Annnnd I am back to go ahead and answer the questions to my Know the Novel linkup, which I posted yesterday if you missed it. *wink, wink*
I have news. Super excited, happy neeews…
I FINISHED WRITING KINGS BLEED GOLD.
Fiiinally. IT. IS. DONE. I mean, the first draft is done… It needs a total uber major rewrite but we’re not thinking about that right now because IT IS WRITTEN AND I AM SO RELIEVED. I feverishly kept writing through all this first week of December and Thursday night, December 6th, I made it to THE END. I may be a teeny tiny bit over enthused. But WHEW. I didn’t know if this beast was ever gonna get finished. Having to keep writing through some of December after non-stop writing alllll of November was, well, overwhelming. But I am stubborn and was determined to not stop until it was done! And strangely? All these last few days of writing went way better than almost any days during NaNo. GO FIGURE. I thiiink it may have been because I was writing super fast-paced, exciting climatic stuff, which always goes really fast for me. BUT STILL. If only writing had been so fast and easy during NaNo. *rolls eyes* Ah well, it’s finished and that’s what matters!
Annnd it ended up being 129,042 words. O_O Yeah. Just HOW? Because, if you’ll remember, this was gonna be a standalone but I decided to split the story into a duology or trilogy. And yet it still ended up being a 130k beast. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??? But I’m just happy to be done. I wrote 36 days in a row. Like…every single day for 36 days straight. I think that’s a record for me. Which may sound pathetic to some of you who write every single day but, sadly, I am not one of those magical writing fairies. Writing every day is nooot I habit I have, unfortunately, so I was pleased with my 36-day record. XD
ANYWAYS. Kings Bleed Gold is FINISHED. AND I AM SO HAPPY!!!! So to celebrate, I shall be doing my own linkup (lolz) and telling you guys allll about how the writing overall went! Woot, woot!
THE WRITING OF
KINGS BLEED GOLD
1.) Firstly, how did writing this novel go all around?
Well, I think? We’ll pretend? There were some grueling days but, as with every NaNo, now that I look back at it, all I can think of is how fond I am of the story and how much I enjoyed being immersed in it for a month, instead of remembering all the maaany days I really just wanted to lay on the floor and whine instead of write. In fact, I already miss writing it, despite being so, SO ready to be done. Now I just feel kinda empty and desperately miss the characters… I tend to always do this when I finish a novel. Being a writer is an emotional ride. XD
But yeah, overall I’d definitely say it went well. I actually sorta kinda think it’s one of my most polished NaNo novels. Which is hilarious, because it’s a MESS. But I was a liiiittle more careful with the writing than I usually am during NaNo. Still though, I suspect every single word needs rewriting. Eheh.
2.) Did it turn out like you expected or completely different? And how do you feel about the outcome?
It actually stayed to my outline for the most part, thank goodness! Though there were a few things, once I started writing, that I realized weren’t going to work and had to be readjusted. I’m weird in that way. I’ll outline something that seems perfectly logical, then once I get in the story and write it, I see all the flaws and holes. Is that just me? I still think I’m a pantser at heart, despite hardcore outlining all my last novels for years now. I just see the story so much clearer once I write.
So the events all stayed along with the outline, but there was some backstory and certain aspects of like the world and magic system that shifted a bit as I wrote. But it all became much better than I had outlined, so that’s good! My stories tend to always tell me what should happen. XD Though some things I decided to change halfway through and just kept writing as if they had already happened so yeah, thank goodness editing is a thing.
Also, some of my characters’ motivations took me by complete surprise, mainly a couple of my antagonists. I thought I knew them, but apparently not???? I liked that though. It kept the process interesting for me.
3.) What aspect of the story did you love writing about the most? (Characters, plot, setting, prose, etc.)
I mean, OBVIOUSLY the characters. Is that any surprise at all? No, no it is not. Making Midas go from a totally bratty, immature prince to a sacrificial hero got my all emotional. You know how I feel ‘bout them character arcs. Korinna and Syram also had some arcs as they overcame their fears and just alkdjflsjldkjfs I LOVED IT. Characters is seriously the reason I write. I’m obsessed.
Though, I have to say, all the magic and Midas turning things to gold was a super fun aspect to work with. I was worried it’d be stressful having a character who turns eeeverything to gold with a single touch of his skin. Like…how was that even going to work? But, actually? The challenge was a BLAST. The amount of things that he kept accidentally turning to gold were hilarious, and working with someone who could have no physical touch was very interesting and different. This is super bizarre, but I was in his head so much, that when I had other characters interact I sort of forgot they could touch??? Like, I’d have a characters squeeze another’s arm or hug or something and my first instinct was like, “Wait they can’t touch!” And then I realized…they’re not Midas. They’re not going to turn to gold. Touching is fine. Yeah, I don’t even know. But that was a rabbit trail. (Also, Midas wears special fairy-made clothes and gloves, if you’re wondering how he functions day-to-day.)
