We have survived the first week of NaNo and are halfway through week two! How is this even POSSIBLE?!
My NaNo has slowed down considerably because apparently there’s this weird thing called Life that you actually have to do when you grow up. I thought that was just a myth! I didn’t mean to grow up, it was an accident! Where’s Peter Pan? I need him, quick!
Despite Life being rude and trying to wedge itself between NaNoWriMo and me, I’m still surviving (. . .I think?) and continuing to absolutely love my NaNo and spend what time with it I can. So today I shall babble about my NaNo writing life because guess whaaaat? The next Beautiful Books is HERE.
During the NaNo season, our ever delightfully imaginative Sky and Cait are taking a bit of a detour from their Beautiful People linkup to instead give us Beautiful Books where we can share all about our current WIPS and things. This month they’re more focusing on your writing process. Fun stuff! And remember this is open to ALL writers, not just ones doing NaNoWriMo. So hop (or skip if that’s more your thing) over to their posts here or here, snag those questions, and linkup!
1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
Well. . .I outlined, um, rather thoroughly (and by thoroughly I mean a 11k word, chapter by chapter outline *cough), so I had quite a good idea how it’d turn out. And since this is the 6th book of the series, I’m preeetty familiar with the setting and feel by this point. So I’d say definitely turning out almost exactly how I thought it would. Maybe even a little better which is encouraging. The actual plot and events haven’t surprised me, but a few characters’ actions have. A couple character developments leaped out of the pages as a happy surprise. I never seem to be able to plan character development, it just has to happen naturally. So I was thrilled to see it sneaking into the story. I looove me some deep character development.
Also two characters ended up sort of becoming a “couple” when I hadn’t given them permission to do that yet. So that was a thing.
2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
I’ll go with a paragraph since my first sentence is one word. XD
“West. Why in all of Aerigethel was he walking west? What would he find to the west?
Cael plopped down to the cool earth, Sii's body even cooler on his shoulder. He absentmindedly stroked the gwacier's white-blue feathers, their icy temperature not making a difference to his leathery skin. Besides, he liked the cold. It felt like home.
Not that he had a home.
(Well, okay that wasn’t exactly a “paragraph”, but apparently I like making one sentence paragraphs so I cheated a little.)
3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
I feel like I’ve dabbled in all the methods, and I know I’ve blabbered about it before, so I’ll spare you. Short version: For NaNo I do intense, ridiculous amounts of planning (which you probably guessed by the 11k outline), but I started my writing life as a pantser and still consider myself one. These days though (if it’s not NaNo at least), I meet them halfway and do a bit of plantsing. But, really, my method changes with each book.
4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
During NaNo? Updating my wordcount on the site. XD Also internet breaks. I don’t allow myself to even touch the internet until I’ve reached 2k words for the day. That definitely keeps me writing. After that, I’m allowed an internet break after every thousand words.
Basically the internet. Though cheesecake is often largely involved.
Really though, reaching my word goal is my reward. Nothing like the satisfying feeling of finally hitting that goal after tugging (or violently tearing) at your brain particles for words.
5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
I find my names inside my weird brain and then regret it. Since I mostly write fantasy, I just make up names on a whim. My main method is simply choosing the letter I want the name to start with and making up stuff from there. As a result, I end up with the dumbest, most unpronounceable names and wonder later what in the name of tangled tongues everywhere was I thinking. This was especially bad in my younger days. Some names *I* don’t even remember how they’re supposed to be pronounced. Needless to say, once I rewrite this fantasy series some names are being changed. Or at least spelled differently. >.>
6. What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
ENDINGS. Give me allll the endings. From endings of a scene, to the last page or two of a chapter, to the big climatic ending of the whole book. I just really love endings. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it. Beginnings are the hardest for me, it takes so long to get into that groove, but once I’ve set the stage and have the momentum going it’s smooth sailing. I don’t mind middles too much, honestly. But endings are like diving into a delicious dessert after being forced to eat all your vegetables.
7. Who’s your current favorite character in your novel?
HAHAHAHahaha. . .hahaha. . .HA!
Remember how I’m writing a book involving alllll da characters from the previous books in the series? They’re my baby children, you’re really going to make me CHOOSE?
Ugh. Okay, okay. Maybe Cael, who is basically a villain but sometimes it’s hard to see him like that. He’s such a polite villain. And he’s also sort of best friends with one of my protagonists and it’s just a
wonderful mess. Then there’s Airen, the prince of the kingdom all the characters are from. He’s a total jester and always lightens the mood and is completely ridiculous annnd I love him. (Just don’t tell him because if his head gets any bigger it might explode. and I have a big enough mess to clean up with this 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?!)
It’s about dragons.
And over half the books on my bookshelves involve dragons.
So. . .yeah. My researching involves reading stories. Also TV. Research, I’m telling you.
. . . . .
9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
Definitely alone! Which is a bummer because there are so many times (like this very moment) where I’m around people and need to be writing (again, right now) but can’t because people (so instead I write blog posts). For me writing is like a portal. To write properly I have to jump through that portal into my world. To become my characters, get into their heads, live within their world. Unfortunately, when people are around I just can’t go through that portal. People are too distracting, and no matter how hard I try to write around them, it never works. It makes me sad.
That said, with something like NaNoWriMo, where I know others are writing right along with me, brings this thrill I can’t even describe. And you get the best of both worlds. Because you can be a hermit writer, but still have the camaraderie of fellow writers. Writer bliss!
As far as sharing my work, I’m getting better. Used to I’d never ever let even the people closest to me read a single sentence I wrote. Write to myself. Keep it to myself. Total hermit status.
But over the years I’ve befriended the bestest of best writing buddies and they’ve coaxed me out of my writer shell. I’m still a little wary sharing, but I’m learning.
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!
Not too long ago I actually wrote about my writing process. But during NaNoWriMo it’s a smidge different. Pretty much during NaNo I use every second possible writing like a maniac, tell myself I should be writing every second I’m not, go to bed at horribly irresponsible hours because I’m writing, speed through meals to get back to writing, and fall asleep (you know, for those few hours I actually sleep during NaNo) with words behind my eyes. Then by December 1st I tear my bleary, burning eyes up from the screen and wonder what year it is and if I’m still on earth. And I love every second of it.
I don’t usually eat while writing. Emerging from my lair for food is about the only time I get a break. (I do take breaks sometimes, and ya know, FOOD. Because food.) But I do consume immense amounts of caffeine while writing.
Music is essential. Only instrumental though, lyrics distract me from entering that writing portal. But the right instrumental song eases me right through.
I write best at night. (Because who needs sleep? *cough, cough* ) But again, it goes along with that portal thing. At night, when the world is dark and quiet, I can completely forget about my own reality and enter my characters’.
Despite this, the majority of my writing gets done during the afternoon.
My writing space is mostly the chair in my room.
I also completely love writing out on the deck.
We have a screen porch I write on as well, and I’ll move to my desk if I’ve been sitting in my chair too long. I like to move around every now and again during NaNo since sitting in one spot for hours on end prooobably isn’t exactly a good idea. I also firmly believe shifting positions and changing scenery stirs around those creative juices. *nods*
And there you have it. My NaNo Life. It’s. . .something. XD
Okay, guys, are you making it through the NaNo Week 2 Blues? Usually after the first two weeks it starts feeling much more like a downhill journey. We’re almost to the halfway point, we can do this! How are you surviving NaNo? If you’re not doing NaNo (like a good, sane person) are you enjoying this lovely November? And I’m curious, can you write with people around or have to shift into hermit mode like me?