21 April 2009

Embracing 25 Things

It has recently come to my attention that I may need to cheer things up here at Wuthering Life. (Although, to be fair, the blog's name is pretty depressing. No one should be coming here expecting sunshine and kittehs.)

Considering that, I thought I'd do a lighthearted, fun meme. You know one of those things people are always pestering you about on Facebook and whatnot?

Several potential topics tickled my fancy. 25 Ways I'm Awesome was a top contender, but then I thought it might come across as a tad bit vain. I ruled out 25 Things that Make Me Happy for the same reason. 25 Ways I Don't Want to Die seemed a little too morbid. 25 Reasons Why I'm Doing a Meme Instead of Writing an Original Post seemed a little too obvious. And, 25 of My Favorite Letters seemed unfair to poor U.

Instead, I settled on something more faithful to the original meme.

25 Random Facts about ANJIDIA:
(in no particular order)
  1. I wrote the first draft in 4 weeks.
  2. A hand-drawn map of Anjidia, gifted to me by beloved beta reader, Kim Bowen, hangs in my bedroom.
  3. Earliest beta readers formed two vehement camps regarding Aryli's love interests.
  4. I hoped one of those camps would blow the other to smithereens, because I couldn't decide who Aryli should end up with.
  5. In the end, the characters made the decision for me.
  6. Two of the main secondary characters were never supposed to exist.
  7. Another of the main secondary characters was supposed to be a redshirt.
  8. My mom took news of the death of the character named after her fairly well.
  9. I cut the original opening and rewrote the original ending of the novel.
  10. No one other than those early beta readers will ever read that first draft.
  11. The Redwood National and State Parks, which I visited after I finished the first draft, inspired one of the locations in Anjidia.
  12. I'd written off ANJIDIA six months before I started writing it in earnest in favor of a story that has since been shelved permanently.
  13. The names of the protagonist and antagonist began as placeholders and were an inside joke between one of my best friends and myself; they wound up fitting.
  14. I've planned a prequel and a sequel to ANJIDIA.
  15. Both the prequel and sequel would explore the stories of secondary characters.
  16. My first query for the novel garnered a partial request.
  17. Flyleaf's debut cd, Flyleaf, was a key source of musical inspiration for the novel.
  18. There are 37 songs on my ANJIDIA playlist, and they range from Josh Groban to Metallica.
  19. One of the major plot twists originated from a conversation I had with beta reader, Kat Kuhl; I don't think I would have had that "D'oh!" moment without her.
  20. I only pulled two all-nighters while writing ANJIDIA — one while writing a key climatic scene, and one while writing the last three chapters.
  21. The amazing Sci Fi (excuse me, I mean SyFy) mini-series Tin Man greatly influenced ANJIDIA conceptually and visually (in my head).
  22. One of the secondary characters who was never supposed to exist is named after a character from a poem (styled after medieval lais) that I wrote for my Medieval Lit class in college.
  23. My favorite line from the book is probably: "Blind faith is an incredible thing — an incredible, scary thing."
  24. One plot twist earned me death threats from beta readers (though I'm sure they were issued in jest...probably).
  25. Star Wars is referenced three times in the course of the novel.
So there you have it. Surprisingly, 25 non-spoilerific things were incredibly difficult to think up. The goods news is that climbing through the dusty cupboards of the novel and its history brought up some really great memories. Sadly, it's easy to become so focused on the destination that you forget what you loved about the journey. 

If any of you decide to take up the task yourselves, please let me know. I love knowing the Behind-the-Scenes stuff!


KLo said...

Sounds like a great piece : ) I'm especially intrigued by the "Star Wars" references : ) Oh, and how cool is it that you have a map of a world that exists in your imagination?

E. Van Lowe said...

Death threats? That's worth a post of it's own. I LOVE the line about blind faith. Great post, Sam.

The Screaming Guppy said...

That's a cool idea. :D What a fun post. I might have to copy you. >:D

beth said...

Oh, I love this! Cool idea!!

Samantha Elliott said...

Glad you all enjoyed it! :D

KLo said...

I totally did this on my blog. It was actually incredibly fun : ) Thank you!

Kimberly said...

I think this is the best way to turn an annoying facebook phenom into an engaging plug for your book! It put me in the mood to re-read ANJIDIA!

And... I may just have to bite off of your idea for my graphic series.

AND! I'm so touched that my map - which I hand-carried across the country on a plane, through security, and in a DC cab - has finally found a home! ^^v