Hello, lovely blog readers! Today I’m participating in Belle Anne’s Meet the Books! linkup, which I found on Sarah @ Sixty-Something Trees‘ blog. Basically this is a way for me to tell you even more about my current project, Remnant.
What is the title?
I think I already said this twice, but… Remnant is the working title. I have a few other ideas but I’m too fond of this one to let it go at the moment. The series title (yes, it will be a series) is the Silver Saga. Previous titles include The Chosen (abandoned when I learned that Chaim Potok had a famous book named this; I didn’t read said — marvelous and deservedly famous — Potok book until last year), Emberhope (channeling my inner S.D. Smith), Keepers of the Past (*cough* Shannon Messenger), and Book Title (my personal favorite).
I think I’ll stick with Remnant.
What is the genre? Time period?
The genre is high fantasy — quests, swords, magic, dragons, etc. Basically Tolkien, but (hopefully) with my own original twists.
Time period: vaguely medieval (isn’t all fantasy? no?), but with random elements of other time periods that I like, and even more random story elements that come from my imagination. I didn’t really think about time period when I started the book at age eleven.
How is it written (POV, main character, etc)?
It’s third person limited point of view. There are currently ten-ish POVs, but mainly Aionladon, who’s also my MC. He’s fourteen, curious, enthusiastic, moody, and confused. *grins* so, very fun to write.
(To anyone who thinks ten is too many POVs, I suggest reading Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.)
What is the setting?
The story is set in the world of… well, there’s not exactly a world name at the moment… but it’s (mainly) in the country of Arendelin, which is a large expanse of mostly fields. Also occasional rivers and lakes. It’s ruled by a monarchy descending through the oldest child, except when the queen’s sister, frustrated that she didn’t marry the king, takes it over. The citizens are humans.
The characters pass through the Mor’art Mountains, a semi-independent province within Arendelin, populated by rebel groups and mountainside villages (mostly human, occasionally elven) with various types of government.
Then they reach the Namot Islands, a semi-united archipelago covered in forests and mountains and ruled by a King (with a capital K) and his wife the Queen (usually descends to oldest son, but a recent civil war changed the way some things work). The people are about half human, half elf, with 10%-ish halfbloods.
There’s also Anadelin, the elven home country, which is really all forest except for the lakes. It’s been ruled by the same rulers since its founding (because immortality), but every ten years each province elects a new regent (regents can be re-elected up to ten times). These regents have an equal vote in councils.
Other countries that don’t much come into this particular book (but may affect later installments) are Rimgard, a northern land ruled by a monarchy; X’lion, a southern, mountain/desert country with an as-yet-uncertain government and people; the Last City, a small city-state on the edge between Arendelin and the desert and ruled by a female monarchy; the Lost City, a fabled oasis in said desert; and Sleit’Ran, where there are dragons.
Who are the characters?
How many do you want to read about?
Well, here they are (in no particular order):
Aionladon Rynael is the MC and main POV. He doesn’t know much about his family, and what he does know isn’t entirely true.
Matthias Raelin is Aion’s best friend and the second-in-line to the throne of Arendelin. He’s idealistic, optimistic, and wiser than he knows.
Marelle Skysilver is a guard of Anadelin with a bloody past and a passion for fixing it. She loves the color blue, is best friends with Taresil, and is thankful every day that she said no a long time ago.
Acacia Ira Raelin, older sister of Matthias and heir to the kingdom, likes her hair in braids.
Nigel Rynael, an ambassador/translator/chicken collector who likes navy, is afraid of his own abilities and occasionally gets drunk and/or is loud. Like Eanrin of Goldstone Wood, he is fond of declaring his love for someone he stopped loving a long time ago, but afraid to tell the woman he actually loves how much he loves her. (He would probably shudder at the number of times the word “love” appears in that sentence.)
Raldin Dyran, Lilder’s father, Aionladon and Matthias’ mentor, warrior, has a lot of secrets he definitely does know but pretends he doesn’t.
Lyriona Ira Tarcontel, Acacia’s cousin, has been helplessly in love with Nigel for a long time. She’s sarcastic, quiet, observant, and introverted, and has trouble trusting people.
Kalrona Darksilver is basically Loki from the MCU. I could say a lot more but I’d prefer him to remain mysterious.
Quinn Ira Tarcontel, Lyriona’s mother, took over the kingdom after years of anger at Gabriel for marrying Rosamund instead of her. She’s beautiful and tortured and confused.
