Monday, December 15, 2014

Beautiful Books #3 - Let’s Edit This Thing!

How are we halfway through December? And how is Christmas almost here? HOW???

Time moving in hyperspeed aside, today I’m joining in on the third round of the Beautiful Books linkup, hosted by the ever fabulous Sky and Cait. This three-part linkup has been going on since October where they gave us fifteen questions about plotting our books. In November we discussed the writing aspect. And this month it’s all about that terrifying thing we call *whispers* editing. But that’s one of the millions of reasons why Sky and Cait are fabulous, they’re actually making the editing process enjoyable! See? Pure fabulousness.

Want to join in? Of course you do! You can answer these questions on any one of your projects, whether you’re planning on editing it soon or not. The questions are still helpful, not to mention fun! Here is Sky's post about it and Cait's right here. Either one will take you to the questions and the linky to join right up in all the excitement.

Beautiful Books Button

Now I know I’ve used the first two of this linkup to discuss my NaNo novel More White than Stars, but I’m gonna be honest with you. That thing isn’t going to get any sort of editing done for many, many years to come. That was the 5th book of a series, remember? Before even sort of thinking about rewrites I want to write all the books and there’s still two more to go. Then sometime after that I’ll start rewriting them in order, which means the first four get priority before More White than Stars gets any attention. So. . .yes. We’re talking many, many years down the road for the poor thing. But it’s written and I had a blast with it. I’ll come back to it someday, I will!

What does that mean for my writing now though? Remember Fallen Matter? The book I basically talked only about on my blog this year? Yep, it’s planning on dominating my life again. Come January I plan on jumping into a big ol’, major, overwhelming rewrite of it. What better way to prepare than join in on an editing linkup?

So let’s get to it! (Because I believe I’ve rambled enough. . .)

Fallen Matter Cover

1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) how well do you think this book turned out?
Well, that’s a question. . . This book was a dystopian-ish, scifi novel, two things I NEVER thought I’d write. I’m a medieval fantasy kind of girl. So writing it was quite the experience. I had no idea what I was doing. And yet, in the end, it become one of my most favorite things I’ve ever written. I really liked the cast, and was rather proud of how the plot turned out. I think it was a lot better executed than any of my previous works. Erm. . .6 1/2? 7? Because while I do love it, I totally pantsed it and churned it out pretty speedily, so the quality is rather low. Not to mention it became way, way too long.

2. Have you ever rewritten or edited one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s Secrets of Camelot Coveryour plan?
I plunged into my first rewrite ever just last year with a book called Secrets of Camelot. I’ve been terrified of rewriting my whole life, but I finally took that step and. . .it wasn’t so bad. A lot of work, yes, but it was actually kind of fun seeing my mess of a story shape up into something mortal eyes can look upon without burning out of their sockets. Truthfully, it could use yet another rewrite, my writing has come a long way since then. But if nothing else, the experience finally proved to me that I can rewrite without falling into an early grave.

For that one I didn’t really do anything to prepare myself. I just told myself to take one sentence at a time, opened up the document, and began. This time though I want to be very serious about Fallen Matter and make it the best it can be. So the process is probably going to be. . .a lot. Reading through it, making notes, maybe even doing some outlining (scary thought for this pantser). It actually might be a while before I’m even ready to do the real rewriting. I don’t know, we shall see.

3. What’s your final wordcount? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book?
An. . .erm. . .embarrassing length.


164,474 words.

Yeeep. And I want to cut it down to at least 100k. If I disappear some time next year, just know it’s because this rewrite killed me.

4. What’s are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?
*cackles* Definitely not pacing. XDDD I’m going to have to say plot. This one has a lot more twists and turns and surprises and connections and fewer clichés than all my other works. I was pleased with how it turned out, crazy long or not. Although there are also a few characters I can’t help but love.

5. What’s your favorite bit of prose or line from this novel?
Oh goodness. I really have no idea. Basically any time Cyrus or Lykan was around I was happy. (I may have favored them a teeny bit. *cough*) I really liked this moment between my MC Breighly and Lykan—

"So I take it you spent some time in this underground place?" Lykan asked.

"Elan and I stumbled upon it after"

"Stabbed a needle through my arm rendering me useless?" he offered.

Biting my lip, I averted my gaze to the scuffed white street. "Yeah."

"Yep, that was all good fun."

"Well, you deserved it," I shot back defensively, more trying to convince myself than him.

