The third and final round of Beautiful Books is here! During the NaNoWriMo season, our dear hosts Sky and Cait take a slight break from their Beautiful People linkup to focus on our novels instead of characters. This month, with NaNo over and so many fresh new first drafts all written and ready for their time to shine, they’re focusing on that ever elusive thing called. . . *shifty eyes* editing. Who else but Sky and Cait can get us pumped over editing, am I right?
So shall we?
1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how did the book turn out? Did anything defy your expectations?
Hmm. . . This question is hard to answer for your own book. 7? Maybe even an 8? I haven’t read back through it since finishing, so that number may go way down once it’s had a read over. But I’m kind of in love with this story. I also tried to take my time on it and not just hurl as many words on the page as possible and call it a novel like I usually do with first drafts. . . Ahem. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairytale and I’ve wanted to write a retelling of it since I was a small thing, so this story is very dear to my heart. And, though I think it could use quite a bit of expanding, I really enjoyed the world. Then there’s the cast. Ah, the cast. They’re all so precious to me. So yeah, I love this story.
Defy my expectations? Huh. Well, one character arc turned out way deeper than I thought it would, which was a happy surprise. I also rather like the style of the writing. I tried something a smidge different and (I think) it turned out better than I expected.
Again though, once I read back through it I may disregard all of this and return saying it’s a total pigpen of a book. These things happen.
2. Comparative title time: what published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men.)
The story world was deeply inspired by the Maleficent movie. I had just seen the movie when the first inklings of this story were coming together, and being as how Maleficent is one of my favorite movies and has my favorite feel of a fairytale story, it definitely leaked into Burning Thorns. So I guess you could say the Beauty and Beast story meets the Maleficent movie? I don’t even know. I’m the worst at comparing my stories with things.
3. Do you enjoy working with deadlines and pressure (aka NaNoWriMo)? Or do you prefer to write-as-you’re-inspired?
DEADLINES. Give me allll the deadlines. I would never write, ever, if I didn’t have things like NaNoWriMo or give myself personal goals. I feed off goals. The only reason BT is finished is because I set a 30k goal during June to get a huge boost on it, then promised myself I’d have it done by the end of July. Otherwise it’d probably just be a sad, unfinished story sitting in the dark places of my laptop. If you give me a goal, I’ll get things done, almost to an OCD level. But left on my own I’ll. . .have Netflix marathons and scroll on Pinterest all day. >.>
4. How do you go about editing? Give us an insight into your editing process.
I’ll let you in on a secret. I. . .haven’t edited much at all in my life. I’m terrible about getting distracted by shiny new ideas and not taking the time to polish up all those first drafts waiting around. It’s a horrible habit, I know. But I WILL edit BT. I WILL. You guys have to keep my accountable, okay?
My plan for editing is to first just read through the whole thing and take notes as I go. Then go back and fix any major things. Once that is done, I’m going to open a fresh document, put the manuscript next to it, and rewrite the whole thing. Yep, word for word. From beginning to end. I feel like it might help instead of just looking through the mass of text and fixing it that way. If I’m actually retyping each and every word, I might catch more problems that otherwise I’d miss. Then, once the whooole thing is retyped out and fixed up, I’ll probably go back again and tweak things.
It may be long and tedious and not work at all, but right now I’m feeling optimistic. (I’m sure by around February or so I’ll be crawling back here moaning and sleep deprived and questioning my life choices. As one does while editing.)
5. What aspect of your story needs the most work?
Like I said earlier, I feel as though the world could use. . .more. I like the world, a lot, but it needs some expanding. I want to make the creatures more unique, put more history to things. Just make it in general more interesting. I tend to be limited and cliché when it comes to worldbuilding, it’s a pretty bad weakness of mine. I hope to remedy that with this story. Hope being the keyword here.
6. What aspect of your story did you love the most?
Gracious, I loved so many things while writing it. But my answer to this question, with any story, is always the same: The characters. I don’t care what I’m writing, my favorite part is always the characters. They are the heart and soul of a story after all. And they come from my heart and soul. I will never tire of writing solely because of the characters. This story I really felt like I dove deep within my characters because this was probably the smallest cast I’ve ever had. Usually I have pretty big casts, but, to my surprise, this story showed me I may enjoy smaller casts better. First of all, it’s not nearly as overwhelming; but second, I’m able to more deeply pour myself into each one. These characters was without a doubt my favorite aspect of BT.
7. Give us a brief run down on your main characters and how you think they turned out. Do you think they’ll need changes in edits?
Funny how my last answer perfectly brought us to the next question. XD
My main main character, Rose, is naïve and still clings to a childlike wonder that keeps her from falling too deep into the darkness that has become her world. Sometimes this is a very good thing, but sometimes. . . not. She’s gullible and trusts people far too easily which gets her in quite a lot of trouble. Usually I want to hug her and tell her everything is okay. Instead I ruin her life. As writers do.
The Beast is one of my favorite types of characters. The seemingly callous, dark guy who ends up having a big heart, even if you have to dig pretty deep to find it.
Lystraea (some of you may know her as Selia, she’s had a name change) was one of my favorite surprises. At first she was a little too perfect and it kind of distressed me, but eventually I discovered some serious backstory that really brought some interesting messages in the story and showed she’s quite human (even though she’s technically a fae and not human at all, but details).
Anya is mostly an antagonist and malicious and hateful. And yet I found her way of thinking completely fascinating. I don’t even know why. She felt different than any character I’ve ever attempted to write. Her POVs were always interesting.
Marigold was the most surprising of all. As Anya’s lapdog basically, and a spoiled brat at that, I expected to be completely annoyed by her. Instead she stole my heart. She’s still a brat, but her spoiled ways were more amusing than annoying. And I discovered a lot more to her than I originally knew. Her childish, fiery spirit provided a lot of fun adventures.
And if you’ve read my blog since the beginning of this year you probably know my feelings on Larke, the sarcastic, mischievous fae that decided to steal the show and cause all sorts of
Right now I don’t feel like they’ll need much changing, but I really need to read through it before I can properly answer these questions.
8. 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?
Edits, edits, and more edits. I’ll be sending out a chapter at a time to my beta readers as I deem each chapter readable enough for mortal eyes. Once that is done. . .well, querying shall be considered. *hides under blanket*
9. Share a favorite snippet!
“Rose picked her way along the Forest floor, clinging to her fading candle. Yet no dark fae stirred in the shadows, no thorny vines reached out and caught the skirt of her dress, no thick branches barred her way. Instead the cold mist pushed at her ankles until the castle's entrance loomed over her. The Forest wanted her here, craved vengeance.
10. What are your writing goals and plans for 2016?
Drinking too much caffeine and crying. Ahem. I mean, editing. I plan on pouring myself into BT to the best of my ability. Then, once October hits, I’ll start planning the final book of the Colors of a Dragon Scale series for NaNoWriMo. Buuut let’s not get ahead. Of course, plans hate me and love to dump out like a box of crayons and splay all over in a jumbled mess, but for now we’ll pretend this is my plan.
Wow. Now I’m even more excited about returning to this story. I’ve left it completely alone for months. I’m rather thrilled to go back. Hurray for Sky and Cait and their awesomely helpful linkups!
So, I need to know, am I the only one still in shock that NaNo is over? Do you have any big editing projects in the horizon? And what are YOUR 2016 writing plans? Do tell me of all the beautiful writerly things that shall spawn with the new year!