- Priscilla Rynael, a maid with secrets. She doesn’t know them all.
- Rosamund Ira Raelin is the former queen of Arendelin.
- Taresil Joysilver Ragnar is a princess of Anadelin. She looks best in red.
- Norae Aidelin is a regent of Anadelin with red hair. He’s very prejudiced against Aionladon, and used to train Raldin, Kalrona, and Marelle.
- Tinvera Anadaris Miren, another regent, dyes her hair frequently and keeps all her secrets (sense a theme in this story?).
- Arlin Dreamsilver, Tinvera’s son, is a guard who frequently argues with Marelle.
- Kailin Ironsilver is a librarian and amateur writer and artist. He is fond of order, quiet, and pretending things aren’t wrong.
- Giladh Greysilver Tarcontel is the King of the Namot Islands. He’s one of my personal favorite characters in the entire saga.
- Sophie Tarcontel is his wife. She’s energetic and extroverted and very smart.
- Argan Tarcontel is Sophie’s brother and Lyriona’s father. He is a rebel in the Mor’arts and has a personality to match his rebellious lifestyle.
tertiary characters who affect the plot
There are a lot of tertiary characters who don’t affect the plot (are they actually quaternary characters?), but here are the ones who do:
- Karen Rynael, everyone’s favorite redhead with a strange name
- Tanner Rynael, who writes stories
- Calista Rynael, who ran away
- Abigail Gavaenkai Rynael, who helped Quinn
- Perrin Emyr II, who wants to find the Lost City
- Gabriel Raelin, who used to be the king of Arendelin
- Jannai Hugo Savane, who wants to bring peace
- Kyrie Tarcontel, whose first name has three syllables
- Anires and Melos Miren, who ruled Anadelin
- Eyyra, a regent of Anadelin who enjoys laughing
- Rene Starsilver and Brasnin Tarrin, who play an important role in an old legend
What does the plot consist of?
Well, I’ll give this my best shot.
Aionladon has always longed for adventure. At fourteen, he can parse Elvish verbs and recite the lineage of the Arendelin monarchs, but he’s never seen the world.
So he sneaks off into the forest, meets an elf, learns about his past (at least partially), and sets off to find the heir and restore the kingdom. Still with very little clue what he’s doing.
There are many other characters (see above) and plots that intersect Aionladon’s, and the actual plot is much more complex, but that’s the essential bit.
Imagine an eleven-year-old saying “let’s write a Fantasy Story. with a *gasp* ChOsEn OnE” and then her much older self saying “what can I make of this mess? I know. Subvert expectations, play around with cliches, much suffering, and complicated backstories no one needs to know but I now MUST write.” And that’s the plot.
Ooh, I just found two other tries at writing a blurb/description from a while ago!
Aionladon has always wanted to be a hero. He’s lived his whole life in the same place and is ready for adventure.
But what he gets isn’t what he was looking for.
United with his lost monarchs and their long-forgotten allies, the elves, he must learn to use his skills to reclaim his kingdom – a kingdom he will never rule, a land that will never praise him, a world in which he is not a hero.
A realm that’s been taken over by the woman who destroyed his family.
Aionladon must find it in himself to be a hero — and yet be unknown. To save a kingdom — but not for himself. To win a battle — by forgiving an enemy. To bring back peace — even to those who broke it before.
I like that one.
Aionladon thinks he’s a nobody. He’s lived his whole life in a one-mile radius, learning to do useless things like speak Elvish and spar. He knows nothing about adventure except what he’s learned from history books. But when he discovers that his best friend is the heir to the kingdom, war comes to his doorstep and he learns useful things faster than he wanted to. Aionladon must learn that sometimes the heroes are not the kings.
I don’t like that one quite as much.
What gave you the idea?
Eleven-year-old me realized she could actually try and write a novel before she graduated high school (overcoming her previous misconception, the origin of which is uncertain), and so she started. There were silver tattoos and an Eragon/Arya-type romance and Dwarves and Elves and Wizards.
It is very different now, but I am grateful to my younger self for having the idea.
Who are the favorite characters so far?
My favorites are Aionladon, Marelle, Nigel, Lyriona, Giladh, Sophie, and Kalrona.
