Today I decided to take a different turn and instead of a Writing Prophecies post, I decided that I would tell y’all about the book that I’m currently writing.
I’ve spoken about this project before on my blog during my Camp NaNoWriMo posts last month (which you can read here) but I decided to talk more about how I feel about the book and my characters and just overall what it’s about and why I decided to write it.
This book has grown a lot since Camp NaNo in May and I feel like such a proud mother for both these characters and the book as a whole even though I’m not even close to being done with it. Now I think I’m ready to talk with all of you about the experience I’ve had writing this book so far.
When I initially started writing We’re All Beautiful (this is only a temporary title) I wanted to write a book about a mixed race girl living in New York, moving to a new place where she has to deal with racism and have a character – who was originally going to be a love interest – treat her differently than everybody else.
That character became Junseok “John” Park – a Korean boy who is nice to her and treats her like she matters. Basically, he’d be the perfect boyfriend and would fill her life with hugs and smiles and rainbows and butterflies. Y’know, the entire package. But I didn’t want him to be boring.
I started filling out character forms (you can check them out here) and I learned a lot about these characters as I filled out these forms. John (and Madison – the girl) became fleshed out characters with issues from the past who are trying to do what their parents think is right for them without losing who they are.
Madison’s family is poor and when they move she doesn’t fit in with this new place. She’s never really fit in anywhere – not with the white people and not with the black people – nonetheless with this new community of rich Asians. She gets hit with rude phrases and she doesn’t get the same opportunities as everybody else.
Madison is a strong-willed character, though, and doesn’t let anybody step over her. She stands up for what she believes in. I wanted to make a female character I would be proud to call my character. I wanted to make somebody that would inspire other women to stand up for themselves and not rely on a male to do things for them. Thus, Madison was born.
John became somebody who wears all black and likes K-Pop. I honestly don’t know where that all came from, but it fits with him, I think (and no, he doesn’t just like K-Pop because he’s Korean!) He cares for people but he doesn’t show it in the same way as others. He is a closeted bisexual and is a piano prodigy who gets a big opportunity he’s unsure if he should take or not.
I knew that when I wrote John’s character I wanted to make somebody who I could see myself becoming friends with. I didn’t want a male character who was only there to become a love interest for Madison because then that would kind of defeat the entire purpose of making Madison independent, so I decided that I would try and not make them a couple and see how that’d end up. So far they haven’t kissed which is good! I don’t plan on them kissing because I just want them to be best friends to each other – YA needs that.
They both love drawing and they end up finding common ground with that. John becomes an unlikely friend to Madison and Madison becomes somebody John can finally confide in and be himself with. They compliment one another but they also butt heads quite often.
When I say ‘quite often’ I mean they’ve had three arguments within a span of just a few days. I need to chill with that, seriously. I don’t know why I keep making them have arguments!
I think it may have to do with them both being people who don’t like letting others in on their personal lives and their feelings so they oftentimes get the wrong perception of the other person, causing confusion and tension… But still, they need to have less arguments.
That being said, throughout the book I plan on leaving little hints about each character’s past – good and bad – because then that’ll show why they do certain things and act in certain ways as a response to the other’s actions (ie: why they clash heads so often). So far I think I’ve been doing a good job with that!
Now I’d like to show you my aesthetics for these characters. I showed you them in one of my Camp NaNoWriMo posts, but I have some new ones to show you!
Yes, there actually are other characters besides John and Madison!
- Janica and Denis Pearson – Madison’s Parents. Madison is really close with her parents, especially her mom. They have dinner with each other every night and they overall just enjoy each other’s company. Janica is a supportive mother who always makes sure her daughter is okay and is taken care of and Denis is a father who steps back a little bit only because of something he’s done in the past but loves his daughter nonetheless and wants the best for her.
- Areum and Jae-Sun Park – John’s Parents. John’s parents are the traditional Korean parents. They put John in one of the best private schools in the city and enrolled him in all AP classes and put him into one of the most prestigious music school in the world. His mother loves him and supports him but doesn’t really listen to what he says he wants and his father is stern and wants everything to be done his way. Their dream is for John to become the best pianist in the world.
- Carlos “Carl” Cruz – John’s Friend. I don’t want to say much about him because then it’d be spoilers but he used to be best friends with John, but they don’t speak to each other any more.
- Dae Kim – John’s Piano Tutor. Dae is the son of one of the most well-respected pianists in the world and has been tutoring John in piano for the past five years. He’s spoiled and doesn’t think of how his words might effect others before he talks. This causes him to get on Madison’s bad side.
- Jin Woo – Mystery Character. I don’t want to reveal anything about him because spoilers, but let me just say that I’m so excited to write him!
I don’t think I’m quite ready to reveal the plot of my book quite yet. I love the idea I have but I want to keep the main plot under wraps for now. I haven’t even told my sister the main plot of my book yet, and I turn to her a lot when I’m stuck or just need to express my ideas.
What I can tell you, though, is that it’s completely different than what you’d probably expect considering everything I’ve already said about my book. I’m so excited to write this book and find beta readers for it once I have it edited and ready for others to read.
I wanted to write a book that would be special to a lot of people. I’m making it as diverse as I possibly can and it’s probably the one thing I’m most excited for, if I’m being honest.
That’s all I want to share about my book right now, so now I’m going to go and crawl back into my imaginary cave and write because Camp NaNoWriMo is here and I have lots of words to type up.