Friday, January 6, 2017

Beautiful Books - In Greater Hands (Continuing Plans)

Hello again. :) I am here today with the last of the Beautiful Books link-up (Aww!) right before the first of this year's Beautiful People link-up (Yay!), from the lovely Cait and Sky. I am doing it for my long-neglected NaNo project, In Greater Hands (you know what, I think I'm beginning to get the hang of the whole title-thingy for stories...maybe). Anyways, I guess I'll get onto it rather than gabbing on longer.

What were your writing achievements last year?
Well... I guess this isn't with In Greater Hands, but my first recognizable story, Alomina, reached the 50k required word mark (and it's still going at 192 pages!), thus becoming an official novel. And I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first (and possibly last) time last year as well. And I also started at least two new books (In Greater Hands and The Second Brother). I also have made at least sixteen new characters (what, only sixteen?!) in various stories of 2016. I started a writing blog, and I got a group of little girls I knew in another state to start their own writing group. I researched more on writing techniques and different means of publishing, and I even may have picked up a few things. ;)
What's on your writerly "to-do" list for 2017?
Uh, well...I want to try to finish a book. I really, really want to finish Alomina before its anniversary in August, so I don't have to say I was working on it for three years before finishing it! I am pretty close, and I very highly hope I can indeed finish it soon (but it's probably not going to happen, knowing me). I also want to make it through the outlined part of In Greater Hands, so I can continue on my lovely little improvising way. Outlines. Are. So. Boring. Besides, everybody knows they're more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules. ;)

But, other than those above, I do plan to start another story, which shall as of the moment remain mysterious. Spoilers! :) I also plan to introduce more characters, at least a few, probably a few million. ;) And... sadly, I have to kill some characters too. I have at least five characters singled out, and I had hoped to get most of them done with before the end of 2016, so as to give a new start to the new year, but... no. I only took care of one, and set the stage for another three. I would give more detail, except I know that there are ears everywhere (meaning, among my blog-reading crowd, my novel-readers are there, and constantly alert for spoilers to tell them what happens). So, I guess my plan would be summed up thus - Finish book, throw rules in trash, kill off characters. ;)
Tell us about your top-priority writing projects this year!
Well, my main priority stories will be Alomina and In Greater Hands, but I also mean to try and straighten out the tangled labyrinths of plot that exist in Alagna and Anwynne's Adventures. Seriously. Alomina is a baby that desperately needs care. There's a whole character and sub-plot to match him that I haven't even added in yet more than a mention. There's a first chapter that is nothing but long and lovely description rather than any action or relevance. There's two characters that die (or at least come close to) and I've only gotten around to killing one of them. It is definitely my top-priority writing-wise.
How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
Well, I hope to stop being such a wimp, for one thing. Every time I get even close to killing a character off, I chicken out, and either delay it or help them out. I just can't kill my ink-and-paper children! It's not right!!!! *sobs uncontrollably* Ahem. Anyways... I do need to toughen up about it, but I also need to get better on another count - villains. So, my villain in Alomina is well-developed and all, but I'm not really sure it shows in the actual writing. If everything I knew about him was in there, I think it might be a bit different. I made up a lot of stuff for him! It's just that... I don't quite know how to communicate all his development in the writing. And then there's the frustrating ultra-developed villains in slightly newer stories, which irritate me like nothing else because they're all Mister or Miss Perfect Really Cool Evil Villain. *sighs* Oh well. As for where I see myself at the end of 2017... I see myself with Alomina and The Top-Hat Gang book one both finished, and almost finished with Alagna and Anwynne's Adventures, and finally having the guts to have killed off some characters, and with a title for my heroine-titled books. Yeah... probably not happening... :P
The disbelieving voices in my head when they hear me thinking I can get two stories finished. :P
Describe your general editing process.
Well, I am one of those writers whom I call poeticists (basically people who write with poetic or classical descriptive styles, and so like to have just the right wording for every little tiny atom of that story). So I edit as I go. I edit very basely as I am writing, and then I edit even more when I type, and then when I add on new scenes to the typed document, I edit it and the old stuff even more. So, my editing process is kind-of just my writing process.
On a scale from 1 to 10, how do you think this draft turned out?
Well, I'm not as irritated with it as I was when I first finished NaNo (which was irritated enough to describe the story as "As horrid-sounding as kale with mayonnaise"). I actually almost think I might be able to look at it again soon. ;) On a scale of 1 to 10, I might say a six in comparison to my other stories, only because a) it was waaaaaay to intense for me because it actually had action in it, b) it had absolutely no romance or even grounds for such to speak of because the original intended romance may not work out so well now with the new character developments, and c) my favorite characters to write kept going missing or leaving. However, for itself, I might bump it up to a seven, only because if it was the only novel I'd ever written, it'd be good (plus I wrote it in terrible conditions, including stress, dizzy spells, and overall insane busy-ness without editing). But, like I said, in comparison to my other stories, it wasn't that great.
What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
Um, probably the fact that I have two different villains that I have no idea what to do with once they're vanquished, so to speak. I mean what do you really do with villains on such a large scale?! One of them is pretty much national level, so, I especially have no idea there. :P
What do you like most about your draft?
That can be summed up in three words. Bertie. Vance. Tsonja. The three characters that hit me like a subway train. Vance was expected to do so from the very beginning, but I thought he would be the only one taking the stage so much. Then Bertie came in. Bertie was just supposed to be some kind-of dry, funny Aussie special-force guy, but he walked in, and changed himself into one of the most delightful sights ever. He came in, and his mental image changed from a boring shortbread cookie to the most delicious 'smore you ever saw. He immediately became fascinating, and hilarious, and so amazingly sweet. He threatens to become my favorite after Vance (Wait, I'm their author, I'm not supposed to take favorites! *to self* Shush, you!). And then there was Tsonja. For the most part, my female characters never interest me very much. Sometimes there's a particularly interesting one here or there inserted at random, but they're not regularly competing for my favorite. Tsonja was. I heard her voice so clearly in my head... I had to force myself to write down her accent rather than just writing what she said, because my mind would hear her so well and then translate it, so to speak. She came through sooooo clearly, it was like writing down somebody I knew. She's natively Russian, so sometimes she uses very European-sounding phrases or has broken English (man, I wish I could speak Russian!). She's a bit sarcastic, very reclusive, characteristic, traditional, and Russian tough-lady to the very core. There are very few of my female characters that spoke to me as much as Tsonja Ristoff.