I asked some friends and here’s what they said:
- Friend 1: Aionladon — “I liked how unsure he was, but he was also willing to learn and in awe of everything.” And Kalrona — “I like morally grey [characters] and his character is very intriguing, as well as his motives.”
- Friend 2: Aionladon — “the dude who was going into the woods. And looking for elves… I liked him ’cause he was funny.” And Rosamund — “I thought she was a really admirable character. ‘Cause taking in your traitor sister’s daughter to keep her safe is…yeah. Admirable.” And Quinn — “I forgot how cool she was.”
- Friend 3: Aionladon — “He’s not what anyone would expect the hero to be, and I like young boy characters in fantasy novels.”
- Friend 4: Raldin — “He’s funny and he makes me laugh, and he needs more character development, which also makes me laugh.” (why thank you.)
- Friend 5: Kalrona — “I’ve always liked him because of his backstory and… Broodiness? Something like that. The same reason I like characters like Edmund Pevensie and Severus Snape.” And Lath — “because of the way he interacted with Kalrona.” And Aionladon — “He’s funny and I’m interested to see what he will turn into.” And Taresil — “Her relationship with Kalrona was always interesting.”
(Please pardon my friends for their lack of knowledge of my book; it’s mainly my fault for not sharing very much of it.)
It appears that the overall favorite character is Aionladon.
What is the favorite scene so far?
I really like the scene where Aionladon is in the library at D’nerea, and he meets Kailin for the first time, and Eyyra, and there’s a lot of breaking silence guidelines and looking for books about halfbloods and family secrets being brought up. I love how Aionladon’s and Kailin’s personalities clash spectacularly.
“Oh. Okay,” Aionladon said blankly.
“Can I help you find anything?”
“Erm. I’m looking for, um, The Silver Truthstone,” he invented wildly, conscious of the stone’s presence in his deep linen pocket and the fact that the book was probably in Marelle’s room as they spoke.
“We do not possess a copy of that book here in the public library,” he said. “It resides solely in the private collection of the king and queen. But several related books may be found in our ‘prophecy’ section, two rows to your right.”
“Kai!” called a husky feminine voice.
“Lady Eyyra?” called Kailin with reluctance.
“Come here, will you? I need you to find another scroll in Sleit’Ranian.”
With a tiny sound almost like a sigh, Kailin left. “Two rows to your right,” he repeated by way of parting.
There was a map, but it’s since been lost. All attempts by the author to draw characters have failed miserably. There’s a Google Doc full of reference pictures, but copyright rules force me to not post them here.
There’s also a cover. I don’t know if this counts as a drawing…
designed by Abigail Grace
I’m not sure I’ll use it forever, but I really like it and am so grateful to Abigail for working with me.
Any themes of music for this work?
I started creating character playlists a while ago. I didn’t get very far, but here’s what I’ve got:
➸ aionladon // all the way home (andrew peterson) // go the distance (byu vocal point) // you say (byu noteworthy) // you will be found (byu vocal point) // know who you are (moana) // my shot (hamilton)
➸ marelle // be kind to yourself (andrew peterson) // the broken beautiful (ellie holcomb) // monster (frozen) // reflection (mulan) // marvelous light (ellie holcomb) // ashes of time (audiomachine)
➸ kalrona // gollum’s song (peter hollens) // close every door (joseph) // progeny (gladiator) // lonely world (skye peterson) // wait for me (hadestown) // loki’s lie (thor)
➸ taresil // the passing of the elves (lotr) // loyal brave true (mulan) // the heir of númenor (lotr) // arwen’s fate / “the grace of the valar” (lotr)
➸ giladh // we will survive (andrew peterson) // smile (namo)
➸ nigel // the silence of God (andrew peterson) // sirens (the gray havens) // chapter seven: orphan theism (levi the poet) // smile (namo) // miracle of miracles (fiddler on the roof) // rewrite the stars (the greatest showman) // if i could tell her (dear evan hansen)
➸ sophie // fighting words (ellie holcomb) // cathedrals (tenth avenue north) // stronger (kelly clarkson)
➸ quinn // i want to say i’m sorry (andrew peterson) // memory (cats) // not home yet (the gray havens) // too good (jess ray) // words fail (dear evan hansen)
➸ lyriona // the coral castle (andrew peterson) // true love (frozen)
➸ calista // high enough (the gray havens) // runaway (jess ray) // beautiful ghosts (taylor swift) // blackbird (the gray havens)
➸ gabriel // my one safe place (andrew peterson) // rejoice (andrew peterson) // see you again (the gray havens) // band of gold (the gray havens) // chapter eleven: cul-de-sac colonies (levi the poet)
There’s also a playlist for the whole book, but as it only has two songs on it so far, I’m not going to share it here.
