Beautiful Books — 2017

Beautiful Books, here we are again. It’s been a solid year since I participated in this link-up, but I figured… why not? Beautiful Books is hosted by Cait of Paper Fury and Sky of Further Up, Further In, and you can check out other posters there as well~ The idea behind the link-up is to share a little bit about our WIPs based on the questions that Cait and Sky pose to us. It’s also a great way to find other writers in the blogging community. Usually, the link-up is “Beautiful People,” so we can explore our characters, so this might look a bit different in future posts.

 

01. What were your writing achievements last year?

 

Good question. You know, I’m not sure. I did manage to write 10 chapters of a WIP (about 26k words). Although it isn’t the most I’ve ever written on a WIP, it’s the most coherent bit that I’ve written, as far as I can tell. I also had a brain blast as to how to rekindle my spark for said WIP and get going on a second one. So I’m pretty excited to get back into writing (although plotting holds me at bay).

02. What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?

The biggest goal is to finally finish a WIP. This will be on my goal list until I complete it. I need to get better at that. Hence I am also limiting myself to two WIPs I’ve already started, but allowing myself to switch between them. I need to get better at the worldbuilding for that world, and I need to re-plot both WIPs at least a little bit (one requires far more re-plotting than the other). And then I will get back into writing 😀 I also want to continue to perfect my skill of typing while I make awkward eye contact with my eyebrow-raising dog.

03. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!

WIP #1 is about corporate superheroes discovering the masquerade—and realizing that they are not the only supernatural types out there. This story has had the most plotting of any I’ve attempted to write…. And it needs to be reworked so much. It also happens to be the one that I mentioned in my 2016 Beautiful Books. Oops?

WIP #2 is a dual-POV about a supernatural halfway house. One POV concerns the story of the vampire who wants to run said halfway house, and her attempts to gain her license by dealing with a troublesome witch. The other POV is a sound elemental who very unfortunately gets stuck in said house when said troublesome witch messes up a protective ward she tried to create for him.

04. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?

My main hope of improvement is completion. I have a terrible record of getting side-tracked by non-writerly life and then… not coming back to whatever I was working on. The other thing I’m attempting to do is to improve my consistency with writing. I had a 13-day streak until Thursday, when I got home from work so exhausted I went to bed at 7pm and slept through until about 10:30 the following morning. Oops. I’m starting my streak over today, and hopefully I’ll be able to hit the 21 days it takes to reach a habit!

05. Describe your general editing process.

Read thing. Be disgusted with thing. Rewrite thing. Take a long break. Repeat.

Ehem.

More seriously, it does involve a lot of rewriting and replanning. I’m still improving at my ability to see flaws in my own work, but I can pick out language issues for the most part. I’ve gotten better at other things, but my general plan of attack for edits tends to be large-scale problems first, and slowly work to smaller problems as the bigger ones are fixed. There’s no point in making a scene beautiful if the scene will be deleted.

06. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?

So far, I think both of these WIPs are okay. I wouldn’t say they’re entirely shit like some of the other stuff I’ve written, but they still need so much work. Hence completely re-plotting one of them. I guess I’ve give them somewhere in the 4-6 range, depending on how I’m feeling that day (right now, I’m feeling a 6, because I’m deliriously sleepy :D).

07. What aspect of your draft needs the most work?

The missing 60 percent part. Yeah. That. Also worldbuilding. And plot. Sensing a theme, are we?

08. What do you like the most about your draft?

The characters, I think. They’re by no means perfectly developed, but I’m getting to know them and search their depths and I love it. They feel kind of real to me. I could imagine them walking down the street. And that’s really, really cool.

09. What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?

Write first, then edit. Then let it cool off for a while and work on another project in the meantime. Go back for another edit. CP, if I have one by then. Edit. Hide in a hole while it goes out to beta readers. Read comments. Cry. Edit. See how I’m feeling about the project and consider querying (but I imagine that’s a long way off).

10. What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?

Give it time.

Don’t jump straight into edits. Don’t jump straight into passing it to everyone. Let the iron cool and work on something else. You’ll be better able to read critically, with a clear head, when you go back to the draft—if you go back to it—if you’ve taken a break first.

It even helps with blog posts 😉

Safe Travels,

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On the Road Again

 

Welcome back, travelers. It’s been a long time. Thank you for your patience.

