Monday, January 11, 2016

Beautiful People - 2016 Writerly Goals

Beautiful People is back! After a bit of a detour with Beautiful Books, our hosts Sky and Cait have returned with 2016’s first edition of Beautiful People. BUT, before returning to the usual interrogation of our characters, since we’re still adjusting to the new year (or am I the only one squinting at the calendar wondering if it’s lying to me? because, um, how is 2015 already over??) our hosts have concocted a fun new year-ish edition centered on this year’s writing resolutions and goals. Fantastic idea, methinks! You can join up yourself on Sky’s blog HERE or Cait’s HEEEERE. Come share your writing goals! (Seriously, I love seeing what delicious writerly things will be cooked up with the coming year.)

Let’s do it!

1. What were your writing achievements last year?
At the beginning of the year my plan was to rewrite Fallen Matter, but by February my Beauty and the Beast novella, Burning Thorns, was all, “MAKE ME A NOVEL!!!” (They’re so demanding.) So 84k words later, I had a Beauty and the Beast retelling novel.

In August I wrote a flash fiction piece. Something I’ve never really done before. I enjoyed doing it a ton and someday I’m going to try more flash fiction. I am, guys, I am!

Then in November I did my 6th NaNoWriMo and wrote the next to last book in my Colors of a Dragon Scale fantasy series, More Black than Night. Which ended at 76,700 words, making it my shortest novel yet.

So, basically, I wrote two novels in 2015 and made HUGE strides in pacing my stories and not making them drag on like a slug down a highway. Improvement! Hooray!

2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
Burning Thorns has once more demanded my attention. Sheesh, is it pushy. >.> Okay, okay, I want to work on it. It’s become very close to my heart.

My biggest problem is that I write first drafts and then. . .that’s it. I have tons and tons of first drafts on my computer but second drafts? Polished things? Nooope. It’s time I actually make PROGRESS if I want to, ya know, become a published author. (Turns out there really aren’t fairies that magically appear at night and perfect your novels. Boo.) So this is the year! I’m going to pour myself into editing Burning Thorns and making it the best it can be. I’m gonna do it! *holds up red pen and charges*

3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

-Actually editing and NOT getting distracted by shiny new ideas.
Because, like I said, I have first drafts everywhere. EVERYWHERE. All those new, shiny plot bunnies plague me by the dozens and I get too easily swept up in new story ideas. I never put much effort into one particular story once the first draft is done. But NO MORE. Editing is gonna happen!

-Worldbuilding. I actually mentioned this in the last Beautiful Books, but my worldbuilding skills are a bit. . .lacking. I want to add a lot more interesting and in depth things in the Burning Thorns world.

-Keep it balanced. I’m kind of an all or nothing person. It’s either work-on-the-project-24/7-until-it’s-done-and-ignore-all-the-things or lay-around-binge-watching-Leverage-and-Doctor-Who-all-day. There is no in between with me. Last year the big thing I was focusing on was to keep things balanced. To not get SO consumed in my writing project that I ignore life, but to also keep a steady pace on it and make good progress. I think I made big improvements on balancing my life last year, but I want to keep at it and continue getting better.

-Research literary agents and publishers. Because, well, I do want to get published one day, which means querying, which means figuring out WHO to query to, which means researching. I haven’t really even begun with that part yet so. . .I need to start looking into these things. (Any tips? Links? Advice? *puppy dog eyes*)

-Stop being afraid of changing and deleting. Want to know why I never get around to rewriting/editing? It terrifies me. CHANGE my story? DELETE these words I agonized over? Go through and completely REDO entire plot threads? WHAT??? I can’t do that! Um, yeah, the idea overwhelms me to a huge degree. I want to get over that. I’m a little better than I used to be, but I have a looong ways to go. I want to really edit this thing, not just fix typos and things. But add and delete and change as needed ruthlessly. Basically I want to edit and edit well. That fear (and probably a lot of laziness if I’m honest) has got to go.

4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?
Obviously NaNoWriMo shall be happening in November! And this will be the 7th and LAST book of my Colors of a Dragon Scale series so, even though we kind of just had NaNo and the next one is nearly a year away, I’m SUPER excited about it!

Other than that, I don’t think I’ll be doing anything other than editing BT. I maaay consider joining in this year’s Rooglewood Press’s fairytale contest (that’s where BT originally came from after all), but I really want to just focus on BT. As of right now I’m more leaning against it. We’ll see when the time comes.

5. What's your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
My “Pack” (as we call ourselves) is a group of absolutely fabulous beta-readers who have become like sisters to me and I’m SO grateful to them.

I think I actually have expanded some already. Quite a few of you have offered to beta Burning Thorns, which absolutely delights me. And blows my mind that you want to read something *I* wrote. I couldn’t be more honored and thankful. I need all the help I can get! (And I’ve started the beginning stages of editing, so details and the first chapter of BT will hopefully be coming your way SOON.)

6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
I always mean to read more writing-related books! I read a lot of blogs and articles and things on writing, but the Go Teen Writers book is about the only physical writing help book I’ve read. (But it’s my lifeline and every writer needs that thing. Trust me. It’s not just for teens, it’s for all us aspiring writers. You need to get yourself a copy of it!)

I found Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott in a secondhand bookstore one time and it’s been sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for a while now. I’ve heard it’s really good and hope to get to it soon. And I think I have a writing help ebook or two on my tablet that I should probably try.

I want and NEED to read more writing help books, so if you have any suggestions do share!

