Know the Novel: Introduction; in which I participate in a linkup last minute

I’m doing Christine‘s linkup! I’ve been thinking of maybe participating in Nanowrimo after my SAT. I don’t expect to ‘win’ Nano, but it would be nice to have something motivating me to write every day. But whether I participate or not, I really wanted to do Christine’s linkup she hosted! Because the questions looked amazing.

I’m sorry, because I feel like the quality of this post is a bit all over the place, but I’m just dropping this in between study sessions, so that’s why. 🙂

1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?

The idea started with a series that was a childhood favorite. I was rereading it in the car one day, and suddenly I got the idea to do an Arthurian retelling from Mordred’s POV. I cautiously brought the idea of an Arthurian retelling up to my older sister, and since she apparently can read my mind or something, she wanted me to do it from Mordred’s point of view. (She cannot read my mind. We simply have very similar tastes in trashy villains.)

Reactions from my family varied, from my older sister’s “Oh my God, do it,” to my mother and little sister’s “So you’re writing a trashy villain story AGAIN.”

Ideas gotten from stories can be of varying quality–sometimes they’re much too similar to their source–but in this case, it was extremely different. ❤

2. Share a blurb!


Some people make this look so easy. I cannot.

3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?

Medieval England. It’s kind of more of a High Medieval-ish Arthurian story than a more historical 6th century one. Specifically, it’s kind of 12th century-ish, because I read Chretien de Troyes (you should too) and got influenced. But it’s not very historically accurate at ALL.

My favorite thing about this setting is all the things I learn while researching! (I feel like that’s the same with most of my settings, tbh.) I had kind of a stereotyped idea of what the middle ages were like before researching for this. But it’s actually a very complex time period with a lot of interesting stories, just like other time periods. I feel like kind of an idiot for not guessing that before, but at least now I’ve learned a nice lesson about not believing everything people tell you. 🙂

4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).

And here is where I forget each and every one of my characters’ personality traits. What is a personality trait? What is personality? What is thought?

Okay, we have Mordred, who is really tired and needs a nap. He faints like a Gothic heroine, because apparently too much Emily St. Aubert influence. (I need to finish Udolpho. Somebody make me finish that book.) He’s quiet. He’s pretty stubborn. He’s very loyal to a very few people. He has very bad social skills (which is absolutely NOT a trait I share with him, what are you talking about).

And then there are a bunch of other important characters and stuff, but WRITING THAT ABOVE PARAGRAPH WAS HARD ENOUGH, I TELL YOU.

Incidentally, this is the largest cast I’ve ever written? Usually I can count my cast on one hand. This is so hard. How do you people who always write large casts do it?

5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?

Look, I don’t know anymore, okay? Who is the villain? Is Mordred a villain? Is it Arthur? I don’t know.

I feel like most of my stories don’t have clear-cut villains. There might be characters who are bad, but I’m pretty sure I can count my actual villains on one hand. I honestly find that kind of strange, now that I think about it. Maybe it’s because my stories tend to focus more on internal conflict? Idk.

6. What excites you the most about this novel?

Firstly, this got me into Arthurian legends! I always used to avoid it for some reason, but I got into it as a result of this story, and I love it so much! Arthurian legends are like a soap opera that then got a bunch of fanfic written about it, and then the fanfic got accepted as canon for some reason. It’s such a mess, and I love it.

Secondly, I like a lot of the themes in this, I love the characters, and I love the drama. These morons are so over-dramatic.

7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?

Probably a standalone. Most of my stories are. This venture did spawn several other story ideas, but who even knows.

8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?

I guess plantsing? My notes are spread out and scattered across a dozen different documents. I have a basic outline, but it’s mostly in my head. I think that would be plantsing.

9. Name a few things that makes this story unique.

You accuse me of originality, linkup? Do you know me?

Okay, I’m kidding. I do genuinely feel that this story is at least different from the things I’ve read, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what. I asked my sister, and she said that the characters are more comfortable with the family dysfunction than in most stories, and that the family dysfunction isn’t as sensationalized, so there’s that.