"I think we've been down this road before. We both seemed to have betrayed and helped one another equally so far. While we're currently even, we'll call it good until the next time we do something treacherous. Seems to be the pattern."

His words held a curious truth. "We're not the most trustworthy of partners, are we?"

"Keeps things interesting."

Lykan Nodding GIF

I think that sums up the majority of the book pretty well. . .

6. What aspect of your book needs the most work?
As I said, the writing it pretty messy. Mostly the narrative. It definitely needs some cleaning up. And cutting. Good gracious, does it need cutting. Also, sadly, I wasn’t too wild about my main character Breighly. That’s not a good sign. I think she’ll need an overhaul in this next draft, I’m just trying to figure out how. Completely remaking a character is something kind of new to me, usually they just make themselves. Not sure how that’s going to work out.

7. What aspect of your book is your favorite?

The story is set in this city placed inside an impenetrable, inescapable cube basically. I sort of have this thing about people trapped inside certain areas (like in The Maze Runner, for an example, or the arenas in The Hunger Games). I don’t know why, I just find it a lot of fun. I think I had a bit too much fun making an entire city live inside this cube.

8. How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed-out?
I actually think this story has some of the most human characters I’ve ever written. I was extremely pleased with all of them. But, as I said, Breighly wasn’t my favorite. She might be a bit. . .too human. I don’t know. Her personality just rubbed me the wrong way, but I’m not sure how to fix it because it makes sense why she is the way she is. But I want her to be likeable so. . .I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll figure out something.

9. If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?
I had so much fun with this book. I can’t even think of anything I would have really done differently. Sure, it’s messy, but I like writing messy first drafts. That’s when I discover the story, not make it pretty. I don’t have any regrets about that. I guess pacing it better would have been nice. But I was discovering the story, I didn’t know how to pace it because I didn’t know what happened next. So I don’t know if I would have done anything differently. For the first draft stage, that is.

10. Did anything happen in your book that completely surprised you? Have any scenes or characters turned out differently to what you planned? Good or bad?

Erm. . .let me explain.

See, when I started this book I had NO clue what was happening. Two words popped in my head I’m falling and that’s all I had. Two words, literally. I just started writing because I couldn’t get those words out of my head. When I was three chapters in, I still didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t know who Breighly was, or where she was, or why, or anything about the cube, or that it was even a dystopian novel. Not an inkling of an idea. I’m a pantser, yes, but this was like ultra pantsing. Walking into a foreign country blindfolded sort of pantsing. So, to answer the question, EVERYTHING surprised me. Every. Single. Thing. Plot, characters, events. All of it. It was one shocking revelation after the next.

Boy, was it fun.

I don't write the story
11. What was the theme and message? Do you think it came across? If not, is there anything you could do to bring it out more?
I actually have quite a few things going on in this book. Two big ones are that life is a sacred thing and I covered a good bit on how deep God’s love for us is. But in almost all my books there’s a message of hope. I just can’t seem to write a story without hope burrowing into the root of it. But I’m glad it showed up in this book. Most dystopian books are so full of despair and hopelessness. I hate that that’s what this generation gets fed. I believe hope should always be clung to. As long as we have God, what does it matter how dire our circumstances are? This novel holds a lot heavier, darker stuff than my others, but it’s for that very reason I want the light of hope shining between the lines.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how the message came across.

12. Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?
That’s a hard question. I think I like a good mix of both. I love, love, LOVE NaNo because it gets me actually writing and finishing a story. When left to my own devices I don’t always get things done. But it’s also a lot more relaxing writing at my own pace. Usually I set goals for myself, because if I don’t have a goal I’ll never get anything done. I’m also OCD, so if I do have a goal I’ll almost always force myself to make it no matter what. All that to say, it’s nice to write as it comes, but I do better under a bit of pressure.

13. Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men, etc.)
*blows a puff of air* I don’t knoooow. I’ve been thinking and thinking and I can’t come up with anything. I pretty much never read sci-fi, and have only read a teeny bit of dystopian. I just haven’t dabbled in futuristic stuff much. There’s also some light superpower-ish things going on in this novel, which is another thing I haven’t explored much of, save for Marvel movies and it’s nothing like those. And the fact that they’re trapped inside a city is another aspect to consider. Good gracious, I have no idea. I’m going to be evil and flip the question over to you. Have you read/watched anything that sounds like this? I’d love to know!

14. How do you celebrate a finished novel?!

Wait, no. That’s just in my head.