7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
Hmmm. . . This is a hard one because I tend to learn every single tiny detail about ALL my characters that I possibly can. I’m sort of an obsessive character analyzer. Whether it’s my characters or others, I get totally obsessed with knowing all the ins and outs about them. I just love studying people—their quirks, personalities, everything. It’s probably strange. . . Analyzing fictional characters is my favorite pastime. Yeah, okay, it’s definitely strange.

Anyways, I spent a LOT of time last year studying my cast for BT and feel like I know them extremely well. So. . .I’m not sure I can pick one in particular I want to focus on.

OH! But, when NaNo rolls around and I start the last book of my CoaDS series there will be a new character that I’m veeeery interested to explore. Her name is Kaliq and she appeared in the final chapter of the last book out of nowhere. She’s already stirred up all manner of fun problems in her short appearance. So I’m quite looking forward to seeing what sort of trouble this new person has in store.

8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
Well. . .it seems I’ve already answered this question multiple times. XD

Editing? Absolutely. (Yes, Christine, you’re editing. We get it.)
Querying. . .? Eventually. Honestly, I seriously doubt I’ll start querying until next year. I want to make absolute sure BT is actually ready for that. But I do want to start looking in to querying, as mentioned earlier. That way by next year I’ll be ready to dive into it. (Not that the idea makes me want to wrap myself in a hundred blankets and hide in a hole forever or anything. Noooo.)
Plan of attack? Um. Drink lots of coffee and cry. *nods seriously*

9. Toni Morrison once said, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
I’d LOVE to see more steampunk! I’ve only read two full steampunk novels. TWO! I just never see any steampunk books. But come on. Airships and airship PIRATES and epic clothing and pocket watches and alternate Victorian settings and did I mention AIRSHIP PIRATES? Steampunk is AWESOME. I wants it!

Deborah mentioned this one and I’m stealing her thought because I totally agree. We need more whimsical, nonsense books such a Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. That is my FAVORITE book. I’ve never read anything like it before. It makes me indescribably happy. It’s so nonsensical with the most delightful cast and ridiculously fun storyline. I adore it, and I want mooore!

Also CLEAN YA books. I don’t care what genre. Anything. Everything. Just genuinely CLEAN ones. Sometimes I get disgusted going in the YA section of a bookstore. Which is horrid, because all I ever want to read are YA books. But there’s sooo much junk produced in that genre. Why are we making this amount of ickiness for impressionable teens? WHY?? Please oh please oh please give me more clean reads!

10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
I’d love for Burning Thorns to be edited and polished and ready for the querying world! (Gracious, you’re going to be sick of hearing about BT edits before they even START.) Don’t know if that’s gonna happen, but I want to try anyway.

And then of course my very last CoaDS book written by the end of NaNo. :D

But I also just want to grow and make strides in my writing. I want by the end of the year to say I’m actually, honest to goodness, working towards becoming a published author instead of just writing yet another first draft.

I want to move forward.

Now that I’ve babbled (waaay too much) on this year’s main goals, I want to hear about yours! What’s your biggest writing project for the year? What do you hope to have achieved by the end of it? AND what holes do you want filled in the literary world? I’d seriously love to know! Chat away!


    Kaliq sounds great; I'll be interested to see how she turns out.
    Haha, worldbuilding......oops. I often sit down for a serious writing session and end up writing one paragraph before getting distracted by worldbuilding. It's an issue. (Minor characters are also a frequent distraction.)
    I'll have to check out Go Teen Writers, thanks!
    Deleting a paragraph is the worst thing.
    AHHHH STEAMPUNK YESSS. I LOVE steampunk. The clothes are so cool and the airships and YES AIRSHIP PIRATES.
    My biggest couple projects are my fantasy series (just working on it a moment ago, actually, I think I'm finally starting to see how the different plotlines in the first book will thread together and what the main conflicts will be, as well as which of my too many characters will be included) and a stand-alone contemporary novel set in New Orleans. It's basically an espionage novel, but with a little steampunk and "finding yourself" jazz thrown in there, as well as some stuff about writing since one of the main characters is a journalist and the other is a poet.

    - Ellie

    1. Thank you!!! I'm rather excited about this year's writing ventures myself. ^_^
      I think she's going to be a very interesting character. I wasn't expecting that. The unexpected characters always end up being my favorite!
      But that's great you spend so much time worldbuilding! I seriously need to put more effort into it. I just never can seem to come up with cool, fun things. I will spend oodles of time plotting characters (those minor characters are so distracting, aren't they?) but worldbuilding gets forgotten somewhere along the way.
      Oh, do! The book and their blog ( It's my source for all things writerly. I've learned SO much from them.
      It's so painful, yes!
      Another steampunk lover! *highfives* It's just too fun. I want more!
      :O THOSE SOUND SO GOOD!!! The best of luck on all your writing! Those novels seriously sound amazing.

  2. I need to do this linkup... but I always feel like I come across them super late compared to everyone else. Hmmm. Oh well, I'll just b that guest who arrives late, I guess.

    Loved reading about your writing goals and things. Editing is such a pain, really. BUT, once you get used to the idea of changing and deleting (and make sure you ALWAYS save a copy of your rough draft, that will help you with the deleting things... because you can always go back to the original if you decide you want to put something back!!!) there is a beauty to how your story changes and grows and becomes leaner, smoother, and just more polished as you cut away the deadwood.

    Worldbuilding is one of my difficult areas as well. Luckily, my husband is fabulous at it, so he often does a lot of that for/with me as we collaborate on the worlds and then I am in charge of writing the stories (and tweaking the worlds to fit the stories as I need to). It's a good system we've come up with! I wish you well on that.