10. Share a fun “extra” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).

My sister made me a playlist, which aww.

I also made a Pinterest board, of course.

Also, I reread a scene that I’d written a couple months ago, and even though technically I’m not sure if it actually makes sense as far as plot and backstory, it kept me engaged and entertained. Which is really nice.

So, I’m off to go study some more, as I should. My SATs are in a week.


The Star Wars Character Tag

Sarah tagged me for the Star Wars character tag! I love Star Wars. I really, really love Star Wars. (Controversial opinion: The prequels were the best.) So a tag mixing both Star Wars and writing? It’s like it was tailored for me or something.

I watched a clip of Palpatine saying ‘UNLIIIMIITED POWEEEERRRR!1!!’ to gear up for this.

The Rules

1. THERE ARE NO RULES. (Excellent.)

2. Refer to number 1.

3. There is one absolute rule (nooo) (Feel free to read that in a Luke voice if you wish): you MUST use your own characters (OC’s) for this tag. (brownie points if you add pictures of your characters) (Oh okay I’d be so lost and confused if I had to use other people’s characters anyway) (More lost and confused, that is)

4. The Sorta Rule: scream a huge thank you to whoever tagged you for this whilst treating them to a pizza dinner at your favorite pizza chain. (Thank you so much, Sarah!! And enjoy your imaginary pizza, prepared however you like.)

5. The Kinda Rule: include this link in the post so that The Penny can read everyone’s answers to this smol strange tag: (I’m pretty sure the original maker of this tag changed their blog url, but I cannot for the life of me find the original post. Sorry!)

6. The Rule That’s Not Really a Rule But It Would Be Great: include the graphic, and tag at least three Jedi or Sith Lords.

ONE…Who’s your Obi-Wan Kenobi? (sassy, a great mentor, but can be a bit strict)

Annnd we start off with the hard one. No! I can’t write mentors! I can’t write adults! I can only write teenage-to-twenty-something-year-olds staring angstily into each others eyes while detonating bombs or taking over the world!!

Look, I’m serious. The only character I can think of who’s kind of a mentor figure is Morgause and if she is anything like Obi I…

Wait a minute. I won’t claim that she’s anything like Obi-Wan, but:

  1. She tells a few lies here and there. Obi-Wan is like a pathological liar. Morgause probably does not lie nearly as much as he does. Yeah, no, she doesn’t. Whatever lies she’s told, she has never handed the Infanticide Lightsaber to Mordred while talking about what an amazing person his father was before the-villain-who-was-totally-not-his-dad killed him–OBI, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU
  2. She definitely is pretty snarky
  3. Emotions are soo much easier to deal with when you push them to the side and pretend they aren’t there

So, I’m not saying she’s anything like Obi-Wan, but maybe in another life, she could have hit pretty darn close to this? She’s the closest character I can think of who fits this.

TWO…Who’s your Leia Organa? (feisty, incredible comebacks, does her own thing)

I had to think about this quite a bit, but I’ve finally hit on Livy. She was the main character of a short story that I plan on expanding into a novel eventually. She’s quiet, reserved, and kind, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a backbone. Leia’s a little less quiet, but I still think they’re similar. Livy even looks a little bit like Leia, something I’ve only just realized. And they even have the same hair. And their names both start with L…


Same hair as far as this hairstyle, not as far as Leia’s space buns. Livy is fatter than Leia, and she has a slightly rounder face, but I can still see a bit of a resemblance?

Although I genuinely probably have a lot of characters who could fit into this category, now that I think about it. It seems like maybe a common character type for me? I didn’t even realize that until just now. Kimani, Ye-Seul*, probably Erika, and there are others that I could think of if I wanted to dig through my files.

*Aka, that time I accidentally copied a celebrity’s very unique name. The name was on a list called ‘common Korean names,’ and of course the internet never lies! As a side note, if any of you have a better method of finding foreign names for your characters, do let me know. Baby name sites tend to have whatever name sounds pretty, and those pretty and unusual names aren’t always what’s actually used in the country.