2016 was an interesting year for me–and doubtless for you, too. As a resident of the US, I’ve been seeing a lot of emotional turmoil. A lot of people are upset. A lot of tension built over the past year and a half, and something was bound to give eventually. Maybe it finally did. Talk of -isms and diversity has exploded on my Twitter feed in a way I’ve never seen before. There seems to be outrage on all sides. It isn’t really something I want to get into right here and right now, but these events have had a major influence on me and what I would like to share with you. In a way, I suppose it’s a mission statement.

be-ccc

That is my motto. It is the mantra I’m trying to live, and it is the one I plan to blog by.

Be creative.  To me, this means trying. Writing is my primary outlet, and I choose to continue my journey in pursuing it, despite past disappointments and failures. It is my creative passion. I also strive to be creative in the way I think, in the way I approach and attempt to solve problems, and in the way I live my life. This means avoiding ruts. This means change–and being okay with that change, something with which I struggle. It also means seeking out other avenues of expression–like dancing and coloring. It means living life and trying new things–new to me, at least.

Be critical. This does not mean to be negative. This means to acknowledge and seek to understand problematic representation, to address -isms, to reflect, to analyze. This is to think critically about the world I live in, the way in which I and others communicate, and the impact I have on this life. I want to become more aware and informed, to better support where I can, to ask questions, and to really listen to the answers.

Be compassionate. My greatest wish is to have a positive impact on the lives of those around me. I seek to be a force of good in this world. Right now, there is a lot of pain in it, but much of it is also outside of my circle of influence. My influence may thus be small, but that’s okay, because I can–and will–do good with it. I am here. I am here to listen, to learn, to encourage. I am here for you.

I feel this song so much–and I will be there for you.

Be creative. Be critical. Be compassionate.

These are my values and goals. They are what I hope to apply to this blog — to my social media — to my writing — to my interactions with others — and to my life in general. It is my mantra. It is how I plan to make this coming year a good one, because I know I at least have that. I have the power to try, and I have to believe that I have the power to make that difference for myself.

I believe you have that power, too, so how will you make 2017 a good year for yourself?

Safe travels,

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Quarterly Goals #2: January, February, and March 2016

Back in August, I did a post on the goals that I had for the rest of 2015. This was inspired by the lovely Jenna Moreci, whose writing videos are also incredibly helpful. In this post, I will be going over last quarter’s goals, talking about how well I achieved them (or didn’t), and what goals I have for this quarter. This is a bit of a long post, so feel free to skip around among sections~

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Persistence and Procrastination

The parallel to Pride and Prejudice was completely accidental, but then I liked it enough that I didn’t want to change it even though this post is not as much about procrastination as it is about persistence. Oops?

Sidenote: this is a personal post with some shallow analysis of how I’ve handled this blog and hinting at how I hope to move forward. It may be a little flow-of-consciousness.

I struggle with consistency, but not with persistence.

In Fall 2010, I attempted NaNoWriMo for the first time. Due to some family issues, I did not complete it. I have tried every year since. I have never hit 50 thousand words. The same has gone for each Camp NaNo session that I have participated in. I will continue to try until I do, and probably again afterward. My pattern during these sessions tends to go as follows: Write consistently for about a week. Meet daily word counts. Write sporadically for the next two weeks. During the last week, write madly in an attempt to catch up and, ultimately, fail.

I suppose it isn’t failure in the sense that I’ve (usually) gotten a lot of writing done. It is, however, failure in the sense that I have not met my goal.

It appears that blogging follows a similar pattern. See, I’ve been thinking about blogging a lot lately. I’ve been reading blogs and occasionally commenting on them. I’ve had ideas for posts.

But I don’t sit down and actually write them.

Thanks to Google Images

Thanks to Google Images

This is partially because my current schedule is kicking my butt a little bit. I get home pretty late three days of the week, and do social things (aka tabletop gaming) the other two. On weekends, I am tired and have to do homework. These are all, really, excuses. I could be writing blog posts when I’m browsing twitter or watching netflix or youtube.

Essentially, it comes down to procrastinating on that which I claim takes more energy than I have, and being persistent both in that procrastination and in the insistence that I will not stop.

I do not intend to stop.

I enjoy blogging.

I enjoy having discussions with other bloggers.

But I’ve also been noticing the types of the posts that I enjoy reading (which are usually the ones I enjoy writing) and the ones I find myself avoiding. This may cause me to adjust the focus of the blog a little bit—potentially swaying more in favor of writing and craft than book reviews. I still intend to do book reviews, because I do enjoy writing them sometimes, but I also want to talk in more depth about the process that is writing (and read more about it).



Please bear with me as I figure things out. I really appreciate the patience you’ve already shown me.

Thanks for reading!
What do you procrastinate with?
What types of posts do you enjoy reading?
Do you mind that I’ll be talking more about writing?


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