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N.K. Jemisin
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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms > Questions for N.K. Jemisin

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1137 comments Mod
We'll be having N.K. Jenisin on the show in a few weeks, so we wanted to start fielding questions from you guys about The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Also, no episode this week! Tom is on vacation.


message 2: by Nevan (last edited May 17, 2011 08:54AM) (new)

Nevan Prendeville | 143 comments I've heard a few male authors say that they were reluctant to write female protagonists because they might paint an overly-simplistic picture of femininity. Does the opposite apply to female authors?

Thanks, and I am very much enjoying The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

P.S. Pro-tip for writing guys: Bewbs r good. (I jest. Mostly.)


message 3: by Nick (new)

Nick (Whyzen) | 1269 comments Well first question is, why no vampires? Just kidding Veronica!! Please don't ask her that.

When writing a story with many complex plot shifts and character interactions do you find the need to diagram everything out or can you keep a rough idea of whats going on without having to resort to flow charts?

Do you ever find yourself having to be careful not to contradict previous story details?

One of the things I enjoyed about The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was trying to guess what characters were going to do next and being wrong about it.


message 4: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (Frontline) | 129 comments After listening to the last podcast I would like to know if she felt any pressure to make the story "epic"? Was the story always this large in scope, always imagined as a trilogy?


message 5: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Forget (nforget) | 51 comments I am always curious about the writing process. I would love to know if Jemisin plans the plot ahead of time (with an outline or some other tool), or if she discovers the story as she writes. Related: does she use a story bible or character profiles.


message 6: by Skip (new)

Skip | 507 comments Since we discussed it so much in group, I would ask her about her choice of using a First Person perspective:

"What made you chose First Person, and is that a starting place for your writing, or does that decision come once you have the bones of the story in place?"

I appreciated that she didn't use the First Person point of view to hide a key bit of knowledge at the end. It made sense for Yeine not to be aware of things until certain points of the story, but by the end she has more of a clue of what's going to happen than any of the humans in the room.


message 7: by Paulo (new)

Paulo Limp (paulolimp) | 67 comments I'd like to know from her about the design of the gods. It is a risky business to try to portrait something so different than us humans, but at the same time so closely related to ourselves. How was her process to design the gods in the book? My guess is that this was one of the very first things she created, and the rest came from that.


message 8: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 1789 comments When Yeine dismisses herself as being unattractive, should we take this as an objective assessment of her looks, or is it more that she didn't inherit the "right" traits from her mother to fit the Amn ideal of beauty and Nahadoth, not being mired in the Arameri hegemony, is able to view her objectively?


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 1893 comments From another discussion of ours, maybe she could elaborate more on the relationship between Nahadoth and Yeine. I don't know how to ask the question without a spoiler.


message 10: by Skip (new)

Skip | 507 comments Oh yeah, this is an obvious one:

"Please pronounce the character names."

I always like to hear the author's say the names of their characters.


message 11: by John (new)

John (DowdyKitchenMan) | 107 comments N.K. Jemisin, you've just won the Nebula; what are you going to do next?!

(Yes, idiotic Disney World reference, sorry, but congrats on the win!)


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 1893 comments John wrote: "N.K. Jemisin, you've just won the Nebula; what are you going to do next?!

(Yes, idiotic Disney World reference, sorry, but congrats on the win!)"


I get so confused on the Nebulas. I thought getting shortlisted meant you won, but Tor.com doesn't indicate her as a winner, just Willis.


message 13: by John (new)

John (DowdyKitchenMan) | 107 comments Wow, don't ask her that at all then! (That conspicuous use of "Winner" really should have given me a clue, eh? jeez.)


message 14: by Ray (new)

Ray | 35 comments Nathan wrote: "I am always curious about the writing process. I would love to know if Jemisin plans the plot ahead of time (with an outline or some other tool), or if she discovers the story as she writes. Relate..."

http://nkjemisin.com/2010/11/the-hund...
Though that might not entirely answer your question.

Skip wrote: "Oh yeah, this is an obvious one:

"Please pronounce the character names."

I always like to hear the author's say the names of their characters."


http://nkjemisin.com/2010/02/a-name-p...


message 15: by Ray (new)

Ray | 35 comments Veronica brought up an interesting question in the podcast: how much involvement did Jemisin have with the production of the audiobook?

Did she have any input on the choice of narrator? Did she write up notes or was she present for the recording?


message 16: by Dan (new)

Dan (Daniel-san) | 101 comments So we've heard from a few of the 100,000 Kingdoms. Will we be able to jump into the rest of the ninety-nine-odd thousand at some point? :)


message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary (ValentineW) | 118 comments I'm a very visual person. Does she have a map of Sky? What about the world? Is there any chance a map would show up in a book?


message 18: by Dezmond (last edited May 30, 2011 09:59AM) (new)

Dezmond Finney | 11 comments Nevan asked a question regarding being a female writer writing male characters. I am male (who occasionally writes) so I am part of a minority that N.K. Jemisin belongs to as well - fantasy/sci-fi writers of African decent. Dwayne McDuffie had a quick blurb on BoingBoing about his experiences. In comics things may be more volatile but I am curious as to her experiences. Do you think being of African decent affects what you write or how you write it?

Just curious because of the McDuffie story and my own experience in writing groups, cons, old D&D crews and reading groups in the past. It is something that does not come up often (one of the reasons I love being a fantasy/sci-fi geek) but many times it becomes glaringly obvious and can make me or others uncomfortable for a moment or two.


message 19: by Dezmond (new)

Dezmond Finney | 11 comments Sorry to post again but after poking around on N.K. Jemisin's site I came across this posting: Don’t Put My Book in the African American Section. This is along the lines of what I was talking about. If Veronica and Tom don't ask about it, this posting gave me some insight. I would still like some elaboration though.

P.S. This reminds me of the old argument about what belongs in the sci-fi section and what doesn't. How does Fahrenheit 451 get in the "general fiction" but the Foundation books or Tolkien do not?


message 20: by Boots (new)

Boots (Rubberboots) | 499 comments Was the sex scene between Nahadoth and Yeine influenced by Hentai/Anime?


message 21: by Paul (new)

Paul | 13 comments I'm curious what she thinks about the pronunciation of the character names. First, how did she come up and decide on the names?

Second, what does she think about having a name pronunciation guide in the book itself? And how important does she think name pronunciation is to the reading process? I know she says that she doesn't care how they are pronounced, but personally when I read, I usually have a little voice in my head talking that can get tripped up over words that it can't figure out how to say.

Third, I'm always curious how an author decides on the name of the book and what it's suppose to mean. How much of an influence did the publisher have?

Finally, why a trilogy? Especially since it seems like the books don't have the same protagonist. Did she have all three books planned out from the beginning? Or is it just because most people "expect" trilogies?


message 22: by Skip (new)

Skip | 507 comments So it is June 2nd, how did it go?

Yes I am impatient.


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