Nano Spotlight: Alyssa

Thanks to everybody who’s contacted me so far about doing a spotlight this Nano season. I’ve already got a lot of great interviews to post! Today, it’s Alyssa’s turn.

Have you ever participated in Nanowrimo before?
I made an attempt at NaNoWriMo last year, but my idea put me into a genre that I don’t read, and I kind of lost interest a few days in.

What are you writing about this year?
This year, I’m sticking to fantasy, which I actually read. I’m doing it because I have an idea I want to write and it’s close enough to November that if I spend this month plotting, making characters, and building the world, I can join a community and write tons in November and maybe even get this idea out.

Who’s the best character in your Nano novel?
I’ve got 3 main-ish characters I really like, but I’m suspicious that structure-wise, writing separate stories for each, all ending with the same scene where they are all together for the first time, is how this is really going to go. Dunno whose story is getting written this November: I’ve got a girl who wants to be a heroine growing up and travelling around, with all sorts of chaos ensuing including parents wanting her to be a lady, getting told that heroes can all do magic [she’s not a mage], entering a tournament as a boy and running for it after revealing herself for a comeback, etc. I’ve also got a princess in a tower because she spent years trying to get herself there: she’s non-speaking and would be classified as autistic under today’s standards, but of course that word doesn’t exist in that world. Her responses to ableism and sometimes sexism drive a lot of her storyline, including her studying magical theory in order to design her own AAC device. Finally, there’s an apprentice mage who keeps getting bullied by soldiers into showing them to the tower with the princess. He works out a system with the princess where he can warn her when more soldiers/knights/princes/whatever are coming, mainly so that she doesn’t kill him. He starts off as more of a comic relief/side character. He stays very comical, but he becomes more of a main character as time goes on.

That depends on how you define best. I’d probably get along best with Alex(andra.) She’s the one who wants to be a heroine. Tudi, the apprentice mage is the funniest, by far. Kaili- she’s the princess- is almost certainly the person who understands people the most. There being a significant portion of the population believing that you are cursed or that it’d be merciful to kill you can have that effect, because figuring out who to trust becomes a life or death thing.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos
WAIT WAIT WAIT I’ve never won NaNoWriMo. You think I can give advice on how to do this? I mean, I blog daily so maybe “write stuff every day until it’s a habit” could work as my advice?

Sneaky Ninja question! Do you tend to avoid conflict with other people or face it head-on?
It depends on the situation, but I’m often blunter than is probably wise.

200 words:
Alyssa does too many things. No, really. She blogs pretty much daily at Yes, That Too, is studying abroad in China, likes to pretend that selling her art as Because Patterns is actually working, is published in Loud Hands: Autistic People Speaking, and has now decided to try to write a NaNoWriMo novel. She also hands Squag the occasional blog post, presents at the occasional conference about autism or disability stuff, and deals with the fact that no one else knows their whole college degree program. Attempts to explain it to her advisers have failed miserably, and she now lets each area’s adviser handle their individual parts, making the pieces fit together herself.

for interview (1)

The picture is an example of her art.

You can also find her on Facebook, tweeting from @yes_thattoo, and helping moderate things like Autistics Speaking Day.


One Response to Nano Spotlight: Alyssa

  1. M.J. Fifield says:

    I think ‘write stuff every day until it becomes habit’ is fantastic advice.

    Best of luck with NaNo this year!


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