Bethany Jennings, a wonderful blogger, Christian writer, and homeschool mom (wow! talk about being an inspiration) has this hashtag called #WIpjoy, in which she comes up with a question for each day in whatever month it happens (usually three times a year). The last WIPjoy was in January, and I blog posted about my WIP Fiction’s Lie. This month, however, I’m switching over to Netherworld, because it’s been around way longer than any other story I’ve been working on, and it’s my favorite to think, write, and talk about.
So, without more ado, here are some answers to some favorite WIPjoy questions concerning Netherworld. I did tweet a few of these, but failed majorly to answer them all on Twitter.
describe yourself and your WIP
It was when I first started working on Netherworld when I realized I wanted to become an author and identified my passion for writing. It was the first time I ever really worked with creating complex and developed characters and storylines and I learned a lot about writing during that first year. I also started identifying myself as a science fiction and fantasy writer. It was also around the same time when new fandoms started inspiring me and becoming mainstream fuel for writing.
I’ve tried very hard to write a good synopsis, but the best I can do is say the main idea is that there’s this writer kid who travels to the world he himself created. There’s a lot more to it, but hey, you got the gist of it. There is, however, a quote that I think sums up my protagonist quite nicely:
“Look at what you have got yourself tangled up in. What a mess. A brief visit has turned into a obligation to save the whole world. What will you do?”
your MC’s aesthetic in 7 phrases
chalk • red • envelopes, everywhere • eraser dust • dusty brown oxfords • notebook, always • skin penmarks
And an aesthetic collage because I really, really like making them.
your first inspiration for this WIP
There are a lot of things that inspired me in my develpment of Netherworld, but one of the main things was my longing to travel to other worlds, whether they were ones I had created myself or worlds from my fandoms, other books and movies. Meo is a writer and Part 2 is about his journey to the world he created in his fantasy novel, something I’d give all the world’s chocolate to experience. The protagonist in Fiction’s Lie, Ficino, is the writer and creator of my characters from Netherworld (Meo included) and Ficino gets to travel to his fantasy world he created (which is Netherworld), so Ficino is basically in the same position I am in in real life. Yes, there’s definitely a theme going on, but it’s just something I long to experience that I find myself putting into my stories.
would you rather: get trapped in your story for a week or have your antagonist enter your own life for one day?
Definitely get trapped in my story for a week. If you just read the last answer, you know very well that’s definitely what I’d pick. Also, I’d have my own rules about it: Nothing happens to me, since I’m the author. I don’t die and I don’t get hurt, though I may be thrust into deadly situations. I wouldn’t mind being trapped throughout the entirety of the story either. Think of how much understanding and inspiration I’d be bursting with when editing or writing it after such an experience!
what would your MC be like as the antagonist?
I feel bad saying this, but my MC at the very beginning isn’t much different from the antagonist as far as motives and perspective go. But that’s because this gives them parallels as soon as their arcs kick in. *rubs hands gleefully* I looooove plotting, if you couldn’t already tell. If we’re talking about each of them as a person and mashing together both their personalities, however, I think we’d have an ambitious evil scientist nerd on our hands.
would your rather never publish this WIP, or watch it be adapted into a horrible movie?
Bring on the horrible movies. I NEED to finish this WIP, and I would actually love to see a horrible adaption. Good comic relief, yes? (Hopefully it won’t make me want to revise and publish a new edition.) Plus, there’s always hope of Christopher Nolan or J. J. Abrams coming along, noticing the terrible movie adaption, reading my
brillaint book, and make people forget there was ever that awful flop with either one of their remakes. I would die so many times. (I can dream.)
describe your MC’s personality with a gif
How about multiple gifs since they’re all perfect.
And precisely in that order.
(It just occured to me how badly Ron needs a towel, a cup of tea, and a Ford Prefect.)
choose an ideal reading spot, food, drink, and music to go with your book
On a street in the Boston suburbs, under an umbrella on a bench, with a gentle pattering of rain and a sprinkle of bright orange fall leaves everywhere, while listening to paino music by Paul Cardall with a caramel espresso accompanied by an orange scone. And there’s something new on my bucket list now.
what’s something you’re still figuring out about this WIP?
Whether or not I should rewrite it. If I do, it will be the fifth time. It’s been a while since I’ve written it; I have only just recently gone back to reread my storyline to get familiarized with the characters and sequence of events, and I can’t even distinguish between old and newer rough drafts. I’m also adding more and more to my characters and the storyline, and I need to stop because it’s getting way too complex. And if gets way too complex, it’s going to be way harder to actually write it; my brain would explode.
share a thought that keeps you going as a writer
If you give up now, you’re going to have a lot more wasted time in your past. All those unfinished stories and half-developed characters would go down the drain if I didn’t keep writing. The fact that all the time I spent creating stories and worlds and people would go to waste if I simply chose to stop is enough to keep me going.
would you rather: have tea with your antagonist or be stuck in an elevator for 3 hours with your MC?
Given that my antagonist is mostly harmless and is afraid of me because his destiny lies in my hands, I’ll choose tea over being imprisoned in an elevator any time.
why do you yearn to share this story with the world?
There are so many themes and messages I’ve interwoven in the story–some subtle, some bold–that I want people to think about. I want to see it as not just any other exciting, suspenseful fantasy novel, but a story that inspires and motivates readers. Important themes include faith and loyalty, but also having hope in the future of mankind. When I saw Wonder Woman, I was ecstatic to see that the whole premise was very much the same with my protagonist and antagonist. Both of them share the perspective that the world is dark and cruel and evil, with no chance of ever becoming completely good again. But one of them has hope and love, and the other has neither, and that, ultimately, is the premise of Netherworld. That’s what I want my readers to see, that even though humanity seems hopeless and helpless and increasingly wicked, that there is still beauty and wonder found in our presence in the universe, and that there is a reason why God even died for us in the first place. He loved us so much, even though we were undeserving of it. He had hope for mankind.
“It is not about what we deserve. It is about what we believe.” – Diana (Wonder Woman)
And that is all. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this post. Participating in writerly hashtag games such as #WIPjoy has always helped me appreciate the increasing potential and importance in my stories as well as boosting my enthusiasm for each WIP. And you guys also get to learn about my writing too! I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed typing this. Cheers and have a stellar day. Write on!