When I write it, I usually listen to Correspondence: An Instrumental or the Lord of the Rings or Gladiator soundtracks.
Here are two. (I’ve shared them on my blog before.)
“Who’s an idiot?” asked a voice, and with a pang Aionladon saw Kalrona walk up.
“Our great-niece, darling brother,” said Taresil. “And how are you this fine day? Ready for your vows tomorrow?”
So. The next day would be the day that Kalrona [spoiler]….
“Totally,” he said, smirking. “Now then, why’s Mar an idiot?”
“Because she thinks that if she has kids then they’ll all be adriela [blood traitors],” said Tinvera.
“Well, I say that depends on who she marries,” said Kalrona. He plucked a fruit from the tree, tossed it at Marelle, and slid down to sit next to her.
“If I marry you then I guarantee that all our children will be traitors,” teased Marelle, but Aionladon saw depths in her eyes. She knew the truth.
“Traitorous idiots,” said Kalrona.
And this one:
But her own greed and jealousy had made her daughter fear her, and Lyriona had gone.
So she ran. Ran away from what she’d made, fled what she’d conquered, not caring what she left behind.
It was nothing compared to what she’d destroyed.
My Lyra —
Strong point in story?
The worldbuilding and character backstories. I also think my characters and their arcs are pretty good, but then I haven’t finished writing all of them so… there’s not much actual content to judge, mostly things in my head and random outlines on scrap paper.
Weak point in story?
I’m bad at writing scenes that I’m not interested in, but I haven’t yet figured out a way to either a) make myself interested or b) cut the scene and still make the story make sense.
Also, journeys are hard to write.
Also, fight scenes.
Also, when you write the climax of a plotline, but you don’t have the necessary earlier events written, and then you have to write them so as to make the beautiful climax actually interesting and beautiful to the readers.
What are your plans for it?
I’d like to finish it. And edit it until it’s much better. And write three sequels. Maybe publish it someday. We’ll see.
Any particular writing habits for it?
Um… write as often and as much as you can? (That’s not an actual habit, it’s a goal that I don’t often achieve.)
If it were made into a movie, what would be your ideal cast for it?
Well. A lot (a lot) of my characters are actually based on actors, at least the original concepts of appearance. (Please don’t laugh at me when you realize who I’ve cast as Nigel and Lyriona, okay?)
The following order is based solely on the (random) order I listed the characters above, and does not include every character.
- I’d like to see Felicity Jones as Marelle, if she could do a believable American accent (sorry, this story is not British).
- And Tom Holland as Nigel — I wonder if Tom can do a passable Eanrin imitation? ‘Cause that’s kind of needed.
- Whoever plays Raldin has to act like Jeremy Irons when he was Brom in the (awful awful awful) Eragon movie.
- Zendaya as Lyriona because my main inspiration for Lyriona’s character was MJ, and when I realized that, her whole motivation and arc clicked in my brain and I GOT her for the first time.
- Tom Hiddleston as Kalrona, except I’d actually like to see a younger, American actor in this role. But someone similar.
- Natalie Portman as Quinn, maybe??
- Malina Weissman as Priscilla
- Evangeline Lilly as Taresil, only because Tauriel was an inspiration for the character.
- Sebastian Stan as Giladh — my best idea so far (though recently I’ve thought maybe Eddie Redmayne, and yes, I know they look nothing alike)
- Emma Watson as Sophie
- Cate Blanchett as Anires
- Felicity Jones as Rene (I know I already cast her as Marelle, but they’re related, so…)
- Richard Armitage as Brasnin, like this:
Well. That was fun. I’ve talked a lot about Remnant before, but here you have all the information in one place, so you can check it if you ever have a question.
I hope it wasn’t entirely boring; I could ramble about my WIP for many thousands more words (but at that point, I might as well just write it).
If you haven’t done this tag, I tag you! I would love to read about your book.
Until next time, my friends!
P.P.S. If you actually read this post to the end, I want to know, so comment and tell. I apologize for its extreme length.
P.P.P.S. I also apologize for the weird formatting. I do not like the new WordPress editor but can’t figure out a free way to switch back.