    As far as finding publishers and agents, I cannot recommend this book highly enough: - it's an annual publication (so getting the latest version is important, because the turnover in the publishing world is ridiculous!)
    Also, the Writer's Market:

    And as far as Clean YA reads go, you should totally check out this site:

    They have other genres, too, but I linked to the YA page for you. We are an ever-growing list of indie-authors committed to writing "flinch-free fiction."

    1. You should! It's my favorite linkup. And don't worry a thing about not getting to it right away. It's open for the whole month, so if you did it on the 30th it still wouldn't matter a bit. Honestly, I usually end up doing it the last week of the month. XD We can just be fashionably late. *nods, nods*

      I definitely keep my first draft! I wouldn't want to lose something forever. *shudders* But you make a wonderful point. I do like cleaning things up and making them all pretty, it just...overwhelms me, too. But you've encouraged me to jump into it! ^_^

      What a blessing to have a husband with that skill set! You know, that is what I should do, gather some brainstorm partners to help me out. Sometimes I forget that it benefits so much to include OTHERS in the writing process, you know? I need to do that more.

      Oh, Jenelle, you are the BEST! I just added both of those to my Amazon wishlist so I won't forget. Thank you!!!

      Aaahhh, thank you! I keep seeing mentions of that on Twitter and have been meaning for the longest to go searching for it. I just bookmarked it. I look forward to perusing all the books!

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and all the links! <333

    2. *sneaks into conversation* I picked up a copy of Guide to Literary Agents 2014 and the Writer's Market 2014 at my library sale in November, and they're out of date by now obviously and I'm not 100% looking into all of this yet, but just from looking at them a teeny bit I think up to date ones would be a HUGE help if one was actually trying to find agents etc.! There's a bunch of articles and stuff as well as a sort of yellowpages type list of aaall the things. *nod* So I second the recommendation even though I know nothing. XD

    3. Thank you SOOO much for your input! I really, really want a copy, but it's apparently not cheap, so it made me hesitate. But I think investing in one could really be helpful. I should do it. Perhaps next year though when I'll actually be looking deeply into agents...? I don't know. We shall see.

    4. Also, I THINK a lot of libraries miiight have that sort of thing around as reference materials? Maybe not, but it might be worth checking. :)

    5. Yes, I was thinking that! Except our library basically NEVER gets anything new or up to date, so who knows. >.> But I definitely want to check before spending money.

  3. You'll be sending out the beginning of Burning Thorns soon? Hurray! I should have noticed this sooner, but this is going to be an exciting and busy semester.
    As of this moment, when it's a bit too early to tell, my biggest goal for this year is to finish revising and editing my NaNo novel, Of the North, and to start the process of trying to get it published (I know no more about how to do that than you do). Second to that is finishing and editing my very long novel that I started two years ago in April, which really needs to find an ending soon.
    The world needs more clean books, as you said, of all kinds, really. I'd like to see more high fantasy, and historical fiction too. It's so easy for fantasy to turn cliched and lose the nobility and beautiful language that should characterize it. Historical fiction, too, easily slips into either textbook-writing (mere facts disguised with a little imagination spread too thin) or something completely made up with a date and country thrown in to make it seem real, even though it's obvious from the start that the authour did no real research.

    1. Hopefully, yes! :D And if you're too busy, there's no rush to critiquing or anything! I don't want to overwhelm anyone with it.
      Eeeee! Awesome!!! Sounds like we're both working on the same thing this year--editing and pursuing publishing. So exciting! I hope it all goes amazingly for you.
      Goodness, yes, it does! I wish books at least had ratings or something, because you kind of never know what's inside a book. It could be perfectly clean or horrid, but there's no real way to know until you start reading. It's annoying.
      High fantasy is my absolute favorite, so I'm always wanting more! I've never been wild about historical fiction, but it may be for the very reasons you said. I tend to find them pretty boring. I think having more accurate, compelling historical fiction would be great.

  4. Here's a post on agents that I found helpful:
    And I don't know if you're really looking into publishing houses right now, but Enclave Publishing is one of the places I found and liked:
    Oh! and this one about query letters:
    Hopefully you haven't seen all of those before :D.

    Ooo, you'll be ready for beta-readers soon? Well, I'll talk to my mom about it and then e-mail you if she says yes. I can't say exactly WHEN I will ask her (our house is kinda crazy right now, pretty much everyone is sick), but I'll try to do it before you're ready to send out the first chapter(s).

    I TOTALLY agree with you about the GTW book, I recently received it as a gift and I LOVE it! I used it when editing my Rooglewood contest entry, and it was very helpful.
    I haven't read that many books on writing, but I do remember reading two by Gail Carson Levine that I really liked (Writing Magic and Writer to Writer, if I remember the titles right).

    Kaliq sounds fun! I love it when a random character shows up in my story and wreaks havoc over everything :D.

    I THINK the only Steampunk book I've ever read is Emma Clifton's 'Broken Glass'. And now me thinks I need to read more :D. Any recommendations? And also, I've never read any Dianne Wynne Jones books! I feel like I should read Howl's Moving Castle. So I probably will :). And I VERY strongly agree with you about needing more clean YA books.

    I don't have that many big goals for this year, except entering the Rooglewood contest, though I would like to start a novel that I will actually FINISH (and polish up), but I'll probably just go with the flow on that one, we'll see if it happens or not :).

    As for book holes that need filling ... fantasy books that aren't so dark. Sometimes I want a fantasy book that is just a light (or easy) read, but that isn't too childish. For when I'm tired of the world and I want to go escape somewhere whimsical :).

    1. YES. Thank you!!! I think I have read those posts before but I've been meaning to go search for them and bookmark them, so this was perfect! AND Enclave Publishing was the first one I was planning on looking into, but I keep forgetting to check out their website. This was so helpful. Thank you!

