Sunday, February 26, 2017

Meet The Books! - Alagna


Hey! Yes, more Meet The Books!, I know! And this time it didn't take as long?! What?! Belle didn't procrastinate?! Is anybody else super surprised by this?! ;) Well, today I'm proceeding to the next of my stories, which I started the spring of 2016, I think. Um, April, to be exact (while on vacation in Florida). The previous Meet The Books! feature can be found here. And I am soooo sorry for not posting for so long. I was gone a good time longer than I had expected, and had no way of getting back to my lovely audience here. Sowwy!!!! :'( And I'm expecially ashamed because I missed two chances for CE posts. Please forgive, and I will be better next time, I assure you! Ahem. Anyways, I guess I'll continue to introduce Alagna, possibly my personal favorite of all my stories.
What is the genre?
Originally, it was quite as genre-less as Alomina, but now, ever since I shortened the beginning period before the action, I believe it just might qualify as Action/Adventure.
What is the title? Time period?
The title, well, aha.... hehehehe... :P *grins sheepishly* Well, I'm afraid it has no title. I just call it Alagna, after the heroine. If anybody in my audience has any title ideas for either this one or Alomina, I would be incredibly grateful, and would consider any suggestions at all! The time period for it is sort-of a late medieval (think 1300's - 1400's range). Basically just a slight later than my usual time period in writing.
How is it written (Point of view, MC, etc.)?
Well, it's written in third person limited with main and secondary viewers. The main viewer in POV, also the main character, is Alagna Arleine. The secondary viewers are Prince Blakely, Queen Gianna, and Raspardi Oliongra.
Who are the characters?
Haha, this used to be a problem with the story. Character overpopulation was the biggest issue with it at the time... haha, wish that was the only issue now... :P However, one character was deleted, and two given much smaller appearances, so now it's not really a problem. I would think that I would be devastated to delete a character, but it felt like she wasn't really a character. It kinda felt like she was just words, and not a person. Which is why she's gone, I suppose. Plus, she was super plagiarized off of a character in my best friend's civil war story, come to think of it. Now, the main characters are as follows:
Alagna Arleine, the heroine. She's a noblewoman of, well, uh, let's call it 'homeland', because it's the main country and it's undecided right now. So, anyways, she's a noblewoman of homeland, and a rather independent one at that. In fact, she's perhaps a slight too hot-headed and independent at times. She lives in her own estates without her family, even though she is neither disowned nor married. This is only one example of her independence and contrariness in nature. She is also incredibly curious (I would use the word 'nosy' even), and she is one of my characters who genuinely irritates me sometimes for her disregard to safety and common sense when she is curious. I guess she's kind-of like a medieval detective-lady after some fashions. :P She has chestnut-red hair, and eyes of a mixed shade, this shade dubbed 'the color of starlight', it being a mix of blue, silver, and pale violet (I didn't even know this eye color existed until I got to know somebody in the South with this blended color of eyes. So of course, it being a rarity and novelty, I had to have it for one of my characters). ;)
Prince Blakely is Alagna's best friend, and also the oldest prince of homeland. He's quiet and gentle in nature, and always has a moment to spare for Alagna, despite his manifold duties and worries. Often it's Alagna that aids his mind when he is worried over something. He pays much attention to Alagna, but sometimes more than she will allow. Alagna knows he likes her, but it's not too seriously taken, because she knows he's still a boy at heart. He is the crown prince, and is constantly trying to learn to be a better king, because he is extremely dutiful. He's exceptionally tall, at the height of six foot four, has bright blue eyes and almost honey-ish blond hair.
Haha, unfortunately another Pinterest calamity happened - the only picture I could find to fit Blakely was one of him as a little boy! ;) Oh dear... :P
Prince Francis and Prince Edmonde are Blakely's rather roguish younger brothers. No one would believe they're not twins, even though they're a year apart. In fact, they're often called the 'Almost Twins' because they're so incredibly close in age, looks, and character. Somewhat mischievous at times (meaning, all the time), and possessed of a special love for teasing Blakely, particularly concerning his soft spot for Alagna. They treat Alagna like a sister, and don't leave her out of the teasing either. They look, for the most part, like Blakely, except that Edmonde has emerald-green eyes rather than blue. (And, by the way, even though I spelled it the French way, Edmonde's name is still just pronounced 'Edmund', like normal.)
Felicia... except too sad-seeming. (Sorry, have no pics of Francis or Edmonde.)
Lady Felicia Ellmonte is Alagna's cousin and best friend. She's very spirited to be sure, but can get a bit concerned with some of Alagna's schemes. For the most part, she teases and plot just as much, though, unless of course she thinks it will get her in serious danger. She has rather large aquamarine eyes, is of a small build, has caramel-ish-colored hair, and is rather exceptionally pretty. She is somewhat newly married at the beginning of the story to her husband,
Lord Alistair Ellmonte, a rather studious young nobleman who is devoted to his wife... though most may not gather it from his quiet and secluded manner. Somehow, despite his seeming obliviousness to the rest of the world, he has many friends, and it is one of Felicia's favorite things to teasingly puzzle aloud over this fact. He often seems like he isn't paying attention, but, if asked something, is usually found to be surprisingly aware. He has black hair and blue eyes.
Queen Gianna, a troubled widow-queen, the mother of the princes, and a very pressured monarch in potentially explosive times. She is of a more quiet nature, but never ceases to listen to, heed, or even ask the advice of her strong eldest son. She is uncannily tall for a queen, of very impressive bearing, has honey-ish blond hair with brown-ish streaks, and emerald-green eyes.

