Monday, November 1, 2010

Want to help me write a book?

Or I should say, Want to help my character write a book?

So here's the deal. I'm writing a book about a high school girl trying to get a novel published, and I really need your help.

Let me preface all the nitty-gritty details by saying YOU WILL GET CREDIT FOR YOUR IDEAS. Should this book get published (no, let's think positively - when the book is published), your full name will appear in the acknowledgements, stating what you contributed. ("Thank you to Suzanna Dunn, Eliese Callahan, and Janette Herbers for coming up with the title of Gabby's book..." etc.) You'll also receive a free copy of the book, and if it becomes a series, you'll receive free copies of those as well. Yes, even you my lovely Aussie and Kiwi readers.

Here's some information about the project, and then I'll follow it up with the questions I'm trying to get answered.

A summary of the book:

Gabby Hoskins feels like she's leading a double life.

At school she's Gabby-the-girl-on-the-sidelines. Yes, she hangs out with the popular students, but it's only because they grew up together. She never gets included in their plans, and the guy she likes only has eyes for her best friend.

But after school, when she's sitting at her computer working on her novel, she's Gabrielle-the-heroine. Writing started as an outlet for all those thoughts and feelings buzzing around her head. The ones nobody wanted to hear about, but somehow needed to be expressed. So she took the idiotic things her friends Rachel, April, and Brooke said and put them in the mouths of Raquel, January, and River.

The only person who knows about Gabby's novel is her on-line friend Bronte, who Gabby met through a writing web site. Bronte is encouraging Gabby to try to find a literary agent, but Gabby isn't so sure. Writing is her one safe haven - what will happen when she allows others in?

What I need help with from you guys:

Um, Gabby's entire book.

But we can start the discussion with these three things:

  1. The title
  2. The premise
  3. A fabulous opening line

Some parameters:

  • It can be any genre (mystery, speculative, historical) but it also has to be a YA book. I think a mystery would be really fun, but I stink at writing mysteries, so I'll have to really rely on you guys if that's what we choose.
  • The main character is a girl named Gabrielle, and she has a group of antagonists in Raquel, January, and River.
  • Gabrielle's got a fella. His name is open to discussion. As are all the other characters and their names.

Okay, that's all I can think of at the moment.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below. If you have something you want to share anonymously, you can do that, but make sure you shoot me an e-mail as well so that I have your full name and can give you credit if your suggestion gets used.

One last thing. This is a project I'm in the process of pitching, which means I need those three things (the title, premise, and first line) now-ish so I can get stuff to my editor. But this will also be an on-going project with many more opportunities to contribute.

Thanks in advance, guys! I'm excited!


  1. I know, I know, I'm not a teen anymore--but I'll break the ice. =)

    First, guy names. Gabrielle would pair well with a Rafe (short for Raphael, of course, the rhyming of which would be cause for the Terrible Trio to tease them).

    I obviously think it would be awesome if Gabby were writing a historical, simply because then I could be useful. =) And I'm sure Bronte (ahem) would approve. Ha. Ha ha.

    I'll shut up now. For now. =)

  2. Rafe/Raphael is a good candidate. Sounds like a hero name.

    And we can always blend genres too. Historical Suspense, etc.

    Good suggestions :)

  3. Although, upon further consideration, your antagonist names may not work with a historical, so contemp might be safer. Otherwise you need to first pick your setting and then check census/social security admin records to make sure the names existed in whatever time period she'd be writing in . . .

  4. Ha! Nice. Wish I were creative enough to help you. Janette could.

    Re: the comment above - I don't know much about pairing names for how they sound, but Gabrielle and Raphael make a nice pair as Raphael and Gabriel are both archangels... as is Michael, another nice name.

  5. Lol, Eliese. You're plenty creative. In my kitchen holding all my teas is a beautiful box you painted for me :)

    I'm loving the archangel theme. Made me think of something I read not long ago that "angels are the new vampires" re: YA fiction.