All that to say, working with a character who turns everything to gold was a very interesting challenge that I surprisingly liked. A lot.
My Midas would be horrified to be depicted this way, oh my gracious. XDDD
4.) How about your least favorite part?
Hmmm… I kind of had a pretty hard time figuring out how the dragons’ underground home worked and how to describe it all. I had a good picture in my head of everything, but getting it down on words was a whole other story.
5.) What do you feel like needs the most work?
*points up* I think the whole underground world thing is gonna need some fleshing out. And, like I said earlier, I ended up changing some things halfway through the story, and I feel like there’s a plot hole or two involving the magic system and the villains’ plans that will need some more brainstorming and smoothing out. This whole plot just hurt my brain.
Me during the whole process of creating this book.
6.) How do you feel about your characters now that the novel is done? Who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Anyone surprise you? Give us all the details!
*see questions #3* Eheheheh. I really loved my bbys. I know I’ve been so subtle about it. *grins*
My favorite is Syram, obviously. (#noshame) Although, truthfully, I loved them ALL in different ways. Even the antagonists because, like I said, they really surprised me with their motivations and their thought processes intrigued me greatly. (So vague I know, but #spoilers.) I think ALL of the characters surprised me more so than any cast I’ve ever written. Usually I know my characters really well before writing the novel, and I thought I knew all of them but…wow. Apparently not. It was such a blast exploring them though. I ended up falling in love with them more and more the farther I got into the novel. I can’t really say I have a least favorite. Perhaps a certain villain or two, but they’re supposed to be unlikable so…
I think my most favorite thing was the 3-way relationship between Midas, Korinna, and Syram. Midas learned to care about Korinna and Syram SO MUCH, and Korinna and Midas were constantly like “Syram is our child and must be protected at all times” despite him being a little older than them. Lol. And Korinna and Syram kept teaming up to get Reckless Midas out of all sorts of jams, while Midas and Syram had such a fun buddy-buddy relationship. They all had different dynamics with each other, but worked the best when they were all together and UGH. THEY MAKE ME HAPPY. And break my heart… *cough, cough*
7.) What’s your next plan of action with this novel?
Let it sit in the dark recesses of my laptop for…a while. LOLZ. So exciting. But I have other projects clamoring for my attention now that it’s done. I 100% plan on coming back to it and giving it the big, major rewrite it deserves, because I seriously love this story idea and want to turn it into something readable. Buuut I don’t know when said rewrite will happen. For now I’m taking a writing break, then will be diving back into yet another round of edits for Burning Thorns come the new year. So yeah, poor Kings Bleed Gold will have to wait for a bit.
8.) If you could have your greatest dream realized for this novel, what would it be?
Well, my greatest dream for all my novels is to be traditionally published. I’d loooove that for this one. Though this one is a bit different in that, if I pursue publishing with it (which I hope to do one day!), I’d probably pitch it to the general market instead of the Christian market. Though, yes, naturally it’s got my worldviews in the themes, as anyone’s books would, it’s one of my few books that doesn’t have an outright God figure. And I think Christians should have more books in the general market. But that’s a post for a another day! Haha.
9.) Share a snippet of one of your most favorite scenes!
Wellllll, here’s Midas and Syram’s first ever meeting. I was so excited for this scene, because it was my first time to “officially” meet Syram as well. You can tell this is early on in the story from Midas’ bratty-ness. Hehe.
“Are you thirsty?”
Midas’ eyes snapped open. When had he even fallen asleep? He winced at the pounding in his head as he pulled it up. A face peered at him through the bars. Sucking in a breath, he leapt to his feet, but the sudden motion sent spikes of pain down his body. He hissed and pressed his gloved hand against the wall to balance himself.
He focused again on the person outside his cell, and was in for another shock. It was one of the strangest people he had every seen. The man seemed to be about his age and height, but with a wild head of shockingly red hair stuffed under a rounded leather cap. His skin was neither fair nor dark, but almost ashen, though that could have been the dim lighting. Though it was his eyes that was the oddest of all. The large, almond-shaped, amber colored things practically glowed in the dark. There was a boyish playfulness to them but something else as well, though he couldn’t pinpoint what. This man was clearly foreign. Or…foreign to Chrysafel anyway.
The man studied him for moment, his head cocked. “You’re the one with the golden touch?”
He blinked. There was now gold woven all throughout the floor and walls of his cell, as well as the floor outside it. “I would think that’s rather obvious.”
The redhead just grinned. “Would you turn something gold for me?”
He narrowed his eyes. “Just because I’m in a cell and you’re not, doesn’t mean I’m some form of entertainment for you.”
“No, of course not. I just thought you might would want some water.” He pulled up a water flask in his hand.
