Saturday, January 21, 2017

Beautiful Books - 2017 Writing Goals

Hello, everyone! It’s Faith! What??? I know, I kinda fell of the edge of the planet, but I stumbled into this dreadfully intense little thing called J-Term, and I’ve kinda been scrambling and studying all month. So perhaps you can forgive me.

I really should be scrambling and studying right now, but I’m not, because I am participating in the BEAUTIFUL BOOKS Linkup!!! If you wanna learn how you can participate, see PaperFury’s post here. She also explains what the heck this is. Or, you can just follow along and learn as we go.

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  1. What were your writing achievements last year?
During 2016, I...started this blog! I also wrote about one chapter of a sci-fi novel that I will hopefully pick up again in the future. I took an Intro to Writing class and cried over poetry and a (frankly horrible) short story. And I WON NaNoWriMo for the first time in my life! Woo!

  1. What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
I’d like to finish Draft #2 of my NaNoNovel (technical term now). I have a few other works I’d like to sketch out, including that sci-fi novel, and perhaps even begin a fantasy???

  1. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
Oh boy. Here we go. Okay, my NaNoNovel is about a bachelor professor who has to deal with his sister’s death while playing father to her teenage son. I haven’t done straight-up realistic fiction for a while (not without mixing mystery in or whatever) so this is new for me. (Except there may be a ghost. Possibly. Not yet confirmed.)

My other projects are nowhere near as well developed, but I have a rough idea where they’re going. The sci-fi is about a girl who uses time machines to try to avenge (or save?) her father’s death. (I’ve got a death theme going if you didn’t notice.) I don’t have a plot for the fantasy one yet...I just know it will involve a girl, maybe singing, angelic shapeshifters, and yeah, probably someone important dying. Or who is already dead. (Maybe zombies!) (Or not.) (Never mind.) I’ve got some other realistic fiction ideas as well, but I need to flesh them out more before I reveal them.

  1. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
I’d like to have at least one novel polished enough to send to beta readers. (I just now thought of that and it scares me typing it out.) Honestly I don’t see publication or even queries happening this year, because I know I’ll be too busy with school etc. to spend that much time writing. But I would like to get my NaNoNovel (which remains title-less for now) to the beta-ing point.

  1. Describe your general editing process.
Hahahahaha! Haha. Haha. Ok, to be honest, I’ve never edited my own work before this year. The closest I got was editing my short story for school, and even that was something of a train wreck. But so far, here’s how it goes.

  1. Write draft.
  2. Either love draft and do nothing, or
  3. Write another draft which changes everything
  4. Write another draft which changes everything
  5. Write another draft which changes everything

So yeah, I need to work on that. I am doing a total rewrite of my NaNoNovel (surprise!) and it is indeed turning out nothing like the first draft. After this, I think I’m going to do the old print-and-overview that most people suggest, then rewrite again, and then turn to micro-edits. But we’ll see how that turns out.

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
Hm. I’d say 3, because most of the time it honestly felt like the worst draft ever written? And I had very little plan going into it. (I actually started on impulse on November 1, and didn’t tell any of my friends until halfway through.) BUT, I did finish it. And I’ve never done that in such a short amount of time. AND, it’s given me great source material. So I’m bumping it up to a 5?

  1. What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
The part with words. Actually, I’m going to say the plot, because the characters that have made it into Round 2 have basically the same personalities they had in Round 1. So I think characterization worked out fine. (I did cut and replace all the minor characters, though, so...yeah.) But the plot definitely needs a lot of work. And POV status is giving me a lot of trouble as well, so...pray for me?

  1. What do you like the most about your draft?
I love my main character, Harold Esposito. He’s kind of a weird character to love because he’s this forty-year-old British man who basically hides from the world and reads all the time, so he’s kinda like a nerdy hobbit...in which case he’s not a weird character to love. I think we all know why I love this character. Moving on.

  1. 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?
I would like to show it to betas (hehe, show it to fish! Never mind) and perhaps eventually publish? My biggest problem (maybe this should have gone under #7) is I have no idea who this would be marketed to. Perhaps I don’t read enough (jk I know I don’t read enough, someone send me books now), but I haven’t seen a middle-aged male POV character in a book that’s NOT The Hobbit or LoTR. And as a writer whose own age is in the YA/NA range, I feel that it’s just a very awkward age for me to be writing, so...ideas?

  1. What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?
Play!!!!! Seriously. Play with it. Actually, put it away for a few weeks and then play with it. (I actually still haven’t read over my NaNo draft in its entirety...that’s on my to-do list.) I promise it will not look as horrible as it felt after you’ve been removed by a month or so. In the meantime, play with ideas for new books, play with ideas for revising the draft you just finished...play play play. I wouldn’t say you’d have to get SERIOUS about this until...Draft #3. (Ominous background music.)

And that’s it for now! Make sure you visit PaperFury’s post (link above if you missed it) so you can participate! (It’s kind of an old linkup, but shh. Fun times are fun times.)

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