  6. Well, Uriel is your only other archangel option, so if that's a theme you're interested in pursuing, I'd go with Raphael or Michael. ;)

  7. Oo, so what if Gabby was writing one of these intensely spiritual books? (I mean, if we're chatting angels and vampires . . .) Given that she has a completely normal life, it would add a touch of the fantastic to her daily ritual. And open the door for a lot of fun questions. Their names could be all symbolic and stuff.

  8. What do you mean by spiritual? Like a battle of good vs. evil, or something more than that?

  9. Uh . . . I didn't think it through that much, LOL. I was mainly just thinking that your terrible three could be truly EVIL! (Mwa ha ha ha) And maybe your heroine could have some phenomenal gift that Gabby could only wish she has (don't ask me what) that allows her to be better than them (whereas in real life . . .) Just trying to come up with a scenario totally opposite her real life.

    Or, hey, what about a total fantasy concept? Like Gabrielle is the heiress to some fabulous kingdom, chosen, not inherited (unlike in real life, were her brother's the Golden Child), and Raphael is her champion (unlike in real life, where the guy's too hardheaded to claim her in public), and the three witches are trying to usurp her kingdom (unlike real life, where they just exile her).

    Yes, I'm totally just tossing out random ideas. Brainstorming. Gotta love it. =)

  10. Well, it's really early -- 6:40am to be exact (I know. I NEVER wake up this early. But now that NaNo's on, well...)and I've already learnt something -- what the premise is. I had to google it;)

    Ooh, a mystery would be pretty fun! I haven't written one of them for like two years, and that was very basic. But then again, all the Nancy Drew's are the same:P

    So. The premise of the book. {A Suggestion}.
    Hahahaha. I just had the randomest idea in the entire world and I am going to write it down. Like Roseanna said -- gotta love brainstorming!

    Gabrielle is an angel detective; people can't seem to solve their own problems, and when she meets someone on earth -- possibly the most good looking guy in the universe (And trust me, she's seen it all!) -- some of the other angels, Raquel, January and River -- are jealous.

    Ooh, and she can literally talk to God about anything. I mean, so can I, but I don't get to see him!

    Uh, wait. Angels can't be jealous, can they? Oh well. I wasn't really sure about those girlz. I sort of needed another role for them, but demons aren't exactly something fun to write about.:S Maybe we could make something up, like...

    Hey, where'd my mysery go? I think that about as far as I got was that she's an angel detective!:P

    Angel in the Universe: Hottie Guy
    Meh, the lamest name, isn't it. No, that wasn't a question. Don't anwer it.

    My halo was slipping, and no way was I going to be flying halfway down the sky to get it again.

    I gotta start my NaNo writing for the day, and then get ready for school... and I just wrote a comment long enough to BE a novel. I'm sorry about that...maybe I should add it to my story -- there's my word count for the day!

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  12. What if you made Gabby's book as like a diary-novel thing. One where she changed the names of all her friends enemies, family members, etc., but mafr Gabrielle go through similiar circumstances. This could be a way for her to get all her emotions out and not have anyone know who she is writing about.

    Or you could make her book of what she wishes life could be for her, and then she realizes in the book Gabrielle realizes life isn't always worth the popularity, friends, etc. Just a thought.

    I also kinda like the idea of a historical novel for Gabby to write. You could put what is occurring in her life back in another time period.

    Well, just some thoughts for now. Don't know if it's worth anything but I hope I was able to help to a point!

  13. How about a contemporary,romantic, suspense?
    I like the name Rafe for the guy.
    I might be weird but i'm not sure what the premise is, is it the thing before the first chapter?
    How old is Gabby?
    How about this for the opening line?

    I just burned my tongue on the amazing brownies that just came out of the oven, and it really hurts!

    Kinda lame but that what i just did!:)
    Besides the burn they taste awesome if i do say so my self.
    I didn't know if they would turn out or not, so i had to try them when they were still steaming.....
    I'll keep thinking of stuff you might be able to use....

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  15. I can't think of anything but a random idea for the first line:
    Aghh she's done it now, blown it big time...
    (continue on maybe a friend or little sister did something) or maybe something along those lines.
    I hope that all makes sense.