      There's no rush at all! I can start sending it out to you at any time if you decide to do it. But again, no pressure whatsoever! I'm so sorry to hear you're all sick. It seems like there's a lot going around right now. Hope you all get well soon!

      Isn't it just the best? I used it a ton with the original Burning Thorns for Rooglewood's contest as well! It's kind of my guide to everything. I love it!
      I've heard Gail Carson Levine's writing books are really good. I must look into those!

      I think she's going to be something. XD Me too! They always end up being my favorite.

      Oooh, Broken Glass was SO good. I wish it had been a whole novel. I never wanted it to end. The only two full steampunk novels I've read are Illusionarium by Heather Dixon and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Both were pretty much entirely clean (as far as I remember, it's been a while since I've read Leviathan). Illusionarium did have quite a bit of creepiness in it though. But they were both really, really good!
      You've never read Howl's Moving Castle? :O YOU MUST GO READ IT. Aaaahhhh, it's so goooood! Howl is my favorite fictional character PERIOD. Which is saying a lot. XD

      You're doing the Rooglewood contest? So exciting!! I'm really looking forward to seeing which fairytale they choose.
      I think just going with the flow is a good plan. Sometimes I get so stuck on making goals I forget to just ENJOY writing. It's bad.

      Yes, yes, yes! You're so right. Sometimes I enjoy some darker fiction BUT I absolutely adore the more lighthearted, fun adventures. But SAVANNAH. If that's what you want then you MUST read Howl's Moving Castle. Because that's exactly what it is. Just lighthearted and whimsical and delightful. It and its companion novels (Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways) are just so fun and light and happy. GAH. I love them so much!

    2. You're welcome! Glad I didn't give you a bunch of links you already had squirreled away :D.

      Ooo, I've heard that Illusionarium is good and creepiness normally doesn't bother me, so I might need to give it a read!

      Wait. Your favorite fictional character PERIOD?! You can actually pick a favorite fictional character?! Whoa. This book must be good. I must read this book. Once we start going to the library again (we don't normally go while it's cold), this is one book I will be checking out :).

      Yeah, me too! Any guess as to what the new tale will be?

      Goals are funny things for me. Sometimes the one thing I make a goal to do is the one thing that DOESN'T"T get done, just because I'm pushing myself too hard to do it! Most of the time my mouth goes 'Savannah, you need to finish this, come on now, just finish' and my brain gives a big 'Nope, shutting down now!'. Yep, there's a problem there.

      Now I need to read Howl's Moving Castle even MORE than before! So that means I will definitely be reading it. Not sure when, but sometime this year! That book won't wait any longer :).

      Funny thing is, I had TRIED to make my Rooglewood entry light and very fairy-tale like ... but it ended up fairly dark. Yeah, I don't know what happened there.

    3. No, they were great! I so appreciate you sharing those.

      If creepiness doesn't bother you, then I bet you'll love it. It was so...unique. I've honestly never read anything like it. Definitely a fascinating concept.

      I KNOW RIGHT? I didn't think I COULD choose one, but then I met Howl and that was that. He's just... GAH. You just have to read about him. You can't really explain Howl. XD Actually the entire cast of that book is just delightful.

      I'm guessing Rapunzel or The Little Mermaid (both of which seems to be the main guesses right now). A little part of me keeps thinking Snow White for some reason though. Honestly though, I'm kinda hoping one year they'll do Little Red Riding Hood. I have no idea why, but I just feel like people could come up with some seriously unique concepts with that one. I think it'd be pretty fascinating. But my hopes aside, I suspect Little Mermaid or Rapunzel. Both of which would also be fun, methinks. What do you think?

      Lolzy! I understand that, telling yourself one thing and then entirely ignoring yourself. I ignore myself a lot. XD

      YES YOU DO! :D :D :D

      Oooh, but I like those. I like both really. But the dark, mysterious fairytales always fascinate me. Burning Thorns actually has that style. It's not exactly light and fluffy. Heh. The original novella was actually a lot lighter than the novel turned out. But I think I can get across the message of light vs. dark better that way, so hopefully it's all right.

    4. I've been guessing Snow White since ... well, pretty much since I started guessing :D. But Little Mermaid and Rapunzel are pretty high on my list of guesses, though Snow White is at the top. I don't know why. It just ... is :D. Ooo, yes, Little Red Riding Hood would be super cool *nods*. I would be really excited to see where people would go with that! But what would they title a collection of LRRH stories?

      Of course it's alright! ALL Christine writing is alright, dark or no! When it gets published (still sticking to when, not if), your beautiful book is going on my shelf. Pronto. And then I will devour the WHOLE SHINY THING.

    5. By the way, have you heard of the book 'Lady Of Devices' by Shelley Adina? I haven't read it, but I've heard it's good, and it's a steampunk adventure novel *shrugs*.

    6. Oh yay! So I'm not alone in this guess. No one seems to think Snow White. I think it could also produce some very interesting stories. It's so fun seeing everyone take one story and twisting and changing it into hundreds of different ways! I love these contests, even when I'm not participating.
      Hmmm. Five Red Hoods, maybe? Lol. I don't know.

      GAH. Girl! You make me smile so big! *tackle hugs* THANK YOU! <333

      I haven't heard of that, no. I'll have to look into it! :D

  5. Who could be sick of 'Burning Thorns' I'm just sitting her like " Go on..." All of your blog post could be about it, and I would love it. Can't wait to read the expanded version. I'm like that too, I am either working on everything or binge watching T.V. I have yet to find a balance. Great goals I hope you accomplish all of them. Drinking coffee,and crying is my game plan too at least we will be doing it together.