At the sight, his dry tongue scraped over his cracked lips, but even still, he wasn’t pleased with the treatment he was receiving. “So you’re going to let this wounded, dehydrated man go thirsty unless he does something for you?”
The other’s strange eyes flashed in what seemed to be pure surprise. “No, no. That’s not what I meant. I just…well… Never mind. Here.” He held the flask between the bars. “Take all of it. Free of charge.”
He stared at the flask for a moment. What if this was some sort of trick of the dragons? He eyed the man again, who smiled at him and shook the flask like an eager child. Sighing, he took it with his gloved hand, thirst winning out. The water was cold and fresh and glorious. After multiple gulps, he poured the rest down his back and released a sigh of relief as it trickled down his wound and cleared the dirt. Once he had used up every last drop, he handed it back to the man.
“Water does not turn to gold when it touches you?”
“No, liquid never does. Thank the heavens.” He grimaced. “Can you imagine never being able to take a bath?”
Mischief gleamed in the man’s eyes. “Well, truthfully, that’s why I asked. The way you look and smell—doesn’t seem like you’ve bathed in years.”
He opened his mouth to retort, but then looked down at his bloodied, dirt-caked clothes. Maybe it was the relief of the water or the exhaustion or just the completely absurdity of everything, but a laugh escaped him. “You have a point.” Now feeling far more clear-headed, he softened up to the person. “Thank you for the water, by the way. I…suppose it wouldn’t hurt for me to turn just one thing gold for you, since you did bring me water.”
The man’s face broke into pure delight and he dug into his stained, threadbare trousers and pulled out a rough rock with a short point.
Midas frowned at the thing. “That’s what you want gold?”
He nodded enthusiastically.
Shrugging, he reached out his exposed hand. The man dropped the rock into it and his eyes sparked in awe as the rock transformed to pure gold in a matter of seconds. Slowly, he pinched it between two fingers, careful to not touch Midas’ hand, and then held it up to examine it closely.
Despite himself, Midas couldn’t stop a chuckle escaping his lips. “You’d think I’d be pretty used to the sight of gold by now, but honestly, I never get tired of it.”
10.) Did you glean any new writing and/or life lessons from writing this novel?
Oh goodness, I feel like I learn something new about my writing and myself with every single book. Which is why I love doing NaNo. Because even though it always ends in a ridiculously messy draft that will probably need to be completely rewritten, I’ve grown and learned so much about writing through all my years of NaNo-ing.
I already mentioned in my after NaNo post last week that writing such a dark book in the span of 30 days kinda depressed me. My heavier books miiight should be saved for non-NaNo months, when I’m writing slower.
Another huge thing that struck me was a bit of a surprise. As I’ve said before, I used to be a hardcore pantser, but these days outline my novels to excruciating levels. But, as I was writing this, the few times I ended up having to pants a scene because someone’s motivations and/or backstories decided to change on me, it ended up being way better than anything I plotted out. That got me thinking to the last book I fully pantsed (which was allll the way back in 2014 yeah o.o), and how well the plot unfolded. And it hit me: I think my stories turn out better when they can organically come together, instead of me forcefully trying to come up with a full plot in like a month.
What this means for my future novels… I don’t know. My outlines are my lifelines for NaNo novels, so I still may use them during NaNo. Buuut I might should try to be a little more loose with them, and perhaps attempt a bit of pantsing again and see what happens. I rather miss pantsing, honestly, even though the idea kind of scares me because, again, outline = lifeline because it helps me not run down rabbit trails and chase random subplots that lead nowhere (which deeefinitely happens while pantsing, for me at least). So I don’t know. It’s something I’m pondering right now.
I feel like there were a dozen other little lessons I learned while writing, because there always are, but I’d say that was the big epiphany for this novel. I always have at least one with each story. XD Writing is an adventure for sure!
And here we come to The End. Because…I think I may actually be done blabbering about NaNo and Kings Bleed Gold. :O I’ve only blogged nonstop about them for the past 2 months. *COUGH* You gotta love NaNo season. *grins*
But, well, I really do love NaNo season. It’s such an exciting, crazy time, and it makes it a thousand times better sharing with friends. So THANK YOU for putting up with all my crazed NaNo babbles and repeated talk of KBG. It’s been a wild ride, guys. But WE MADE IT!
NaNo is over, I’ve officially finished KBG, and now I’m allllll set to do all the Christmas-y things, have a refreshing writing break, and enjoy this magical month. I’M EXCITED!
Don’t forgot you can answer these questions and join the linkup yourself HERE!!!
TALK WITH ME!
(If you need me I’ll be over here reading and watching movies and eating Christmas cookies.)
Are you relieved I’m finally done with all my NaNo talk? Bwahahaha. Okay, but really, who’s excited that it’s Christmas time? (Meeeee!) What’s your plans for the month? Anyone still writing? Or are you taking a break for the holidays?