Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.Louis L’Amour
My novel didn’t start with much of an idea. It was a basic concept – just a short story – but over time it became so in-depth that my book was born. I drew on so many different novels, movies and TV shows to create my own story and writing style. Young Adult fantasy and sci-fi draws me in, which is pretty typical of someone my age. I love the drama and romance that the YA genre entails. I love the mythical creatures and magic that fantasy creates. Sci-Fi was my childhood and is so deeply entrenched in my writing – aliens and predators, astronauts being flung across the galaxy by a wormhole, Jedi, warp cores and cowboys in space were what I grew up with (I dare you to guess all those references).
Since I grew up with it, shows and movies filled with sci-fi and post-apocalyptic drama always intrigued me. I love watching the drama unfold and the desolation that covers everything. Morbid, I know, but fascinating. Seeing how these characters fight against all odds to save humanity gets me hooked and I love watching them succeed, and fail. This is what drew me to writing a novel set in a post-apocalyptic world. I wanted to convey the desperation and desire to survive and the more animalistic tendencies that can come out of some humans when chaos reigns.
If you hadn’t already picked up on it I’ll make mention that my novel is set in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s a world devastated by war, with dangers lying in every shadow. My main character, Grace, is alone and her old personality was shattered by the destruction. She lost her family to the chaos and she just roams the land alone, killing anything that steps in her path. Until one day, she’s saved by a young man called Matt. He opens her eyes to the new life that is coming to the world, and the groups of survivors dedicating their lives to rebuilding. Her perspective on life slowly shifts and she quickly finds herself wanting to restore the earth and rebuild humanity. I wanted a strong theme for my book, and having a strong theme drew me into my own book and created a dramatic story.
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.Herman Melville
My novels is the kind of dramatic story that keeps you drawn in and wanting to know more. Filled with twists that ignite your emotions and has you asking ‘why!’. I enjoy the post-apocalyptic drama and the tension that fills human emotions as they fight for survival and live in small camps, cramped together. I also enjoy putting in some fantasy and sci-fi elements to my novels. I’m a sucker for those fantastical things and I have immensely enjoyed combining my loves for post-apocalyptic drama and sci-fi/fantasy. I did struggle a little to find the perfect balance between my different loves, to create a dramatic but not unbelievable story.
As a writer, coming up with ideas tends to not be the issue, it’s more putting them logically to create a plot and omitting ideas that just don’t work. The primary example is that I really wanted to put angels into my novel – but once I started writing, I realised that as much as I loved the concept of angels in the story, it just wouldn’t work. The storyline is too humanity orientated and already had fantasy themes, while still being believable. I felt that throwing angels into the mix as well would just create a complete disbelief and a recipe for disaster. So I pocketed that idea and will use it in my next novel!
Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.Orson Scott
It has been a fun process coming up with my novel’s plot. It’s been fun fleshing out my ideas and bringing the characters and their world to life. The baseline plot is that it is a post-apocalyptic young adult novel, focusing on 22-year-old Grace as she fights for her own survival and that of humanity, finding friendship and loyalty that she had previously thought to be impossible in her new world.