Know The Novel, Linkups, My Books

KNOW THE NOVEL – PART ONE: INTRODUCTION {A WRITERS LINKUP} Hosted by Christine Smith ~ Featuring More Than A Dream

It’s time for Christine Smith’s Know the Novel Linkups! This is gonna be good! *rubs hands together*

Christine created this linkup three years ago and has brought it back each year and I am delighted to be joining in for the first time! There will also be a part 2 and 3 over the next two month which I’m already looking forward to. Today I’ll be sharing about my genderbent Cinderella retelling, More Than A Dream. (Don’t ask how that title represents the novel, I literally just came up with it for this post. {Also, I changed the font for the headings of my blog because I realized that even though the previous one I had was pretty, it was kind of hard to read. Please let me know if this one is more legible or if I need to change it again, thank you! ^_^})


1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?

I saw the pin below on Pinterest and thought it would be a fun prompt for a future idea… heh, nope. This story demands to be written NOW and I must comply, plus Dylan has been on my case about it because he wants to worm his way into the story even though he already has his own. *directs glare at Dylan* I don’t know what I’m going to do with that boy. *shakes head ruefully*

courtesy of pinterest

2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary if you’d prefer)!

Fair warning, I haven’t written a whole lot of these and I have trouble deciding which information to share and what to withhold for spoiler reasons so I’m just going to write what I know about so far and we’ll see how it goes!

Princess Charmina has lived her entire life within the palace, yearning for more beyond the stuffy dinners and shallow political games of the upper class. When her father announces he will hold a series of Balls in her honor in the hopes of finding her a suitor, she calls it quits. With the help of her friends, she runs away from home. Her plans are disrupted, however, when she nears the outskirts of the kingdom only for a dangerous lightning storm to force her to seek shelter. Thus she heads to the nearest place she knows of that could offer shelter; The manor house of Duchess Ellanor Ridley, an old friend of her deceased mother.

Elladar Knightley spends his time cooking, cleaning, and doing various other chores for his step-family. He tries his best to remain kind and forgiving, the way his parents taught him, especially since his step-father, Lord Ridley, has every right to throw him out instead of keeping him clothed and fed. His only consolation is in the hopes of his step-father’s plans of marrying his two sons off to high-ranking noblewomen and leave Elladar behind. But when a strange girl and her companions show up asking for a place to wait out the storm, things start to change. Come to find out, she’s the crown princess and is none to happy about how he is treated. She strikes a deal with him; If he will agree to go to the Balls with her, she’ll work out a way to free him from his step-family’s abuse.

Thus the two create a plan where he will come to each Ball disguised as a foreign royal and she will pretend he is the one she will pick as her suitor only for him to disappear at the stroke of midnight, leaving behind a single shoe. Her father, non the wiser, will send his men on a search for the man who fits the shoe. As each Ball comes and goes and the two continue the charade, they find that there may be more to their budding friendship than either anticipated.

Well, I guess that wasn’t too bad. XD

3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?

This story takes place in the country of Aurvala, but the setting sticks mostly with the countryside, the castle, and the manor house. My favorite aspect about the setting is Charm’s secret garden, it’s rather magical. 😉

4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).

courtesy of pinterest

Charm wants the freedom to make her own choices. She contents herself with the knowledge that one day she will be queen but still chafes against how she must live her life by the rules of others that don’t seem to apply to themselves. She is very loyal to her friends and will do anything for them, such as keeping Giselle’s younger brother from getting himself sent back to his village over his constant shenanigans. Though, she knows how to cause her own bit of trouble. And despite their differences in opinions, she really does love her father, she just wishes he would listen to her.

courtesy of pinterest

Elladar is kind and forgiving and clings firmly to his faith. Despite his step-family’s treatment, he feels duty and honour bound to serve them because his step-father didn’t cast him out after his mother died. He wishes they could all live in peace and be a real family, but he knows that isn’t likely to happen. His only friends are his lazy cat, Blisse, and the mice she refuses to eat and instead has adopted as her own.

5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?

That is a hard one due to some stuff happening at the end that I can’t share for spoilers and I haven’t entirely figured out, but Elladar’s step-family are antagonistic and in Charm’s opinion the Balls are her antagonist. Elladar’s step-brothers, Andersen and Drizmond, are a constant torment to him and create havoc wherever they go, enjoying causing more work for him. His step-father isn’t as actively causing Elladar grief, but he by no means does anything to lessen the poor boy’s workload, in fact he rather enjoys watching Elladar break his back under the staggering amount of work he must do and then inflicting punishment whenever he fails his task. This is one mean dude and I hate him. Lord Ridley is also bitter over the fact that, due to Aurvalan laws, the title of Duke went to Elladar after his mother passed away instead of him.