THREE…Who’s your Finn? (overeager, adorable, a cinnamon roll)

Uh. I am not sure if I have one. Tell you what, let’s say Rose from that short story I put on here. She’s about right for those adjectives? I’d say she’s a bit like Finn.

I love Finn, but I don’t write a lot of characters like Finn.

FOUR…Who’s your Padmé? (kind, loving, but also kick-butt)

Padme, also known as MY FAVORITE CHARACTER EVER. And I’m not sure if I can think of a character I have who exactly fits those adjectives–I’ve got a really bad memory–but I’ve always seen Guinevere from my story as being kind of like Padme for some reason. Guinevere isn’t exactly like her, definitely not. Guinevere is probably quite a darker take on this character type, for one thing (her character isn’t set in stone yet, but she’s getting towards a darker take I think). But I get one of those weird feelings that tells me I should put Guinevere down for this one. Sometimes those weird feelings are correct and my subconscious knows what it’s talking about, and sometimes I come back later, squint, and go ‘huh?’ So make of this what you will.

Also, is it just me, or is Padme kind of like (mythological!) Guinevere? Am I the only one who thinks that? Idk, I just see parallels. This feels like one of those dangerous topics I could mull over until I have a half-fledged deranged theory that I proceed to write a 30,000 word essay on. That I dump on you unsuspecting readers. I will get off of this topic because I really do not want to write that article.

Although maybe an article analyzing Star Wars characters’ tropes would be kind of fun…but then I’d have to analyze Star Wars, and that was a really weird and confusing show with dozens of interpretations, and then I’d probably get a bunch of things wrong because it’s been a while since I’ve seen the movies and–ahem. Let’s get off of this topic. It’s dangerous.

Changing the subject, Sepideh from that other story I posted here on the blog could probably fit in here too. Just a hunch.

FIVE…Who’s your Count Dooku? (deliciously evil, extra, sick burns)

Don’t have one. I really don’t.

SIX…Who’s your BB-8? (too cute, everyone loves them, can do no wrong)

I don’t tend to write cute characters very often. I never have.

But if I go way, way back (thirteen-year-old back *shudder*), then I guess Tacey? She was the heroine’s thirteen year old sister, and she was pretty sarcastic, but she was pretty cute.

This was back when I used sentences like ‘my aggravated feelings ceased abruptly’ and when I still thought I was funny. We don’t talk about those days.

SEVEN…Who’s your Yoda? (underestimated, extra, wise)

Confession time: I hate that little green frog. Apologies to all Yoda fans.

But I feel like Arthur is both underestimated and extra and wise. Just a hunch. Arthur is also a really hard character for me to get for some reason, and I’ve begun to just resign myself to that.

EIGHT…Who’s your Anakin Skywalker? (bratty, rebellious, whiny)

I disagree with that description of Ani a bit. He’s certainly whiny. I’ll even acknowledge that he could be seen as bratty. But rebellious? Nah. That boy wants nothing more than to fit in. And that’s what ends up breaking him, because he can’t.

Anakin is my other favorite character ever, so I’ve given him a lot of thought and analysis. Seriously though, I love that boy.

Anyway, I’d say this is a pretty easy one. It’s definitely Mordred. Right down to that monotone thing Hayden Christensen had going!

NINE…Who’s your C3-PO? (always worrying, gives depressing information, constantly wailing)

Oh. Oh goodness. I was right about to say that I have no idea, but…I think it’s Agravaine. I’m going to die. XD

TEN…Who’s your Luke Skywalker? (hero, has been through a lot, has their share of flaws)


Wait. Do I not have a Luke? Luke is pretty much the quintessential hero? Where is my Luke?

I don’t think I have a Luke. Let me go process this information and probably think of the perfect answer as soon as I hit that post button.

Okay, so I guess I should tag people, but I have no idea who has done this and who hasn’t so here’s for three wild guesses:



And I have no idea who else does tags, has not done this yet, and likes Star Wars, so I tag you! Seriously, feel free to do this if you wish.

That was a lot of controversial Star Wars opinions to shove into one post, wow. I’m pretty sure all the Angry Star Wars fans want my blood now. It was so much fun, though. I love Star Wars so much.