    1. Aaaahhh, girl! That just...that...makes my YEAR. My life! THANK YOU!!! *tackle glomps* I'm looking forward to you reading it. ^_^

      Finding that balance is so hard, isn't it? What I really need is more hours in the day. *nods, nods*

      D'aww, thank you! Yes! Crying is better with friends. ;D

  6. Oh good luck with the editing. ;D that's kind of my goal for 2016 (zomg I nearly always type 2015 so clearly i'm not ready to let go either XD) because I neeeever do it. I'm still waiting for those fairies to appear and do it for me, but dangit they must be slacking off. ;) I wish the NaNo people held and editing version! IT'D BE SOOOO GOOD. Community spirits gets things done, right??! hehe
    Thanks for joining in the linkup and good luck with your goals!

    1. Thank you so much, Cait! And the best of luck to you as well. ^_^

      (I canNOT get used to 2016. It's horrid. Sometimes I even think it's 2014 still. o.o My brain...)

      Lazy fairies. Sheesh. They need to get on it.
      An editing version of NaNo would be a DREAM. I'd totally get way, way more motivated with a community, yes. YOU HAVE GOOD IDEAS.

      Thank YOU for hosting. I adore BP so much!


    You did so much writerly awesomeness in 2015. o.o Like seriously. THE AWE.

    Oh my goodness, that Hobbit gif. XD But YES

    I'm always so afraid of deleting too! O_O But my Rooglewood editing taught me that it's okay and that as long as I have the old draft I can always return to it (or just look at it!). Now watch me not put it too use and have to relearn it again sometime. XD

    NaNo and Pack and all of the awesome. :D

    I really need to get my hands on a copy of Go Teen Writers. >.>

    Ooh, this Kaliq new person sounds intriguing! Charries that randomly pop up are the BEST!!! :D

    STEAMPUUUUUUNK! :D All of the reasons you said. Yes. <3
    And yessss whimsical fantasy nonsense books like that! (Which means you must postively absolutely get your hands on some more Diana Wynne Jones books because most of them are like that. XD) And don't worry, I'll be working on OHE, sooo... :P *giggles*

    Oh my goodness, so much yes to the clean YA... and clean EVERYTHING. Ack. *flails around*


    Obviously I adore this post. :D

    1. (OH AND I'M ALWAYS SO SO SO EXCITED TO HEAR ABOUT ALL THE BT THINGS SO NEVER STOP! NEVAH! :D *waves sword around like Peter Pan* *Idon'tevenknowwherethatcamefrom* BURNING THORNNNNNNS!!!!!!!!!!! <3<3<3)


      YOU did a ton in 2015! 2015 was a good writing year. *nods*

      That Thorin gif is how I feel about editing right now. I think by the end of it I'll feel like him at the end of the movie... (Oh my word, I can't believe I just joked about that. What's WRONG with me??)

      Yes! As long as I still have the first draft hopefully deleting won't be so bad. Hopefully.

      The GTW book is SO helpful. And it's not just a read once sort of book. It's something to reference on a constant basis. Seriously, I pull it out to look something up constantly. So useful!

      Kaliq has thrown quite a curve-ball in the series and I'm rather excited about it. XD I think she'll add some...interesting things. *secret author cackle*

      I need more Diana Wynne Jones books like I need AIR. This is just getting ridiculous how long I've gone without reading anymore.

      Yesssh! Is it that hard to NOT put curse words and...things? Seriously. >.>


  8. YESSSS GIVE ME ALL THE WRITERLY THINGS!!!!!!! You accomplished SO much during 2015! I mean, you seriously wrote 2 novels?? That's just AMAZING!!

    Oh my goodness, THAT GIF! It's so accurate, though. XD (Also, I need to find the fairy that appears in the middle of the night to edit my novel. It's so elusive, and I needeth it right now.)

    So much yes to #3! I have the hardest time with keeping my writing balanced. I either can't stop writing or decide to go have a Star Wars marathon. XD And worldbuilding! Worldbuilding is SO TOUGH! Eeee, good luck with querying! Your novels look fantabulous, and I'm sure you'll make your way into the publishing world before too long.

    I've actually never read a steampunk novel. Can you believe it? They look like so much fun, but I just haven't come across many.

    Oh, I have some special news I meant to share with you in my last comment. I finally got my blog up and running!!!! I'm SUPER excited about it, despite the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing. *cough, cough* Anywhozers, here's the link if you're interested.

    1. D'awww! Thank you! It's only thanks to goals and NaNoWriMo that I managed to get ANYTHING written.

      That's usually how I feel when I'm about to start a new project. XD
      I know, right? Such a lazy fairy. Why isn't she editing all our novels for us? Sheesh.

      I'm so glad I'm not alone in this. Well, I'm not glad that you struggle with it, too. But I guess this way we can struggle together, right? XD But YES. It's so hard. Balancing...worldbuilding... I need so much help.
      Aaahhh, thank you!

      That's my problem. There just aren't many steampunk novels. We need more!

      AAAAHHHHH!!! YOU HAZ A BLOG! I WAS SO HOPING YOU WOULD. *tackles link* :D :D :D :D

  9. Deleting stuff IS hard. I usually end up making a document for things I delete but still really like (it's more for nostalgia, since it's rare any of it ever makes it back into the story, but it's nice to look back over now and then). It's just nice to know that all that work isn't just...gone. And sometimes you might find new story inspiration in it!

    It looks like it will probably be a mostly-editing year for me too. I have some stories I'd love to write first drafts of though as well.

