems to be hiding the real reason he wants her – and only her – to be the one to assassinate the King.

Annnd this is why I’m terrible at sharing my writing – because I’m terrible at describing it! Summaries and blurbs SUCK, and it makes me cry that I can’t tell you ALL about Fire and Ash. So what are the main points you need to know? There are dragons (and that’s not all!). It’s a quadrilogy ( I actually don’t know what it is yet, but I know Book 2 will be called Dust and Shadows). There is lots of snark. I mentioned dragons, right? My MC is not The Chosen One (in fact, she’d probably sic a dragon on you if you said that). There is a reaaaaally slow burn romance. 

As for comp titles…if these books tickle your fancy, I think you’re gonna like mine!

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a picmonkey-collage

Because I’m terrible at making aesthetics, if you’re really dead keen, I’d recommend checking out my Pinterest board (but bear with me, as I’m currently in the middle of moving my Storyboards over to my “author” account). A lot of the images and drawings I’ve used are from other books/TV shows, I know, but it gives you an idea! Musically, I’d also recommend checking out my Spotify playlist, because if I do say so myself, it is pretty amazing!

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Oh, my characters, ah, yes, alright. My characters. I’m going to introduce you to only four, because there are a host of characters and I want you to meet them all but you can’t, not just yet any way!

Alix Pierce – our MC. She just wants one day where no-one will disturb her sleep. Favourite place is riding the thermals on the back of a dragon. Is stable. Like a building (inside joke, sorry). Has two left feet. Does not like dogs (especially Thorne’s). Or swords. Or any sort of fighting, for that matter. Prefers books instead as weapons – literally and figuratively.

Tristan Thorne – That’s Captain Thorne to you, please and thank you. Don’t mention the scar. Quiet. Loyal. On the rare occasion, his sense of humour is known to be a bit dry. Has a love/hate relationship with dragons.

Penn Margoulis – Just don’t ever call her Pennra, because she does know how to use a sword (and isn’t afraid to use it). She’s the same age as Alix (17), and has been a soldier (and then a Guard) in the King’s Army since she was ten, after the King conquered Vardrys, the small kingdom that made up the cluster of Western Isles. One day she’ll admit that she is slightly and somewhat completely in love with Prince Xander’s cousin Emilia.

Kamali – a (rapidly growing) Eastern Sand Dragon rescued by Prince Xavier and nurtured back to health by Alix. An insufferable pain in the arse who refuses to go airborne until – oh, spoilers. His scales are sand-coloured, pebbled with light greenish-grey flecks, and like all sand dragons, is smaller in size than its cousins, with close-set wings that run from its shoulders to lower back, giving an illusion of a small wingspan. Kamali’s left wing was badly damaged when Xavier found him, and has never quite recovered. Kamali is intensely loyal and fiercely protective.  do-you-need-to-understand-it-to-love-it-you-think-its-beautiful-thats-enough-7

I sob. Into my laptop. As I stare at my empty word document. No really, I’m a terrible plotter. I have a synopsis, and a few breakdowns of scenes, but that’s about it. I’m mostly a pantser, but we shall see how much that works. I like to have inspiration in the form of playlists and storyboards though, so I guess that counts for something, right?


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Finishing the damn thing!

Haha no really. I love that I have all these thousands of little scenes, and I can’t wait to bring them together and meld them into a story. I’m excited about having something that’s in full, not in parts. And I’m equal parts terrified to see what people think of it too. I’m also excited to develop the world I have created beyond what it is at the moment.

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1. The five kingdoms of Amaria are based off Holy Corner, in Edinburgh, where three roads meet and on each of the corners is a church. The kingdoms all intersect of a central location known as Sariel, which is known as the heart of Amaria. While there is no magic in my books, it is a very important place.

2. Dragons used to roam the entire continent, but the Dragon Wars ended in the death of many. Only in Scorchia, the eastern most kingdom, do dragons and humans live in harmony.

3. I’m really terrible at these things and I don’t know what to tell you for the third one. Did I mention there’s no magic in this fantasy?

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Alix’s only goal in life have been to keep her brothers safe, and to fly under the radar. Obviously things change when she realises they like putting themselves in danger a bit more than she would like, and ends up having to kill the King. What stands in the way of her killing the King? The fact that she’s dedicated her life in service to him, for one. And other things that I can’t tell you because SPOILERS!

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Abject horror over how such a lovely person could write something so horrible and cliffhanger-y, because let me just say, the ending is the one part I have already written and I love it to death. It’s my favourite part. If I could summarise it, it would be . . . and I’m going to be quiet now.

Theme wise…there’s a lot going on here. Trust. Acceptance. Overcoming fear. There’s a lot more I could say, but ugh, bloody spoilers. You’ll just have to wait until it (hopefully) gets published one day, right?

So that’s my NaNoWriMo story! What do you guys think? If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! If you’re also participating, let me know, or feel free to add me as a buddy! I’d love to hear about your projects or past experiences with NaNoWriMo!

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8 responses to “Here There Be Dragons! Introducing My NaNoWriMo Novel

    • Thank you so much Emily!!! I know, we desperately need dragons in YA, and I’m really excited because my take on dragons feels really different (though I can’t explain why!), so fingers are all crossed!

  1. Claire

    Holy shit Hannah! I can’t believe you opened up but am so glad you did. I want this book so badly!!!!
    Good luck for NaNoWriMo!! 😘❤️❤️

  2. Bloglovin led me to believe that this was a review for ‘Ever the Hunted’ but no matter because now I’m extremely interested in your book! We definitely need more dragon books in the world. Good luck with NaNoWriMo!

    • Hi Stacy! I am so sorry about that! WordPress accidentally posted a draft post I had created for Ever the Hunted and I couldn’t take it down from Bloglovin in time! It will be live in December though, so keep an eye out!

      And thank you for your kind words! I’m excited to see how NaNo goes!

    • Thank you sooo much Diem!!! I it makes *me* giddy when other people are too! So many nerves to begin with! Don’t you just love slow burn romance?? Be still my beating heart!

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