How the Writing’s Going (Beautiful Books Link-Up)

This week, the lovely Cait over at Paper Fury is hosting a blog link-up to discuss everyone’s NaNoWriMo projects/WIPs. I’m not doing NaNo this year (good thing, since I can’t seem to get words out for the life of me), but I am still trudging away at my YA, so I thought I’d join in the fun by answering the questions below. You can join in the fun (or just check out what everyone else is up to) by heading over to Cait’s Beautiful Books post.

  1. Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going? Hahahahaha. Oh wait, you’re serious? Uh, my mental state isn’t great, but I’m not we can entirely blame that on my WIP (although expect some blog posts soon about the effects of writing about dark subjects).  As for how the novel’s going, I hit 32,000 words this week, which is about halfway to my minimum word count-goal of 60,000, and I’m close to halfway through the plot I’ve outlined.
  2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)? “What about Zak Lin?”
  3. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel? Ooh, this is a toughie. My MC Mia is a lot like me, so I have to like her (even when she does stupid things…also like me). But it’s also way more fun to write a villain, so I might have to pick him (no spoilers).
  4. What do you love about your novel so far? Hmm, this is the most “adult” novel I’ve ever written (still a YA, but lots of sexy times). I’m both loving it and finding it extremely awkward/embarrassing.
  5. Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes? Honestly, because I’m fast drafting, I don’t really go back and re-read what I’ve written until I’m finished. I’m pretty sure the pages are littered with typos (I’m typing faster than I can think most of the time), but I’ll see those when I go back to revise after my cooling off period. I’m sure there’ll be some doozies.
  6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why? I like the fresh feelings of beginning, all the introductions and setting things in motion, but I don’t always find my voice or hit my stride until partway through (thank goodness for the magic of revision!) But I think endings are my favourite: I’m a combo pantser-plotter, so I know where my story is going, but not always how I’m going to there, so the end often comes as a surprise (actual convo between me and Hubs when nearing the end of an ms “I can’t stop now, I need to see how it ends.” “Wait, aren’t you *writing* it?”) This time I know exactly what’s coming…and I’m dying to get there and write the scene, but I have to let a few other things unfold before I can.
  7. 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! I usually sit down with a hot drink (tea or cocoa), and sometimes a blanket wrapped around my shoulders–my house is cold!, in absolute silence. I typically write during the day, while the kids are in school, but I find I get the most done if I can start right away, as soon as I get home from dropping them off, rather than doing chores, etc. first. I think I’ll skip the photo, due to mess (did I mention I’m fast drafting right now?) but, I either work in my kitchen at the island, or at my desk in the dining room.
  8. How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)? I work alone–because I’m Batman. No, wait, actually it’s because I’m so self-conscious about how terrible the draft is that I don’t want anyone seeing it before it’s gone through some major revisions. But I will blog about how the writing’s going (check out my last post here), post word-count updates, and occasionally tweet out crowd-sourcing requests, (usually help figuring out if a pop culture reference is too dated, which,–spoiler alert–they usually are. Because I’m Batman, uh, I mean, old.)
  9. What keeps you writing even when it’s hard? Knowing that this is what I want to do as a career. Knowing that if I don’t get published soon I’m going to have to go and get a “real” job that will suck my soul and eat up all my writing time (or just leave me too exhausted to write). And, giving myself permission to write a horrible first draft, just so long as I write.
  10. What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice? 1) Revision is where the magic happens, and you can only revise words that exist, so… 2) Get your butt in your chair, and write. Don’t wait for inspiration, don’t spend hours stressing over the wording of a certain sentence, just write. But… 3) Take breaks if you need them. Some of my best plot holes have been solved by going for a walk (usually in search of sugar & caffeine).

Well, that was fun. I can’t wait to check out everyone else’s answers. Happy writing!


2 thoughts on “How the Writing’s Going (Beautiful Books Link-Up)

  1. Aww…I’m sorry to hear you’re not doing so great. 😦 Hang in there! One must grab writing time away from the kids whenever possible, lovable little monsters that they are. Still, they can be fantastic bounce boards for ideas. And I have no doubt that you’ll eventually make it. Though, if it’s any consolation, when I had to get a “real” job, I was afraid the same thing would happen. It ended up being some of the most productive writing era I’ve had in a while. Whatever happens, YOU CAN DO IT. I believe in you. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Elisabeth. My kids have been great inspiration for some of my stories, but I doubt they would be able to help much with this dark YA 😛 I’m off on vacation now, but hope to come back refreshed, inspired, and ready to write.

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