    I don't recall if I've read any steampunk, but it definitely sounds like a fun genre! I did recently finish reading my first dieselpunk, and really enjoyed it!

    1. So hard! It hurts my soul. I have actually done the same thing before! I've never done any super major edits, but one book I did do some and always saved in a separate document anything I deleted. I just can't get myself to delete anything I wrote permanently, even if I hate it. And yes, you never know when you may need something from your old writing!

      Oooh, exciting. I hope you have an absolutely wonderful and successful writing year! ^_^

      Steampunk is so fun. There needs to be MORE. Oh, that sounds cool! I really don't even know the difference between steampunk and dieselpunk. Huh. Interesting!

  10. Sounds like you had a fantastic year of writing! Great job, Christine. :)

    I agree about the editing / revising bit. It can be scary and overwhelming... but if we never do it, it doesn't increase our odds of being published, does it? ;) But you can do it. It requires a lot of courage to be a writer, more than we probably think it is. We just have to be patient, persistent, and persevering - and be surrounded by writing pals who can cheerlead us through the agony and cups of coffee. ;) You can do it, Christine!

    May I recommend a couple steampunk books for you? :) I read these last year and thought they were pretty good (though none of them involve airships, but other cool things):

    - THIS MONSTROUS THING by Mackenzi Lee, a YA reimagining of Frankenstein where a younger brother resurrects his older brother from the dead
    - THE FALCONER by Elizabeth May, a YA steampunk historical fantasy where a young aristocrat battles evil fairies and draws heavily from Scottish fae lore
    - INK AND BONE by Rachel Caine, a YA steampunk alternate history that explores how the world would be different if the Great Library of Alexandria had never been destroyed

    Here's my BP post link, btw:

    1. *sneaks into conversation*
      OH. MY. GOODNESS. "Ink and Bone" sounds incredibly fascinating! I have totally wondered about what the world would be like if the Alexandrian library had survived. O.O I need dis book. Just looked it up on Goodreads and the blurb totally convinced me.

    2. Thank you! I think it was a great year writing-wise. ^_^

      Definitely a scary thing, but you are so right. With no editing comes no publishing. It's kiiinda important. XD I think it'll be super rewarding, just a little overwhelming too... But who knows? I may discover I enjoy editing. Ya never know.
      You are so encouraging. Thank you so much! *hugs*

      OH SARA. YOU ARE A WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING. These sounds AMAZIIIING. I literally just added them all to my GoodReads because I NEED. I've heard of Ink and Bone and it sounded amazing already, but I didn't know it had steampunk elements! Yep, so need it. The other two sound fabulous as well. Thank you so much!!

      Oh hurray, you did it too. :D I must go look!

  11. These are some great goals! :D Editing is tough, but it's so worth it. Plus I'd love to see your books in the bookstore. ^ ^ You can doooooooo it! :D YES STEAMPUNK WE NEED IT! Hence why I'm writing a steampunk book. XD I want more Christian steampunk. I just finished reading CBA one called Curio by Evangeline Denmark. It is epic. You must read it. My review of it goes up this Saturday. ^ ^ Best wishes with you writing endeavors!

    1. Awww, you precious thing. THANK YOU!! I shall conquer the editing. I shall! *raises red pen high*

      Yes it does! And you are writing one! And it is Christian! And just EEEEE!!! I love steampunk so much!

      Ooooh my goodness, I just looked up Curio and it sounds FANTASTIC. Thank you so much for recommending it to me! I need this book so bad!!

      Thank you so much, Victoria! <3

    2. We need to hype up Curio so we'll get more Christian steampunk! Yaaasss!

  12. *flails* YOU ARE AN AMAZING HUMAN BEAN. You accomplished so much last year--I mean, two whole novels?? :D

    And, uh, what? You mean to tell me there aren't any little fairies who come and whip my manuscripts into perfect shape during the night? o.o I was wondering why they'd been doing such a slack job recently... XD

    Those five areas you're focusing on are splendid, m'dear. I am SO excited about BT edits (*rubs hands gleefully*), and your worldbuilding for the novella was great, so whatever you manage to do above and beyond that for the full novel will be nothing short of splendiferous! Ah, balance--that elusive trait... >.> As for researching agents and publishing houses--no tips from this girl right now, since she's in the selfsame boat of wide-eyed lack of knowledge as yourself. ;) (Seriously though. Can you imagine pitching your novel to an actual, real live agent??) Oh, speaking of changing/deleting things, I hope you save old versions of your stories! I always copy it into a new Word doc every time I start a fresh round of edits. That way if a drastic change doesn't go the way I planned, I can always look back at how the story used to be. :)

    Any good writing books you read this year, be sure to shout about it on your blog so the rest of us can revel in the resources! ^_^

    Ooh, I love the name Kaliq. Surprise characters are such fun! (*cough* thinking of a certain white-haired boy here *cough*)

    That's probably a good idea, to do the researching of publishing stuff this year (and polish BT), and save actual querying for later. Still--so very exciting!!

    Steampunk! *high fives* I feel like everyone is mentioning it in their BP. XD It's obviously a hole we readers want to see filled! And oh my goodness, yes to more HMC-type stuff! I haven't even read it yet (this year. this will be the year, I tell you), but I'd love to see more whimsical stories out there. And you KNOW what I think in the clean YA department. XD

    Moving forward! Such a great way to put it! Funny thing, my pastor was just talking about that last Sunday. Moving forward in every area of life. To keep pushing on and keep growing, even when it's hard. This is going to be such a good year, Christine! <3 I can hardly wait to see where your writing goes.

    1. GAH. THANK YOU!!! I wouldn't say amazing. More like...I usually have too much time on my hands. Eheh. Or used to anyway.

