November 2015 - further up and further in

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saving the World... Among Other Things (Beautiful Books #2)

Sunday, November 22, 2015 4
Saving the World... Among Other Things (Beautiful Books #2)
Last time we spoke, I was torn between writing Metal and Bone and Leo Andromedus Saves the World. Well, Leo Andromedus Saves the World won. (Sometimes I fondly call it Leo A., or just Leo. Yeah, it's a weird title. You could also call it The-Book-That-Sky-Was-Barely-Managing-to-Write-But-Is-Now-Cooperating-for-the-Most-Part. Your call.)


1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
Haha. Um. No.

If you'll recall, in Beautiful Books #1, I said that Emily and Allan were the wild ones, and Leo and Raven were the quiet ones?

No. It totally switched on me. Instead of a quiet, Steve Rogers type, Leo has become an energetic--almost manic--character. Emilie is his logical friend who focuses on facts and rationality. Allan is a flat-out enigma who never speaks and apparently reads minds (cool, bro, thanks for enlightening me on that). Raven is... well, she's a creator; lover of making things beautiful. But for what it's worth, she's wild like Leo, too.

They're perfect together... and they're quite the rebels. Obviously. Since they totally switched the plot on me. (Of course, that's been a trend since they appeared out of nowhere and sabotaged my NaNo plans.)

This is what my characters have to say about my best laid plans.
Other things are a surprise, like the fact that this book takes place in the Pacific Northwest and apparently involves murder.
I also have two new characters, Brooke and Declan, who made my plot 100% more complicated (but somehow, they are worth it).


I'm having trouble staying motivated, but on the whole, things are going really well. They weren't earlier this month, but now I'm starting to get a grasp on the story. There are so many different story threads, all of which were a total surprise to me (the Pantser). It's like I'm finding the story out as I write it, which is amazing. It's the best feeling.

2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
I’m pretty sure Leo Kelly was convinced he was invincible. He feared nothing, and he inspired others to live the same way. If Leo was one thing, it was dangerous. He’d jump off a cliff and not care if he fell at the bottom of it.
And he had three of us who would jump off with him: Allan, Emilie, and me. Maybe that was the dangerous part.

Raven narrates the beginning. And it's a dang good beginning, too. Unfortunately, she doesn't even keep narrating the rest of the novel. Leo does. And then Emilie does. And we don't even know if Leo will narrate a chapter ever again. It's kind of a mess. I will edit it later.

This is pretty much 100% what NaNo is like.
3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?

I'm kind of a plotter, but I'm mostly a pantser. I do this weird kind of plotting called the Headlight Method. I come up with a plot point, then I plan the next one in my head. It seems to work for me.

I have outlined before, particularly in the past. I did this with my NaNo 2011 novel, Silver Tears. It worked fine (though I did never finish the book). However, some of my favorite projects have been unplotted and written as they came to me--Because I'm Irish is one of those, and it's one of my favorite novels of mine to date. So I'm okay with being a pantser. I absolutely love it, actually, because there's something amazing about discovering all the plot twists as they happen. It just can take a while to get into the swing of things, but once I do, I start finding out things I never dreamed would happen in the novel. And that's the way I like it.


4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?

Usually... Um. ...Nothing? Maybe I should change this.


5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?

Naming is weird for me. Usually I pick whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I'll see a name and I'll think, "Ooh. I'm using that." Sometimes there are characters that I can't name for years.

I can't even sum up my naming process. It's literally gut feelings, like, "I feel like this character's name starts with A." So I'll Google names that start with A. (One of my favorite sites for this is NameBerry.)

6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

All of them are cool in different ways... and all of them have their weak spots. I love the rush of starting a new project, but sometimes it's hard to know how to continue (or even begin). While middles are the worst to write since you don't know what's happening most of the time, some of the best character development and ~cool stuff~ can happen. And endings are amazing, because ohmygoshyoujustfinishedabook... but sometimes it's impossible to know how to end something.

Upsides and downsides to everything. I don't really have a favorite. I'm being too difficult and overanalyzing this question.


7. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

I think I'm going to go with Emilie, my POV character. She's pretty deadpan, logical, and sarcastic, so she's fun to right. (Especially since her opinion on magic is less than stellar.)


But Leo is pretty dang awesome too. It's his goal to save the world. (Obviously.) Okay, but Raven is sweet and compassionate and lovable and... feels. And Allan. He's like the rock of the group.

Then there are Brooke and Declan, whom I didn't expect to even exist. They're kind of both being antagonistic right now, but we're working through it.

Declan. What a goober.
8. What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)

For Leo A, I've researched nothing. It's a weird book involving magic and murder, so there hasn't been a lot I've had to research. (I'm sure I'll find something later.) For right now, I'm making it up as I go (and probably wrecking it horribly, but whatever).

As for the weirdest thing I've researched, I've looked up how to gut a deer, as well as different ways to subtly poison people. (I promise it had a purpose. Also, the fruits of my research led me to a poisonous food called cassava. You're welcome.)

9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?

I thrive on the motivation that word wars provide, so often I use that to help get myself to be productive. I also like writing alongside friends at the same time because there's a sense of camaraderie that can't be duplicated (and sometimes we even co-write books). I do okay as a solo writer, though, if I can get in the zone.

As for sharing my work... Nah. I have sent snippets and full books to some friends, but overall it's hard for me to share my work. I'm a perfectionist.



10. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

It's a lot easier for me to write with music. It's almost imperative. I can write about it, but it's really hard. It's background noise more than anything (helpful with a noisy house).

As for time of day, ideally I usually do best in short spurts throughout the day. It doesn't often work out like that because it takes me forever to get up the motivation to write, so by the time I'm writing, I'm cramming in 2,000 words at midnight (or later!).


My writing space is in the kitchen nook, in the middle of everything. So it can be quite the toss-up what will be found there.
What about you? How's NaNo going? Sound off in the comments, and don't forget to enter Beautiful Books!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beautiful Books: The Writing Process

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 0
Beautiful Books: The Writing Process
Hello, writerlings! This is ashamedly late. Sickness and NaNo have fried my brain.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it's time for another installment in Beautiful Books!

As you may remember, last month we started up our alternate link-up, Beautiful Books. Once in a while (mainly in October, November, and December), we take a break from Beautiful People in order to focus on your books. Your Beautiful Books!

Last month, we asked you to introduce your novel. This month, we're asking you to answer questions about the writing process. How's writing your novel going? Are you a plotter or a pantser (or a plantser)? What's your favorite writer snack? We're here to ask all of the things.

How does it work? We've assembled 10 questions for you to answer about your novel (and yourself). Open a blog post, answer them, and come back to add your link to the linky. Please feel free to check out the other linkers, too! We want this to be one big party.

OH! One last thing. While Beautiful Books is somewhat themed around NaNoWriMo, you absolutely don't have to be doing NaNo to participate. Pick a work-in-progress, grab a hot beverage, and enjoy. Above all, these link-ups are supposed to be fun!


So that people can find the link-up, please link back to Cait and I, either via a text link or this fancy blog button.




And now for the questions!

  1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
  2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
  3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
  4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
  5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
  6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
  7. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
  8. What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)
  9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
  10. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!


Okay, how's NaNo going for you? Need a pep talk? Want to discuss your amazing word count? Sound off in the comments!