6. What excites you the most about this novel?

This is my third fairytale retelling and I’m excited to delve into doing it again, plus the fact that it’s a genderbent one is so, so fun and I look forward to exploring all that that entails! I am also excited about having three Balls instead of just one, it will give me more time to show things happening instead of ‘Poof’ instalove for two! Served fresh on the dancefloor! Hurry, this deal ends at midnight! (Yeah, I think my sanity left me a while ago, ehehe… at least that will make writing this thing easier. XD) I was also excited to find out that this story shares the same storyworld as my Sleeping Beauty retelling. Aurvala is just an ocean away from where SB is taking place and the timelines are pretty close together, this story is happening during the (yet to be written) climax(ish). (I know, I’m very confusing, but I’m still trying to figure it all out myself.) I’m also looking forward to incorporating my own twists on certain elements of the original fairytale (and seeing how many I can sneak in from Disney’s version. XD). And, of course, I am also excited about getting to know my characters, especially Jovani, Elladar’s hairy-dogfather fairy-godfather. If you couldn’t tell by how many times I used the word excited, I am EXCITED about ALL. THE. THINGS!!! (she screams out as her sanity quietly slips away unnoticed and unhindered…)

7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?

<.< >.> It seems I have answered this before getting to it, lol. It is part of a series. Not only does it connect with my Sleeping Beauty retelling it’s also part of its own series. As to how exactly it connects to SB is still being determined. I kinda sorta know but it’s not set in stone.

8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?

I think I’m plantsing. Which is kind of funny because I usually try to plot out my stories but I’m now finding that that way isn’t exactly working for me. I tried pantsing the last one only to lose interest because I kept having to stop and think of what happened next and it got frustrating. So for this one, I’m mashing the taters two together and putting them in a stew seeing how it goes. <.< What was up with that, Precious?

9. Name a few unique elements about this story.

*takes stock of what I’ve already answered* Yup, already partially answered this. Whateves, here we go!

  • This is a genderbent retelling.
  • It will have three Balls like the original fairytale.
  • It (somehow) ties in with my Sleeping Beauty retelling.
  • Elladar receives no magical help in getting to the Ball.
  • Oh, and this story will have a French setting instead of an English one, which means I have a lot of researching to do.

10. Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).

This is my Pinterest storyboard.

Charm’s theme song is “Speechless” from Disney’s Live-Action Aladdin. I hadn’t meant for her to have a lot of similarities to Jasmine, but that’s how she’s coming across to me right now, a sort of combination of both Live-Action and Animated Jasmine.

If you’re interested in joining the Linkup, head here for the questions and the place where you can add your link! Did you do it? If yes, YAY! I can’t wait to read your post! If no, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Go! Join the fun!!! XD I am already super pumped for part 2!!! (I may also need to cut back on sugar and caffeine… meh, who needs normalcy when you can be fun!)

I just discovered WordPress’ gif feature… you have been warned. XD

25 thoughts on “KNOW THE NOVEL – PART ONE: INTRODUCTION {A WRITERS LINKUP} Hosted by Christine Smith ~ Featuring More Than A Dream”


    *takes deep breath and tried to take capslock off*

    Ahem. If it’s not obvious…I loved this post!!!! This was such a treat getting so many delicious tidbits about your novel! I think I’ve said it before, but I LOOOOOOOOVE that it’s a genderbent Cinderella retelling. That IS unique! I can’t think of anything like it! And the characters sound so fun and precious (except for the antagonists who sound properly nasty!). Also THE PINTEREST BOARD. I am drooling! Your excitement over it makes ME excited! There’s truly nothing more magical than writing a story that thrills you down to the core.

    This just EEP. THIS SOUNDS AMAZING! Thank you soooo much for joining the linkup! Reading about your epic story put a smile to my face! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU FOR READING IT!!! <333 Your comments always make me so happy! ^_^

      I recently discovered the retired Beautiful People Tag and using those questions really helped me get to know my characters and story better. I may post one of those for my regular Monday post. 😀 I had so much fun making that Pinterest board, I'm so glad you like it!!!

      Thank YOU for hosting the linkup! ❤


  2. Hi, yes, hello, a gender-bent Cinderella retelling??? Did you read my mind, this is all I’ve ever wanted??? I love gender-bent fairytales probably a bit too much haha, and Cinderella’s such a fun one to flip. This sounds so cool, I’m so excited about it.