Baron Rimande Dontola, a gentlemanly foreign friend of Alistair's from, uh, let's call it Nova Italia, because it's an Italian-based country without a name. A friendly character, but possibly in unconscious danger. Exotic in both accent and looks, with dark hair and darker eyes.
Alexander Arleine is the only young member of the family besides Alagna who is unmarried, being her cousin and Felicia's younger brother. He has around the same color hair as Felicia, but otherwise looks very little like her, being tall in build, with brown eyes, and very simple but keen features.
Lady Arleine is the rather irritating mother of Alexander and Felicia, and Alagna's aunt. A matchmaker to the fullest extent, especially for Alagna.
Duke Roanwall is a foppish courtier close to the royal family. Close for what reason exactly, no one quite knows, because the princes (particularly the younger two) dislike him, and the queen only pays him polite attention. Despite the queen's mere civility, though, the younger brothers believe that Roanwall is trying to court their mother (thus some of their reason for disliking him so).
Raspardi Oliongra, or, as he is known in homeland as Raspard Olnier, is a Nova Italia foreigner quite apparently trying to conceal his foreign identity. He has been seen around many places at unusual times, and Alagna suspects him of having something to do with a disaster early in the story.
What does the plot consist of?
Eh... eh, hehehehe... Well... The plot - to put only the barest part of the main plot into words - is about a complex conspiracy. A conspiracy against - spoilers! ;) Yeah, I'm not gonna say what against. But it's a conspiracy/rebellion basically that at first glance seems only against the throne. However, add this happening to about a million little sub-plots and extra complications, and you've really got the plot. The story used to have no plot, but now... Well, let's just say that it's now to the point where drawing a plot diagram of it looks like this:


Catch my drift? :P
What is the setting?
The setting is a late medieval high society. *starts singing the song from the Frank Sinatra movie, High Society* Ahem. Anyways, it is mostly higher society, anyways. I do have some scenes that aren't in ballrooms or great palaces and estates, so don't think it's all highbrow street. (Even though it mostly is...)
Who are the favorite characters in it?
Well, besides myself, I only have one reader for this story, and that's my reader who reads all my stuff. Actually, another of my readers read a sneak-scene from this story, just not the actual thing as of yet. My personal fav, and my one reader's fav is Prince Blakely. Although, she keeps changing her mind about whether she really likes or really despises Dontola. At the moment she likes him still, I believe. Most of us who know the story like Alagna,, but everybody gets frustrated with her, including me.
What is the favorite scene?
Well, like I said, one of my readers has only read one scene, so I'm not sure. However, the other one likes any scene with Blakely, and I believe her particular favorite is the scene where Blakely is introduced. Although... I also distinctly remember her mentioning the ball scene when the disaster happens too, so maybe that's it.
Any themes of music for this work?
Well, I listened to the opera Carmen a whole lot writing it when it was in the early stages (maybe this is why Alagna frustrates me so? Maybe she unconsciously took on some Carmen-like qualities...?). Now, I mainly listen to either the soundtrack to Disney's 2015 Cinderella (my go-to instrumental writing music), or one of Blakely's themes. Don't ask why, but even though he's not the main character, he has two character themes. They are More, by Andy Williams (who is really the best singer for dramatic characters themes), and It's Impossible, also by Andy Williams, even though Vic Damone's and Robert Goulet's versions are both also acceptable (this song was Blakely's theme before More, but I disagree with a few of the lyrics to it, so I say More is more Blakely's theme). ;) I think writing to the music from Captain America: Civil War would also fit it really well, but unfortunately I do not have that soundtrack.
How's its progress?
It's midway through the seventh chapter, but it has seriously long chapters. Like ten pages or longer. In the notebook that is. In the typed version, it's incomplete, and only at four chapters or so, I believe (though better quality writing). And... I have been so lazy and so unwilling to move on to another notebook that I still have not re-written the written version to delete Grace (that being the name of the guilty plagiarized character). In the notebook, I think she still exists. In the typed version, though, she's gone already.
Any snippets...?
 