Usually I spend days on pinterest because I try to avoid it when I’m heavily working on a project. I’m a pinterest-addict. Once I’m on pinterest, it usually takes weeks to drag me off. So I kind of have to force myself away when I have lots of work to do. . . Also I just relish in the fact that I’m DONE. But I do not actually eat any relish because EW.

15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?
A little hopeful, a little curious, and maybe even just a little sad. But, definitely, with a longing for more. Because, after all, this is only the first of a trilogy. *grins*

To be honest, I’m exceedingly looking forward to January where I can dive right into the workings of rewriting. This is one of my favorite stories, and I really want to make it something worth reading. I’ve missed theses characters, a lot. I cannot wait to spend time with them again!

How about you? Have you done any rewrites? How do you feel about the whole process? (There’s no shame. The very word used to make me shudder. ‘Tis true.) Do you have any projects you’re in the process of editing or will be soon?


  1. Love reading your answers to these. You remind me of myself. xD
    I've never actually done a rewrite. *winces* It's horrible, I know, but I suppose I'm slightly afraid to do it as you said.
    *wistful sigh* Maybe some day.

    1. You do? You're so sweet! I'm glad. I fear I bore my reader's to death with all these...

      No, no! Trust me, it's okay. Like I said, last year was the first time I ever even attempted it. It's so scary. I mean, taking something you've poured tons and tons of your life over and CHANGING it, maybe even deleting some of it? HORRID. But, actually, I learned it just makes it better, turns all that work into something WORTH all the work. And it was also kind, shaping the story into something worth reading. But still, I understand. Rewriting is a daunting task. *shudders*

  2. Ahhh, so many things! If I did a line-by-line comment, we'd have a whole blog post right I won't. XD But I will say a few things, and hope I don't get too longwinded.

    First off, from what little I know of Fallen Matter, it looks so GOOD. If you're planning on getting beta readers, count me in for sure!!!

    And Lykan. Really. What more could I say? I think I love this guy already--which may or may not have to do with the face you picked for him and who else that actor represents and...yeah. You know what I mean. ;) I have a feeling his personality is a bit similar to you-know-who. So yes, much love already!

    Ooh, character revamps are hard work. I don't know if I've entirely changed someone's personality before, but I've definitely had to tinker around, lend spineless charries some backbone, some supposedly-wise charries a lot more honesty/straightforwardness, etc. Good luck on that! (Although I'm sure Breighly isn't QUITE as bad you think. You say she's very human, and you never know, that might come across as endearing...)

    THE WAY YOU GOT THE IDEA. O.O That is awesome. And, lol: "Walking into a foreign country blindfolded sort of pantsing." Sounds like a wild ride!

    DOMINATING THE WORLD! I myself have plans for that too... Ridiculous plans involving converting entire populaces into rice kernels and storing them in Tupperware boxes (and making sure to keep them away from water and thus exploding from their containers). Yeah. I'm a little odd at times, I will admit. XD

    Ah, okay, I'm almost done with me long comment, lassie, but since your question(s) at the end there are relevant...
    I've put the rewriting of my novel aside for a couple weeks as I help edit my brother's novella, but once we're done there, it's back to work. I've rewritten that novel a few times already. The process can be insanely hard at times, but also super rewarding. Usually, I have a lot of fun with it. I'm thankful that I don't find editing utterly detestable (well, okay, there are days...). At the moment, I'm in a wee slump where I feel like I'm avoiding the hard work of rewriting, which is kind of unusual for me. But perhaps working on my brother's story for a bit will be just the 'change of scene' I need! :)

    Anyway, I'm excited for you jumping back into Fallen Matter next month! Looks like a wonderful story in which to lose yourself! :D

    1. O.O Oh my goodness, that got WAY longer than I thought it would. Sorry!

    2. Are you kidding? Long comments are my favorite! I got thrilled to see your comment!!!

      Eeeee, thank you! It's definitely different from ANYTHING I've ever written, but I so enjoyed it. And YES, I will be beta-ing it. I don't know if it'll be while I'm rewriting or after, but I'll certainly let everyone know. I'M SO GLAD YOU WANT TO BETA IT FOR ME!!! :D

      Yep, Lykan. XD Not much else can be said. Hahaha. Of course I know what you're saying. ;) I chose that guy as his face character long before I became a Nealer or knew what he meant. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. o.o

      I know. This whole character revamping thing is overwhelming me. I usually just let me charries be who they want, but Breighly...meh. You're so sweet. ^_^ Eheheh. I'm not sure "endearing" would be the word I'd use to describe her... But maybe she's more likeable than I think.