    Charm and Ellador both sound like cuties, I’m already in love with them both. They sound so cool! Also, any of mention of Speechless gets my vote, I love that song.

    This sounds like such a good story!! I love the way you’ve developed it so that there’s no magic, I feel like that’s a really fun element to it. I’m excited to learn more later in November, I hope the writing goes well!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my goodness! Thank you! I’m so glad you’re excited too! ^_^

      They really are a pair of cuties! I’m so glad you like them! YES! Speechless is SUCH a great song! ❤

      There are little bits of magic sprinkled throughout but, yes I am thrilled to find a way to get Elladar to the Balls without magic!

      Thank you! I'm excited for November too! ^_^


  3. I love the idea of a genderbent Cinderella story! I don’t think I’ve read one yet and I really want to! Elladar and Charmina sound so sweet and I love the clever plays on their names 😀
    And I love the inclusion of the three balls! I don’t think its in the actual Cinderella story, as much as I can remember, but I’ve always loved the other versions of Cinderella stories that have three balls. It gives plenty of time to rack up the tension 😀
    Good luck with your writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! It took me forever to think of a boy’s version of Ella that I liked. These two are quickly becoming favourites of mine. ❤

      In Perrault's or the Grimm Brothers' version (I forget which one) there are three Balls, but yes, most Cinderella stories I've read only have the one so I'm excited to have more than one in mine. 😀

      Thank you! I hope your writing goes great too! ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds great. A Genderbent fairytale is an awesome idea. I’ve thought of doing one or two ages ago but they never really fleshed out enough to go beyond the brainstorming.
    Speechless happens to be one of my protagonists’ song in one of my many WIPs. It is also one of my favourites. 🙂
    I have done the link-up too! (This is how I’ve found yours.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Oooh, it’d be so fun if you did a genderbent story too!

      That’s so cool your protagonist has Speechless as their song as well!

      OH! You did the linkup too!? Yay! Now I’m off to go see yours! 😀 Thank you for reading mine! ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always loved the idea of doing a genderbent Sleeping Beauty, though there is such one in existence. Also Snow White. I love the image of a male looking like Snow White!
        You’re welcome! It was a pleasure. 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  5. This sounds like such a fun story! I love the idea of a genderbent retelling (and this one sounds sooooo good!)! So cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness! This post was sooo fun and I loved getting to read about your NaNo! GENDERBENT CINDERELLA??? :O It sounds so awesome!! *flails for a hundred years* Also the characters sound so cool and I LOVE these plot ideas/twists, and also that pinterest board! *dying* This just sounds delightful. Good luck with it this NaNo!! *cheering you on*

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AAAHHH!!! Thank you so much!!! I am so thrilled you like it! ^_^ I am grinning so hard right now! I’m so happy you like my pinterest board, I may have spent a couple dozen hours *cough cough* putting it together. 😉 Thank you so much! Good luck to you too!!! *cheering you on right back!!!*


    1. EEP! Thank you SO much!!! Having it set up between Charm and Ellar is one of my favourite parts of the story! The magical garden is another favourite! Thanks! 😀

      Thank you for reading my post!!! ^_^


    1. Eeeep!! Thank you so much! Yeah, Blisse is a big softie and I love her. ^_^ She’s also the first cat I’ve written in a story so I’m having fun with her. Thanks for stopping by!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. YES YES YES. This sounds like so much fun! I love retellings (especially with a twist like genderbent or in a different setting), and this one sounds fabulous. I love that it started with a pinterest prompt. I’ve seen several prompts on pinterest that I’ve loved, but I’ve never actually acted on the impulse to write about them. IS THE FAIRY GODFATHER ACTUALLY A HAIRY DOGFATHER?? Because I would totally read that book. (Wait…I just suddenly realized that basically describes Sirius Black from Harry Potter XD) The bit about “instalove served fresh on the dance floor” though XD
    Best of luck with this! I hope your writing is going wonderfully!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Meeep!!! Thanks so much!!! ❤

      I have a ton of prompts saved on pinterest to hopefully use one day but never really chose one to write. But this one wouldn't stop cropping up in my thoughts and I just kept thinking about all the ways this tale could be different from the original while also still being a Cinderella retelling.

      Oh, sorry to say he isn't actually a hairy dogfather. That would indeed be a fun twist, though! I was just making a reference to Disney's live action Cinderella movie. The fairy godmother got tongue-tied and said that. I wrote a post about him if you want to read it.

      *grins* Yeah, I was a bit crazy while I wrote this post, so some of my more unreserved humor came out. Thanks! XD

      Thank you so much!!! ❤ I hope the same for you!!! ^_^

      Liked by 2 people

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