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WRITERS' CORNER > Help! The weird family

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message 1: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Okay so I've got an idea slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) forming about a family where the parents are rather eccentric and name their kids after cities they've visited bc they like to travel the world, plus plants/flowers for middle names, like so:

the girls:
Vienna Oleander
Paris Rose
London Aster

the brother:
Denver Banyan

...and he has a pet (not sure if it'll be a dog or a cat or something else yet) but he names it Katydid bc he's weird :P My thinking is he overhears the girls talking about a girl named Katy at school and they say "Katy did--" something, and his weirdo-name lightbulb goes off xD and I'm still working on the family surname too, but it'll probably be something like Fairchild or Highmore or along those lines.

My problem now is trying to negotiate a plot. I feel like there's something here, I just don't know what it is. It feels almost steampunk-ish, early 1900s, but I'm not good with mechanics so I'm not sure about that. I'm not sure if it should include magic of any kind.

So I suppose my question is, what would you guys do with this? Anything?


message 2: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Wow. This sounds like a quirky family :)
Honestly, it seems like your focus right now is the family--so I would just start plopping them into different settings in your head and follow them along on their day. Have them get up, go to work/school/shopping etc (or whatever they do) and see where that day goes. You may like a setting or not and then see what comes their way to decide if they have magic or not. Play with them a bit to let their personalities come through. Good luck! I really like the katydid part. :)


message 3: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Thanks Elora! Even as I'm sitting here at work today I keep getting more ideas, which makes me even more pumped :)


message 4: by Brigid ✩ (last edited Dec 08, 2015 10:30AM) (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
That sounds really awesome, Ashley! I love the names. :D As for the plot, maybe it would help to start thinking of some kind of conflict for them to face. I guess it will depend on what genre you choose––but regardless, there are a lot of interesting dynamics and possibilities when it comes to stories about families. Maybe one of the kids runs away? Gets kidnapped? The kids are separated from their parents somehow?


message 5: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie I think their cousin Alexandria's coming to visit will bring a conflict of some kind, I just haven't nailed it down yet.

Ahhh so many influences and directions are springing to mind, from Gail Carriger's Finishing School books to Rachel Caine's Great Library. Gah.


message 6: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments So glad the ideas are flowing......:)


message 7: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie And I've decided Katydid is going to be a ferret :P haha


message 8: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments I love it!!


message 9: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
That's awesome. :D


message 10: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Have you made any progress, Ashley?


message 11: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Been busy lately with the holidays so close but I've got a list of names and I'm still debating the overall plot. I need to write a bit when I get home, I've had the scene where Den actually gets Katydid running through my head for a week now LOL


message 12: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments So glad that you have a scene in your head even though you haven't been able to put it on paper. :)


message 13: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Yay! Let us know how it goes. ;)


message 14: by Ashley Marie (last edited Jan 08, 2016 08:11AM) (new)

Ashley Marie I *THINK* I may have had something of a breakthrough.

I've just finished Gail Carriger's steampunk Finishing School series (partly what made me wonder about making my story steampunk in nature) and I've decided that the kids are most likely home-schooled if they're traveling all the time (traveling in what, I'm not sure yet), but boarding school felt too HP to me.

I've also had a vague idea of wanting to write a centaur-based story lately, so I thought, what if I combined the two and they traveled the world investigating fantasy creatures? Maybe centaurs would be scattered across the forests of Europe, there would be selkies in the Scottish highlands, incubi and succubi in north Africa/the Arabian peninsula, etc.

Thing is, I don't want to get too close to Fantastic Beasts, either. I mean, an 1800s AU with fantasy creatures? Not too far off. So it feels like a tightrope for the moment. But I wrote up this little snippet last night:

“I should very much like to see America,” piped up Denver, keen to add his voice to the conversation.
“America?” said one centaur, pawing the ground impatiently. “Whatever for?”
Denver looked wounded. “I was named after a town there. I should like to see it, and see if there are any creatures in the mountains around it.”
The centaurs scoffed. “Creatures in America? America is not old enough to have such things.”
“How do you mean?” Denver asked, confused.
The russet-colored centaur gazed down at him with an expression of superiority. “America was only began nigh on a century ago. It does not have the necessary longevity to support such mystical beings as those you seek. Now, the southern continent, on the other hand…”

I REALLY want to go with this and delve into Aztec/Mayan/Incan mythology because I don't think I've ever seen that done.


message 15: by Donna (new)

Donna (bookdragongirl) OMG!!! That sounds so awesome!!! I love the idea of an eccentric family traveling the world investigating fantasy creatures!!!


message 16: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Ashley I love that idea!!! I know in real life, there are a lot of kids who are homeschooled and travel around a lot to learn more––so I like the idea of there being a fantasy version of that. :) I also love the idea of them traveling all over the world and investigating fantasy creatures of all cultures, especially because a lot of really cool mythology often goes ignored by many retellings. So you could really have fun with it! And I love that snippet. :D


message 17: by Ashley Marie (last edited Jan 08, 2016 01:57PM) (new)

Ashley Marie -bounces- I am SO excited you guys!!

ALSO: I've got a list of surnames going -- generally Victorian-esque names, but the point is I haven't settled on anything yet. If you guys have strong surname opinions for the kids, feel free to drop them :)


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Ashley(know am late to the conversation) YEA TO ALL OF THE ABOVE(fangirl screaming not rude caps lock).
The idea, and family just screams brilliance. Love just the little excerpt you posted, and no dont think it will be too similar to fantastic beasts, fantastic beast has no family at the center. Go ahead and write the masterpiece I say()hoping you dont feel the presure and procastinate away the project).


message 19: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Love your ideas and your snippet--you totally need to devote time to this book (and finish so we all can read it)! :)


message 20: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Thanks guys <3 you all are wonderful for giving feedback. This idea started months ago at the theatre and I'm feeling really good about it right now. Time to take off and do a bit more research and hopefully write some!


message 21: by Donna (new)

Donna (bookdragongirl) Yes we want to read it!!!!


message 22: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Posting this bit because I cracked myself up at Den's comeback--

Meeting the New Pet--

“Ick, ohmygod! What is it?” shrieked Paris.
“Some kind of furry snake,” guessed London, squinting at it. “Like a cat-snake hybrid.”
“Don’t be stupid,” said Denver, twining the animal through his hands. “It’s a ferret.”
Paris wrinkled her nose. “It’s queer is what it is,” she sniffed.
Denver looked affronted. “He is not.”
“Oh, it’s a he, now, is it?”
“Ye— well, I don’t know,” Denver huffed. “I only just got it.”
Paris tittered. “Really, Den, how will you know what you can name it if you don’t even know what it is?”
“The same way Mum and Dad named you.” Then he bolted for the stairs, clutching his new pet to his chest.


message 23: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Have you been able to write more?? I love the banter between the siblings!


message 24: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie I do have more -- I should start a thread for myself to post the story as I write it, and then if people want to leave feedback they could just do it here :)


message 25: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments That's awesome. I'm so glad you've been able to work on it!


message 26: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Yay!! I'd love to read more of it. :)


message 27: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
I just read what you posted so far and I love it!! I can already see a fun dynamic between the siblings and I'm excited to see where their story goes. :D


message 28: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Yay thank you!


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