27,300 words in a month. I’m one-third of the way through Project Pea – at least I think I am, if I’m right and it ends up being around 80k words – and I already can’t believe I’ve gotten this far. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that it’s been a challenging road writing this book, but a rewarding one, too. Since I’m a pantser, I’m learning more about the characters, the world I’ve created, and the story every single day.
But when looking back through my posts, I realised that I never really explained Project Pea. I’ve told you bits and pieces about it, but never the entire idea. At least, as much of it as I’m willing to share at this point. For the rest, you’ll have to wait to read the book!
Project Pea all began one day back in high school. I was watching my two cats, Bella and Tiger Lily, as one loafed in a box and the other ran around the house like there was no tomorrow. They’re sisters, and yet they’re so different. Bella is very quiet, subtle, shy, and only likes a few select people. Tiger Lily, on the other hand, is quite forceful about getting what she wants, likes to pounce on Bella for no reason, and will walk up to pretty much anyone and look as cute as possible to get the maximum amount of pets. (They’re still around with me today – in fact, they’re both in my office right now. Tiger Lily is passed out on a blanket while Bella is sitting in a giant box.)
On that one day in particular, many years ago, I suddenly had the idea: “They would be pretty good characters in a book.” My mom agreed. I packed up the idea very neatly in my brain and put it on a back shelf somewhere for later.
“Later” turned out to be in college. After being completely enamored with the Twelfth Doctor’s unique relationship with Bill in Series 10 of Doctor Who, I knew I wanted to try my hand at the professor-and-student-but-they’re-also-best-friends dynamic in a story. I thought that it would be the perfect time to test out my two fuzzy kitties as human main characters. Also, it being me writing this, I had the ideas of mythical creatures and some sci-fi elements floating around in my brain too. This was like the story I’d always dreamed of writing, with little bits of everything I loved stuffed inside of it.
And so, a book called The Pupil was born – and it’s not Project Pea.
The title “Project Pea” was born from “Project P” – with the “P” standing for The Pupil – but as I’ve developed the story over many years, I’ve cast aside some of the original main plot elements, namely the teacher-student relationship I wanted to write. (But not to worry, I’m saving it for another story!) The title The Pupil then became irrelevant, but Project Pea stuck.
Why? Because it’s cute and I like it! And…maybe because I don’t have a title for the book yet. Maybe.
Now, after fine-tuning, shaving off, and developing quite a bit, my idea has become a YA science fantasy novel taking place about 80 years in the future. There are still mythical creatures, there are still sci-fi elements, and yes, my cats are still the main characters (the human versions of them I created based on their personalities, anyway).
So I guess I have Bella and Tiger Lily to thank for Project Pea. And hopefully, whenever I refer to my beloved WIP, you’ll have a bit more of an idea of what I’m talking about.
Here’s to another month of 27k words!
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