      I KNOW. Boo. I mean, they expect US to edit them? What?

      Oh you. <333 I'm so glad you thought the world was okay in the novella, because it WILL be a good bit more than that in the novel, so maybe it'll be okay.
      Balancing, ugh. Such a weak point in my life. With everything, not just writing. It's a slippery thing for sure. >.>
      We shall just have to learn together then! Better with two! ^_^ (And oh my goodness, it's so terrifying. My heart was POUNDING when I sent BT into the Rooglewood judges. So...yeah. Scary. But we can do it! *fistpump*)
      Oh yes, yes, yes! I can't bear the idea of losing anything. I'll keep my first draft forever and start the second in a new document. *nods, nods*

      I'll do that for sure! And same goes to you. I'm always on the lookout for some good writing help books!

      Thank you! At first I didn't know WHAT to name her. Then Kaliq popped in my head and I wasn't sure about it, but now I kind of love it. I think it fits her. (Hahahaha! SO TRUE. Cael changed the whole SERIES. That boy. >.>)

      Hopefully it'll go well. I want to actually put effort toward it though. Because that's what I always year. But I DO need at least a year to edit and research, so I think it'll be a sound plan.

      YES. We need more steampunk! I actually wrote a steampunk book once. But it's a disastrous mess and will need completely redoing. Which I want to do, because I loved that book. It just keeps getting pushed over by other books. Someday though, someday!
      Yes, I do. XD Give us all the clean YAs!!

      That's cool about the moving forward thing! And your pastor is so right. We need to ALWAYS be moving forward, in all areas of our life. I forget that sometimes...

      Thank you, Tracey!!! I think it will be a good one. ^_^

  13. The name "Fallen Matter" sounds quite intriguing. What's it about? And it's kinda funny: just today I was remembering that flash fiction. I just bought the Audiomachine album with the track "Journey Through the Portal" on it, which is the one I thought matched the flash fiction. It was so good! ^_^

    I wish I had a clone to do things like write school essays or do the work that needs to be done so I could write more. Or if I could write while I'm sleeping... :O :P

    May you be successful in your endeavors to improve your writing! I'm sure you'll do well. ;) Just keep persevering and leaning on the One who gave you your talent, and you'll fly higher than you've gone before.

    I'm unsure about this year's Rooglewood contest as well. I've talked to you about this before, so I'm not going to talk about it all over again. :P But did you see Mrs. Stengl's Facebook post where she mentioned four of her favorite titles? Mine was one of them... O_O

    You're going to release the first chapter of BT soon?! *gasp* *flails arms in excitement* Can't wait can't wait can't wait! :D I want to rediscover the wonder and beauty of it all so badly!

    If you haven't read "Writing Fiction for Dummies" yet (no offense meant), I heartily recommend it. It's chock full of great tips. :)

    YAS. Good authors must expand into the steampunk territory. Which books have you read in the genre? I've read Leviathan (which I'd like to re-read soon)... man, I haven't read any others! :O I've only written OBaB, and I picked up The Iron Assassin (which I had really hoped would be good... I wouldn't call it porn, but it was very risqué and wandered close to that territory... :| Wish I had known that beforehand.)

    I wholeheartedly agree with you! Clean YA would be absolutely splendid! I know I've mentioned this to you before, but you should read "Knightly Academy" by Violet Haberdasher. It's not perfectly clean, but one might be tempted to call it spotless when compared to other YA books. Plus it's a light and witty read. :) And if you've never read the Ranger's Apprentice series... then what're you waiting for?! XD

    One of my biggest writing goals for this year is finishing up (or at least making HUGE progress) in a story I'm writing for the LEGO Message Boards called "An Old Face, a New Game." I've been writing this thing since the fall of 2013... no joke. And I'm not even a third of the way through it! *rubs forehead in distress*

    Other goals include:
    -finishing another LMBs story called "The Tournament of Convicts" a year or so after I started it (which was June or July of last year) and then starting the sequel (which is kind of a sequel and yet not since it's not REALLY connected, if you know what I mean XD)
    -write another fairy tale retelling (whether I enter or not is another matter entirely)
    -GET A LAPTOP (it'd make things so much easier, and I would just like to have one, for multiple reasons)
    -start writing my Portal Chronicles trilogy after buying said laptop

    I'm pretty sure those are all of my writing goals for this year. As for holes in the literary world... I can't think of anything else right now except for steampunk and clean YA. If I think of something more, I'll let you know.

    Hope this year is one of success and growth for you! ^_^


    P.S. Random question for you: I'm not sure how much time you have on your hands (what with working and editing BT), but if you have the time and desire to, would you like to read a flash fiction I wrote a couple of months back? It's about four pages (written on paper), and it's a little prequel to Darkened Slumber. I could send it to you via email if you'd like to read it. Don't feel pressured to say yes if you don't feel you can right now. I understand if you can't. :)

    1. There's a blurb on the "my stories" page, but basically it's a dystopian where they build an impenetrable cube around a city to preserve the human race because the Earth is being destroyed. Within this city they're giving young people strange abilities (such as my main character can read and bend other people's memories) for...reasons. I'm so bad at describing my books! XD But it's fun and WAY different than anything I've ever written. Someday I'll go back to it...
      Awww, you were thinking about my flash fiction piece? I feel specials. ^_^

      A clone would be amazing! Of course, if I had one she'd probably be as lazy as me... Oh man, writing while sleeping! And I always feel more creative while in that slight dream-like state. So that would be perfect!

      You are so encouraging. I needed to hear those words today. Thank you!!