 Alagna rolled her eyes, and asked, "What have you two been up to? Nothing too proper, I would wager"
Francis merely smiled and ignored the question.
***


She smiled at them both, and they grinned back, their grins almost implying that they knew something she didn't, and they thought it was terribly amusing. Not exactly unusual looks for those two...

***




"Good evening", Roanwall said stiffly to the princes with an abrupt bow of respect.


Blakely bowed in return politely, Francis nodded expressionlessly, and Edmonde's jaw tightened slightly but he said nothing.

***



Once the duke was gone, Blakely walked over to Alagna and opened his mouth as though to speak, but was interrupted by Francis.
"I'd say it's about the time for Blakely to say 'A walk about the garden would be nice'", he said, looking up at the clock as if he were waiting for something.
"Hear, hear! I'd say you're late, Blakely, old man, usually you've asked her by roughly three seconds ago ", said Edmonde, who had caught up, and was now also pretending to contemplate the time.

***

"Shall we escape from these two fools?", said Blakely in play-exasperation, gesturing towards Francis and Edmonde, who in turn tried to look as innocent as possible.

 Alagna laughed and then took Blakely's extended hand. "Why of course, as my lord would wish it", she said , smiling playfully.
***

Alagna played the tune even faster, and they tried to keep up, but then Felicia and Alexander both stopped dancing and collapsed laughingly onto the couch. Alagna finally ceased to play.

"Alright, Lagna, you win", said Felicia resignedly.

Alagna laughed playfully. "I'm glad you admit it"
***

Felicia smiled naughtily over at her brother. "Well, at least you play better than Alexander..."



Alexander made a face. "Very well and amusing, Felicia, but I have gotten better!"


Felicia pretended to be pleasantly shocked. "Oh really? How much better, may I ask?"


Alexander grinned. "Well enough to sound as though a horse was charging the instrument"
They all laughed. "Well", Felicia mused after a moment. "That is a small improvement, at least. It used to sound as though a herd of cattle were trampling it!"
***

Alagna glanced into the grand hall as she entered. Blakely stood there as if waiting, but not hopefully so. He saw Alagna and, though he did not entirely smile, his face seemed to brighten at the sight of her.
***
Blakely kissed her hand and gazed off into the distance thoughtfully. Alagna cleared her throat slightly, and Blakely 'snapped' back into reality, letting her hand go almost sheepishly.
***
Alagna and Blakely strolled into the small room. Francis was there, sitting in a kind-of daydreaming-ish way. On noticing them enter, Francis stood up, bowed to Alagna, and resumed his seat after kissing her hand.
 
Blakely nodded to Alagna, and gestured out the door plainly. "I think this room is taken"
Francis laughed. "Oh, come, come, Blakely, I don't mind you, old man, and I certainly don't mind the lovely lady"
***
"Oh, hello, Edmonde" Alagna smiled at him vaguely. "Ah, aren't you supposed to be receiving guests?"
Edmonde shrugged lightly. "You're a guest, and I'm receiving you"
***
Yeah... that's almost everything from the typed document. I really wish that the rest was typed up, because it had some good potential snippets, but unfortunately it's only in the notebook. And I couldn't find any snippets that had Queen Gianna, because most of the good scene with her are not typed up. Agh! Why are over half of these Francis and Edmonde scenes?! Apparently they're the characters in this who talk the most. :P
Any Drawings?
Well, only a couple. I have some azaleasdolls.com pictures of them, and then one drawing of Alagna by me.
Felicia (left), Alagna (middle), and Baron Dontola (right). I'm not altogether pleased with how the neckline of Alagna's dress turned out, but oh well.
Alagna and Blakely. Unfortunately, there was not a good hair color for Blakely, so I had to make his hair very light yellowy, which looks wrong.
This one's fun. This actually isn't a pic for Alagna's story, but Alagna is in this picture. It's a picture of me and my characters (some of them). From left to right it's Alagna Arleine, Count Montefore (from Alomina), Rosanne Arnough (from The Top-Hat Gang), Belle Anne herself, Vic Vance (from In Greater Hands), Princess Celeise (from Alomina), Lord Percy (from Alomina), and Lady Mina (also from Alomina).

