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.
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 😉