      I never do anything on FB so no, I haven't seen her post. BUT EEEEEE!! THAT'S SO AWESOME!!! :D :D :D

      GAH. Your enthusiasm just made my day! Hopefully it will soon. I took a spontaneous, week long trip out of town to see my best friend and only now just returned, so it'll be a bit longer than I thought. But I'd love to get the first chapter done before the end of this month. We'll see how that goes...

      Lol! No offense at all. I know those books are really great resources for things. I don't know why it's never occurred to me to get that one. Thank you for the suggestion!

      More steampunk would be great! I've read Leviathan, too! (And have been meaning to read the other two in the trilogy forever.) And then just a few weeks ago I read one called Illusionarium by Heather Dixon and it was super awesome!! If you've never heard of it you need to check it out. I think you'd like it a lot!

      I want more clean YA more than anything else. Yes! I have Knightly Academy on my to-read list. Thank you so much for the suggestion! :D And...a few years ago I read the first Ranger's Apprentice book and wasn't super wild about it. I think I need to give it another try though, because I seem to be the only one who doesn't like it. I think it deserves another chance. *nods, nods*

      Those sound like fantastic goals! Looks like you'll have a ton of stuff to keep you busy. I so hope they all go amazingly or you!

      You wrote a ff piece for Darkened Slumber?? :O YES I WANT TO READ IT!!! I do have quite a lot on my plate right now so I don't know if I'll be able to get to it right away, but I absolutely want it regardless. So yes, send it my way! :D

    2. That sounds very mysterious. It certainly piques my interest. :) *waves hand* Come now, that wasn't such a bad description. :P
      Yep, I totally was! It was so awesome, and heart-rending, and epic... and did I mention it was awesome? XD

      It would certainly be handy if we could utilize all 24 hours of a day. I, for one, would greatly appreciate it. XD

      Glad I could be a bit of an encouragement. You're welcome! :)

      I don't go on Facebook either, save either checking Mrs. Stengl's or Rooglewood's pages. I know, right?! Frankly, I was rather shocked... O_o

      Perhaps I got a little carried away. I don't usually pinwheel my arms like that (not actually, because I'd look strange, but I did it in my head XD). Oh, that sounds cool! I hope you enjoyed your time with her... 'Twas a "her," yes? :P *gasps again* I would love that SO MUCH!!! :D <-- This face doesn't do my excitement justice.

      You're most welcome! It's definitely helped me. (And they've got some stuff about worldbuilding in there too!)

      I just got Leviathan from the library yesterday so I can re-read it in the near-ish future. *chuckles* It's kinda funny: Tracey just read that book not long ago and thought I'd enjoy it. So if you both are suggesting it... Then again, you've both said I should read Tales of Goldstone Wood. XD
      (And, uh... *ahem* sorry if I was awkward in what I said about The Iron Assassin. I later wondered if I should've said anything... <_> That's my attempt at an embarrassed face. XD)

      You're welcome (again)! XD Wha-?! Well, I would encourage you to try it again... but if you don't like it, I won't judge. :P

      Yeah, I'll be busy all right. So long as I can keep things like school and video games and whatnot in line. XD Thanks! :D

      I'll try to send it ASAP. That should hopefully mean the weekend or something. Thanks for wanting to read it! :)


    3. Awww, thanks! It was a fun story to write. It was going to be a trilogy but then Burning Thorns took over my life...
      AGH. THANK YOU!!!!!! That means so much to me!

      Using all 24 hours of a day would be AMAZING. But I do like my sleep. Like...a lot. Heh.

      You shouldn't be shocked. Your story title (and story) is AWESOME!!! That just goes to show Mrs. Stengl has good taste. *nods, nods*

      No, no, your enthusiasm totally made my day! (And all my "flailing" I say I'm supposedly doing is really just me staring at the computer screen with a bit of a smile on my face. XD) And yes, my friend was definitely a her. Lol!

      Oooh, worldbuilding. Sounds great!

      You did? Awesome!! I want to acquire the other books and read them all together one day. Now if I can just become rich to buy all these books I want...
      She did??? XDDD That's so great! See? Great minds think alike. And yes, we did say you should read the Goldstone Wood books, but this one really isn't even girly. Honestly, there's barely any romance in it, and it's from a guy's POV. Full of creepy things and constant action. I do think you'd enjoy it.
      (Oh no, no! I SO appreciate when people are honest about the content of books. And goodness knows I rant about bad material in books. Don't be embarrassed! I was grateful for the info. Also I love the embarrassed emoticon you made. Perfect. XD)

      I know. Terrible, right? I really should give them another try.

      Exactly. *nods* Gotta keep them video games properly on schedule.

      Hurray! I look forward to it! :D

  14. Hi there!
    I came across your blog from Olivia's blog, Meanwhile in Rivendell...
    I noticed that you were lamenting the fact that you haven't found many steampunk books to read. I just finished reading a REALLY good book by K. M. Weiland called Storming. It's a mix of historical and steampunk, so while not strictly steampunk I thought I'd at least tell you about it. :)
    I reviewed it here on my blog if you'd like to read what it's about:
    If you're not interested that's totally fine, too! :)

    1. Hey there! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, I'm honored!

      Oh, oh! I am always, ALWAYS open for book recommendations. They're my favorite thing. And you recommended a STEAMPUNK one at that! :D
      Okay, I just read your fantastic review and now I need this book like NOW! I just added it to my to-read shelf on GoodReads. Because I NEED. It sounds amaziiiing! And I've actually been wanting to try K.M. Weiland book for a while, so this is perfect. Thank you so very much for the recommendation!

    2. Oh, you are so welcome!! I'm glad the book intrigued you! I really hope you like it when you read it. :)


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