Strong point in story?
Well, the action starts up really quick for one of my stories, so I suppose that's a strong point, at least in comparison to its fellows. But I think its strongest point is its feeling, I suppose. While it is fairly light in emotion in the beginning, as it goes on, more and more things happen, and the feeling seems (at least to me) to just almost surge out in waves right into the reader (but, that could be just me, because I am the writer).
Weak point in story?
The weak point is definitely the communication of all the sub-plots. I have trouble getting down to writing when things get over-complicated in stories, and end up just avoiding the book for a while, and this is definitely happening with Alagna. There are so many plots and sub-plots that, well... you saw my attempt at a rough plot diagram... :P So, I feel like I'm just avoiding putting them into writing at all, and so the story is seeming under-developed plot-wise, even when in my head it's of such magnitude.
Plans for it?
Well, my plans for it depend on a few things. I definitely plan to have it beta-read sooner or later (by someone other than my writing confidante). And, depending on the opinions and verdicts of my critique partners (and depending on my laziness level), I may post this one for critique on the wonderful Inklings full-novel critique site once Alomina is done being posted there. It would either be this one or In Greater Hands next.


Any particular habits for writing it?
Well, I listen to a lot of music while writing this. This one is probably the most musically-written of all my books. And I occasionally eat chocolate while writing it too. Basically my usual habits, except more so in the case of music.
And... That's about it! I'm very sorry I was gone for so long... :( What do you think? Would you read it? Which up to this point do you think sounds most interesting of the introduced stories? Do you think, of the countries in it, that Homeland or Nova Italia is cooler? Do you have a name idea for either country? :P What about a title idea for Alagna? Who do you think your favorite character would be? Tell me that I'm not the only one with a problem of certain side characters talking too much?! (a.k.a. Francis and Edmonde!) ;) 








4 comments:

  1. Oh this sounds do delightful! I would definitely love to read it! And I wouldn't worry about the title. One will come along soon enough. I mean for a long, long time my current work was titled "Attempt 15." It wasn't only until I was done with the first draft that I needed an actual title :) As for characters, I think I would like Francis and Edmonde. They remind me a little bit of Fred and George from Harry Potter. And no, you are not the only one with side characters who talk too much:)Oh, and I love your pictures! It's so nice to be able to have characters drawn out:)

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    1. Thank you! Yeah... hehehe.... The Top-Hat Gang and my two newer stories are the only ones with titles. I don't know why I can never think of titles for stories...? Oh well. I actually wouldn't mind if I just left the title as "Alagna", but I really want a different title for Mina's story. Haha... "Attempt 15"... That's great. :)
      Well, Francis and Edmonde are a little less troublesome than Fred and George... I hope. :P But they do enjoy teasing Blakely a lot... and Alagna... and occasionally each other. ;)

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  2. Ooooooh! This looks so good!! I can't wait to read this!!!!

    "The Almost Twins"--I love it! Twins are such fascinating things, aren't they? :) I think I'll like Francis and Edmonde...and everyone else, too, for that matter! All these characters look delightful! I'm intrigued by this Baron Rimande Dontola. (Gosh, Belle, how do you think up such great names?) And Nova Italia sounds so cool! I have a thing for Italy, you know. :)

    Delighted to see another Meet the Books!

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    1. Thanks! Hahaha, you'd really think with how much comedy they supply and how much they talk that they'd be the favorites, no? But Blakely is... :) Who knows why...? (Haha, and I'm going to pretend that I am not the most excitable member aboard the Blakely bandwagon). ;)
      Thanks! Haha, originally his name was Charmande Dontola, but 'Charmande' sounded too French, so I changed it when I wrote this post. Yes, Nova Italia is cool, but it needs a name. :P ;)

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