      THANK YOU. Inspiration comes in the strangest ways sometimes, doesn't it?

      YOU. ARE. THE. BEST. I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has crazy thoughts. That's hilarious. XDDD

      That's your fantasy series you're working on, right? That's so sweet of you to set it aside and help your bro. ^_^ I'm guessing we're talking about his B&B novella? I think it's SO fun you're both doing that together!
      Editing CAN be fun, so I've discovered. I spent years avoiding it for no reason! Awww, I'm sorry you're in a slump. Maybe stepping away from it for a couple weeks will refuel you and you'll be ready to dive right back in. Taking breaks can do WONDERS.

      Thank yooouuuu!!! I am very much looking forward to it. Even if it may kill me...

      I loved your whole comment so much! You're the sweetest! <333

    3. Okay, good. (Whew. Didn't want to spam up your blog...) ^_^

      WOOHOO! Goodie, this'll be a blast! Ever since BT was over, I've missed my Lauri chapters. <3

      Ahaha, that's a hilarious coincidence! Angel-Lykan. (If you say it fast, it sounds almost like Angelica with an N at the end... Weird. Ahem. Moving along.)

      Aww. If you ever have questions/need advice/need to vent writerly frustrations, I'm here. :)

      I love it! Nothing beats the thrill of a new idea.

      XDDD And I don't think that was my only plot either, just the one I remembered off the top of my head!

      Yep, that's the one! Aw, thank you. ^.^ And yes, it's his B&B story--ohmygoodness, he finished drafting yesterday. SO. GOOD. Our writing connection is actually what delivered us from the valley of pre-teen sibling rivalry to the friendship we have now. It definitely is a lot of fun! We bounce ideas off each other all the time.

      I know, right? There is something immensely satisfying about that gritty process. Something about tweaking individual sentences, fleshing out bare scenes, trimming back the thick ones, totally turning the story in a new direction... It's just awesome.
      <3 Exactly--a break might be just the ticket! At least I'm hoping so. And if not, I'll plow on regardless. The positive emotions tend to kick in again at some point if you keep at it. :)

      Nu-uh, YOU'RE the sweetest. But okay, I'll take second-sweetest. XD
      (I feel like we're pen pals, only online... Am I old-fashioned?)

    4. Spam my blog? Of course not! I looove your comments!

      D'awww! <333

      Angelican? Bwahahaha! What's funny is neither of them are very angelical. ;)

      You are SO sweet! Thank yooouuu!!! <333 And the same absolutely goes for you. I'm always happy to help. We writers got to stick together.

      YESH. I get sooo excited about new story ideas. Except this wasn't exactly a story idea... It wasn't ANYTHING. I just started writing and BOOM, there it was. Writing is kind of a blast sometimes. :D

      Hehehehe. I put in my vote for you being Supreme World Overlord. *nods, nods*

      Hurray for your brother!!! What little I heard about his story it sounded AWESOME.
      That's sooo much fun. What a blessing to have that! Nothing like having another writer in the family. My little sis loves to write as well, so we understand each other's quirky writer traits. XD

      Precisely! It's like cleaning up your story and making it pretty. Hard work yes, but unbelievably satisfying.
      Very true! And I know I've said it before, but I so admire your dedication to this story.

      You can't take second sweetest, you already have first. *nods emphatically*
      (No, no. I love it! I adore all our conversations. I cannot tell you how happy I am we met!!! <333)

  3. And I loooove yours!

    No, angelic they are most definitely NOT. I can't say that with absolute certainty in regards to Lykan, but I'll take your word for it! ;)

    Thank you, darling!


    Mwahaha! Once I take over, I shall appoint you as military commander, and you can make sure that those Tupperware containers stay sealed, dry, and closely guarded. >:D

    It is pretty amazing! And yes, such a blessing to have that connection. :) Hey, I didn't realize you had another writer in the family--or that you had a sister at all! That's great; I'm sure the two of you have tons of fun with that. It's always awesome to have someone who understands (and shares) our weirdness. XD

    Exactically! (In the words of Tigger.) That's a good analogy.
    *beams* Thank you so much--you are such an encouragement!

    alskjfasflkasj. I don't know what to do with you sometimes! ^___^
    (Aww, me too! Kindred spirits! <333)


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