Today, I’m excited to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta, which just came out in paperback. This fantastic YA science fiction adventure has a sequel, too — Unmade, which comes out in January. So now is definitely the perfect time to catch up on Entangled!
We’ve got a blog post from Amy below, but keep reading for more on both books AND an exciting contest!
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It’s a spaceship.
Okay, so the spaceship is actually a character, and A LOT like a person. Really, she’s a person and a pet and a floating home, all rolled into one. She’s also the other (better) half of one of my characters.
Of course, we all know that a setting is never just a setting. It exerts an active force on the book, it causes trouble, and it has a sort of personality that the other characters have to interact with. So I want to talk about spaceships today, but what I’m really getting at is a very active way of thinking about setting. A way that intertwines it so completely with characters and plot that it really can’t be disentangled. (Oh god, title puns, I’M SO SORRY.)
When an author sets out to write an off-planet sci-fi novel, she has both an awesome opportunity and a HUGE challenge. She has to come up with a setting where a large part of the story is going to take a place—one that is going to shape the lives and actions and abilities of the characters inside of it, not to mention the tone of the entire book.
Think about the Millennium Falcon, the Starship Enterprise, the Serenity. Each one tells you so much about the story that you’re in—and each one is as memorable and beloved as the rest of the cast. I knew that I wanted that for Entangled.
So, how does a writer do that?
First, she has to think about this as an extension of the world-building of the rest of the story. Who owns the ship? What kind of travel is it designed for? What is its intended use?
Then, she has to think like an architect. What is the spaceship’s design? How many rooms should there be—and what are their functions? How does the spaceship fly? What does it run on? Does it have any special features?
And last (my favorite one!) the writer has to be a tyrannical dictator of emotions. How is this spaceship going to cause problems? What sorts of unique obstacles does it create for the people who live on it? How is it going to limit or mess up or even entirely RUIN lives?
When I finished with these questions, I knew I was looking at a ship that could smuggle human contraband, since humans are treated terribly in my world, and they wouldn’t have clearance to fly. I knew I wanted a very small ship, because my teenage misanthrope main character needed to be in close proximity to the other characters at all times. It would create discomfort and tension for her, and that made me (sadistically) delighted.
On top of all of this, I wanted my spaceship to be a reflection of the story that I was telling. Entangled is all about connection—which meant that my vessel had to be more than just a way to get from Point A to Point B. It had to do more than hulk and loom around my characters and create atmosphere. So I made it more than just a setting-slash-character. I made it a character-character. Alive. With an organic link to one of the other non-human characters. And plenty of personality—maybe an excess of personality.
When I was done with all of that? I had Renna: a moody, loyal, hard-flying ship that completely won my heart. She’s an important character in Entangled—and even more so in the sequel, Unmade (which is coming out on January 13!)
Want to see an EXCLUSIVE clip about Renna? Just watch:
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Entangled is the story of seventeen-year-old Cade, a fierce survivor who lives solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar until she finds out she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan. Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.
The rest of Cade’s story is coming in Unmade, which hits shelves January 13!
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