A while ago, when I was first conceptualizing Augira, I completed a writing exercise to focus myself before beginning my outline. The questions came from a Writing A Novel for Dummies book (I’m not too proud to admit that I might, indeed, be a dummy in this department).
1. Which authors would you most like to write like?
J.K. Rowling, Tamora Pierce, Robert Jordan, Stephenie Meyer (in The Host), Brandon Sanderson or Mercedes Lackey.
2. What categories interest you most?
Fantasy, maybe Mystery.
3. What story elements interest you most?
Deep characters and a fast, captivating plot.
4. Where and when would you like to set your stories?
Either in a fantastical world of my creating or a futuristic dystopia.
5. What special background or life experience can you tie into your novel?
Familiarity with semi-rural life, vivid imagination, great vocabulary.
6. What length of book would you most like to write?
A 3-part series of 80,000 to 90,000 words each.
7. Who are you writing for?
My ideal reader is a man or woman in their 20’s through 60’s who is not strongly religious (spiritual, but not adhering to any particular doctrine perhaps). She or he strongly supports women’s rights. They like to read to escape daily life and prefer the fantasy genre. They have a creative streak (decorating, art, cooking, something) and like animals. They are sick of all of the male-dominated fantasy epics that contain outdated female stereotypes and rely on rape myths. They long for a novel that centers on strong female characters who support themselves without the need for men, but also don’t look down upon or castigate the other gender. They want a book that brings the magic back to fantasy that many authors seem to have lost in their pursuit of nonconsensual sex, violence, and male chauvinism in the name of “authenticity”.