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  • Kristina Elyse Butke

#FantasyIndiesJanuary


Frosted berries growing in snowy weather
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

I've done these for October and December and I really enjoy them. I'm not exactly an indie writer right now, but I thought these prompts would be a lot of fun since they're mostly about sharing the WIP! They're brought to you by @Chesney Infalt and @LydiaVRussell. Enjoy!


‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾  ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙


1 - Introduce yourself and your WIP

Kristina here! I write upper YA fantasy and I'm currently working on The Name and the Key, a book about hauntings in mirrors and worlds in between and the quest to end death. It was originally my graduate thesis, but I've decided to completely rewrite it from scratch, and that's surprisingly challenging.


2 - Do you listen to music while you write?

Sometimes. I can't listen to music with lyrics or else I get sucked into the words, but I will listen to instrumental music. Film, anime, and game soundtracks are my music of choice!


3 - A word you always misspell

I cannot spell the word "renaissance" (I had to autocorrect it just now) for the life of me. I also misspell "conscious" and "misogyny" too.


4 - First line of WIP

"My mother sat in front of her vanity, combing her lustrous, cornsilk hair that cascaded down her back in waves." This is subject to change as I'm not sure it has enough "oomph" to it.


5 - Do you title or number chapters?

So, Son of the Siren originally had titled chapters but I soon ran out of ideas for the rest of them. I had to revert to numbers. I think that's what I'll have to stick with--it's hard naming chapters, even though I like it.


6 - Free Friday

Some of the changes that have taken place in the manuscript so far involve killing off a character that completely lived through the entirety of my graduate thesis. It was rough saying goodbye to him but I needed him to die in order to motivate another character to do unspeakable things.


7 - Snippet Saturday

I tend not to participate in these for fear of work getting stolen. Plus, it turns out I change things all the time now, so it might no longer be accurate!


8 - Word or phrase your MC says often

Lily from The Name and the Key doesn't really say this, but I use the word "murmur" a lot in my writing. People murmur all the time!


9 - Lessons in WIP

There are plenty of magic lessons happening in the book, and they are so much fun to write!


10 - MC's guilty pleasure

Lily enjoys hot chocolate with a bit of cinnamon in it.


11 - Indie books on your TBR

I like the work of Kellen Graves. I need to read the second book in the Rowan Blood series (Lord of Silver Ashes) and then there's also the upcoming The Fox and the Dryad.


12 - Action flash fiction

If I'm supposed to be writing this, I'm passing. I can't keep anything short and sweet, sorry.


13 - Free Friday

The Name and the Key keeps going back and forth in my mind as to whether or not it should be standalone or a trilogy. I have always dreamed of it being a three-book story, but alas, there is no plot. I keep attempting to make one, but it hasn't been going so well. Whereas, if it's a standalone--well, I already wrote it as one, and that version at least has a complete ending.


14 - Snippet Saturday

Pass!


15 - Inspiration for WIP

The inspirations for The Name and the Key are all over the place. So, it was originally going to be a fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast (the de Villeneuve version), but the story largely escaped from that as I started basing the magic system more on alchemy (with its interpretation influenced by Fullmetal Alchemist) and the plot really started doing its own thing. I have no idea how to go about comp titles for this thing at all. This really became its own beast.


16 - What New Year's Resolution would your MC make? How well would they do?

Lily isn't one for making resolutions. She struggles enough with her everyday life as it is, being cursed and all. She might resolve to break that curse, but she has no idea how to go about it, as magic is still a sort of foreign concept to her. Luckily Andresh is there to help.


17 - What advice would your MC give their younger self?

Lily would tell herself to listen to Andresh when it comes to riding horses, and to avoid touching her mother's body. She would also tell herself to try to be more honest with her feelings, especially when it comes to Andresh.


18 - Your 2023 writing and reading resolution

In terms of writing, I want to finish The Name and the Key by May 1, 2023. In terms of reading, my Goodreads challenge is to read 150 books.


19 - MC's preferred weapon

Lily isn't one for violence, but if she had to, she'd grab a club or some other blunt weapon to use.


20 - Free Friday

One time I tried to cosplay as Andresh at a convention. I bought supplies and a robe to be altered and did some sewing, but had gained weight so I couldn't fit into that cosplay anymore. I also wasn't sure how to get rid of the zipper or tie the sash I had altered. It was an idea that didn't work out so well, and I never quite finished it or ended up wearing it.


21 - Snippet Saturday

No thanks!


22 - Where would your MC want to go for a vacation?

Lily would probably want to go someplace out in nature that she's never been to, like the mountains.


23 - Shout out other indie authors

I already mentioned I liked Kellen Graves. I am also going to shout-out Freydis Moon (who wrote a poem for Lirien from Son of the Siren), Arden Powell, and Sebastian Nothwell. I *think* all of them are indie authors, but I'm not 100% sure. Some of them could be published by small presses.


24 - WIP Fun Fact

The Name and the Key was started in 2010 and completed in 2013...however, with me rewriting it, it's officially a 13-year-old project and my oldest WIP.


25 - Do you prefer stories that focus more on plot or characters?

I like character-driven stories because I adore falling in love with people. If the character is awesome, I will follow them anywhere.


26 - Does your MC have a nickname?

No. She's simply called "Lily."


27 - Free Friday

I used to be really good at coming up with names for characters, and I was a stick in the mud about changing them. With this new version of The Name and the Key, I've been changing names left and right. Most of the main characters have kept their first names, but their last names have changed. I have also completely renamed locations in the story, too. This needed to happen as the first version of the book is currently not publishable for reasons I won't get into here. But this time around, coming up with new names has been really hard. I'm trying to go with completely unique sounds that don't sound like they come from anywhere, and countries that don't sound like places that we know of--I'm trying to keep the worldbuilding more original this time. It's definitely a challenge!


28 - Snippet Saturday

Pass!


29 - Favorite line in WIP

I like this line so much that I'm reluctant to share it! So I'll just say it's about magic and leave it at that. Can't wait for you to read it, though.


30 - What is your MC's type of humor?

Lily tends to be more serious in this iteration of the story, but before, she was more interested in making herself laugh rather than other people, so her humor wasn't really what other people are into. It's not snarky or mean-spirited, either.


31 - Monthly Wrap-Up

Well, as I type this, the book is at 14,873 words. My goal is to break 15,000 soon. I know that's only a little bit more but I'm currently experiencing a block with it, so if I can just write a smidgen more, it's better than nothing.


Thanks for reading, friends!



31 writing prompts for your WIP for #fantasyindiesjanuary
Image from Twitter




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