Wednesday, October 15, 2014

GUEST POST: Mariella Hunt on Dissonance

(Hey guys! Mariella Hunt, the lady I happen to beta read for, has agreed to write a post about her upcoming book, Dissonance—and here it is. Be sure to check out Mariella's blog (details are at the bottom) when you're all done!)

I was asked to guest blog about my novel, talking of a story I love. The best part of writing has to be friends who don’t mind reading over and over to encourage and help edit. It’s not easy to find people so nice and encouraging; Heather is definitely one of them (how many times has she read my book now? Four? She’s become Auntie Heather.) So I’m glad to guest blog for her, and super grateful for this spot on her blog. I even have my own tag on here, which is exciting!

There are lots of good stories I could have written about instead, but this was a great opportunity to gather my thoughts, figuring out what I need to know about the novel. Editing so much immerses you until you become blind to the smaller picture. So not only do I want you to know what this story is about...I need to remind myself, too. Sitting down to guest blog is good for that (even though I keep being late for deadlines.)

 So, if I were talking to myself in the past, what would I say about this story? Dissonance is about a fifteen-year-old budding singer named Allie Grant. She lives a very lonely life, and in the hours of solitude, song speaks to her in a different way. It sends her off on journeys in the snow, sometimes kind but often colder than the ice. Her journal is full of music written almost forcefully, and her life is lived with an imagination bold like the books she loves to read.

It never occurred to Allie that she might be more than a very gifted girl. Then, on the week of her biggest recital, a man comes claiming he is a Muse—and that she is, as well. But those aren’t the most ridiculous of his claims, and as she’ll soon learn, silence won’t conceal dark secrets forever.

It started as a mermaid story, but is not even remotely similar. The characters who were once protagonists have stepped aside to weigh in from a distance. There’s great dignity in how supporting characters make up the foundation, so they haven’t really been dethroned, they just glow from the corner and help illuminate small and significant crannies. Characterization has become my favorite part of writing.

I’ve looked at the progress made all these years and thought, “This story is alive. Stories are alive!” They’re children who grow, rebel, and give us lots of stress. It’s surprising how great a say they have in where they go.

While I can’t say too much now (I have a bad habit of letting spoilers go) I want to talk about Muses. Classic mythology holds as the deities who inspire art, but the way I saw them portrayed seemed too shallow. I figured, if they’re anything like creative people I know, ideas will be far more vivid to them. The Muses should be very interesting people, their gifts attracting you in a different way. I guess it’s that thought that grew into this novel I rewrote four times.

Muses are able to see creatures that haven’t been written yet. They hear songs no composer has known, recognize paintings that haven’t covered a canvas. Muses are mediators indispensable to art, for human artists would take longer to see these ideas otherwise. This simple yet elaborate process is the same for every art form.

Perhaps I have my own Muse who wanted this story written. Writing it has changed how I see the world—art has become a far more abstract term, and I want to look into all kinds of genres and moods. This story seems to have made me a magnet to more plot bunnies than before. Maybe my Muses do not exist, but to a writer their character is always real.

This book will finally be out on December, in search of a bigger audience. Not everyone will like it, but honestly—I just want it out there where it can breathe, and I will finally stop editing. If you decide to read it, I am grateful for every minute you give to my favorite story! For updates on the process, visit my blog.

Mariella Hunt is 20 years old and lives in the Treasure Valley, where she writes Fantasy novels. Other favorite pastimes include travel, coffee tasting, and reading books by dead authors.

After four years of obsessive rewriting, her novel Dissonance will be published on December 2014. To follow this journey, visit her blog or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

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