Today’s Road Trip Wednesday looks like one that might help me refocus my dissipated attention on my current literary enterprise (a.k.a., my Work In Progress). The question posed by the writers at YA Highway comes from an idea author Stephanie Perkins discussed on Natalie Whipple’s blog: Love Lists. What’s a love list? Here’s Stephanie’s description:
Whenever I begin a new project, I also begin a list called “What I Love About This Story.” I start by writing down those first ideas that sparked the fires of my mind, and then I add more ideas to it as I discover them during my push through early drafts.
So this week’s question is:
What is your novel’s “Love List”?
My current WIP is about a teenage alien who winds up in Victorian London. She got there by accident, and needs electricity to re-power her travel device and get home. But domestic electricity is still a thing of the future. And she fears she’s left her best friend in trouble back in her own time, so she has to find a way back quickly. To make matters worse, my alien’s race is not known for their technological skill–they’re still impressed with DVD players!
That’s the basic premise. So what did I like about this story when I first started developing the idea? Here’s my initial list:
- Teenage alien
- Time travel
- Victorian era/Victorian science
- Aliens who aren’t smarter than Earth people
- Alien teenage “voice”
It’s a short list, but this is what started me off on the story. I must admit, I’m not a big fan of the Victorian period (or I wasn’t when I started), but what I liked about it with regard to this story was that it was a time of discovery and enormous scientific enterprise. My MC is not very scientifically-minded, so these Victorians are, in many ways, more knowledgeable than her about these things. And given she already has a great respect for Earth technology, I think this sets up an interesting situation that I don’t often see in sci-fi. The story is first person, so another interesting challenge is writing from a female alien’s perspective. I struggled with this to begin with, but I think I’m getting closer to her voice. It’ll probably take a couple of drafts to nail it, though.
There’s my short list. What’s on the love list for your novel (assuming you’re writing one)? It can be short like mine, or much longer. Check out the YA Highway article for today, and participate by writing a blog post on the subject and commenting on the YA Highway article with a link.