    I think a mystery could be good as long as it's realistic.

  16. Since we're going with the angel thing... (which, btw would be SOOOO cute!) I thought of a title:

    Angel in the Marble (like Michelangelo's quote about the angels and marble and stuff about setting it free?)

    Opening line:

    "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."--Michelangelo

    It was nearly three hours before I decided that an angel wasn't going to pop out of the hunk of marble sprawled across my lap. Or in this case, no inspiration would come to my lap top.

  17. Oops, I was thinking about YOUR book, not Gabby's book. Haha my baad...

    Okay, so for Gabby's book I think she should write about a girl who discovers she is an angel, and can sort of listen in on people's conversations and be their "guardian". She bonds with this guy (potential boyfriend?) or girl (enemy later friend?) after discovering they are fighting a battle as well.

  18. I think Gabby's book should draw on comforting childhood memories, since she's doing this as a sort of theraputic thing. Because she also wants to be a warrior, I suggest she write a comic book like story; where the world is a whole lot more black and white, and good triumphs evil every time. An action; as most comics are. And, of course, when she swoops in and saves her man he would forget all about her far less of a catch best friend - her sidekick??? Where as in real life her friend tends to be the main character???
    Title - "As It Should Be" - final line? 'and all was returned, as it should be.' ??
    Opening Line - A familiar twinge prickled at my hand and made my fingers restless; it was go time.

  19. Well, I think for the book book (did that make sence? book book?) (oh, not Gabby's book, but the real published book). Well I think that The plot of Gabby's book, goes along the line of something that happens in her life. Like she's uses the plot of the book to help solve her own problems, and when she needs advice, she thinks about what her character heroine person in her book would do. (which could be portrayed as Jesus, like a WWJD kind of thing....)

    Well it's JUST an idean.......... but I hope I helped!

  20. I like that idea it's good Cina.

  21. WOW. I walk away from my computer for a few hours...

    Sorry I've been MIA. Darn real life interfering with writing!

    There are some wonderful ideas in here. Keep them coming as you think of them. Tomorrow I'm going to compile all the ideas we've come up with and post them so we can see what we've brainstormed.

    One thing I want to clarify is that the "killer opening line" is for the book Gabby's writing. Realized I didn't make that clear. This is a learning process for me too!

    And Kaitlyn and Cina brought up an excellent thought - that Gabby can use the plot of her book to solve her own problems. Just an FYI that might help, but one of the big themes of the "real" book is honesty. Gabby has some issues with telling the truth, so we could maybe bring that into the book she's writing.

    *Skimming through comments to answer any other questions that came up*

    Gabby is 16, a sophomore. (Unless my editor says, "Um, no. Make her older." And then she'll be older.)

    When I say premise, I'm really saying, "What's the book about?" Like the back cover copy.

    Okay, gotta get to bed. Again, fabulous stuff in here guys. I'm WAY excited about writing Gabby's book with y'all!

    So I'll post again tomorrow with everything we've come up with. But feel free to keep leaving comments here as you think of stuff!

  22. Hmmm...
    I really like the diary idea for Gabby's book. =D
    I also think that a really good idea for it would be for Gabby's character- Gabrielle- to be an ordinary towns-girl in a more of an medieval world. And she would have a huge crush on the Prince that lives in a nearby castle.
    But her best friend Rafe has a big crush on her but she doesn't really seem to have those feelings for him because of her thing for the Prince.
    (Now I have a question, would Rafe be the one that she would be in love with? I just thought that would be cool if Rafe had a crush on her but he's to afraid to admit it, and she doesn't notice that he does)
    Oh and also she ends up finding out that she is the heiress of the Lord and Lady of the town she lives in.

    Just an idea. =)

    Oh and a good title I think would be: "Hidden Love"

    And a good opening line:

    I felt the cool mist of the early morning sprinkle on my skin, as I climbed with Rafe to the top of the ridge to see the sunrise.

    hope I helped!

  23. Okay, I just compiled all our ideas and posted them on today's blog, so head over there to keep the conversation going!