My rendition of Tsonja Ristoff, although, not entirely accurate looks-wise, as they didn't have a shade of blond hair light enough on this particular designing-site when I made it.

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?
Well, finishing it is my current plan, and then finding beta-readers (which shouldn't be too hard). Although, I might consider the dark hole idea too. ;)
What is your main piece of advice for those just finishing a first draft?
Well, seeing as I'm always on my third or fourth draft before I ever finish the book (due to excessive editing habits) I can't really say much there. Especially since I have never finished a novel. My main advice might be more like a hyper-excited congratulations than advice, because they accomplished something I never have. :P Oh well. :)
Anyways, those're my plans for In Greater Hands (hey, a slant rhyme!). Hopefully, they don't get sidetracked too much. ;) But, writing rules are made to be bent a little anyways, so I think that it should be okay even if I do get sidetracked.
There you go! What did you think? Is there any chance that I have some potential beta-readers in my audience...? Is anybody else wishing that they could speak Russian?


  1. I love all your story titles! They're so intriguing :)

    A+ POTC GIF USE. 10/10

    That's my exact editing process! I edit as I go as well. I just can't stand the thought of words sitting raw and unedited on the pages behind me :) I usually stop every ten pages and edit what I up until that point.

    Best of luck with Alomina!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. Oh, yeah, editing as you go is so much more satisfying! Plus, then you don't have reader-phobia. ;)
      Thank you so much for stopping by, and thanks for the well wishes!

  2. @_@ I want to be your beta reader! please!
    and I do want to speak Russian, but it is not on my priority list. I think Korean (because my husband's sister in law is Korean) and Japanese (because I like anime).
    I wouldn't mind Russian, some of my friends studied Medicine there, it's cool. I just want to speak 6 languages like they do, because I only speak 5.
    by the way, hopped over from PaperFury. Don't delete me

  3. Oh, thank you! :) I may post snippets of the story soon, actually. I already have snippets of Alomina on a previous post, and the whole story up to Chapter Thirteen on this lovely critique site -
    I'm glad you find it interesting! :
    As for Russian, I wanna speak it sooo bad... Ooh, Japanese! I would also love to speak Japanese. Didn't use to want to because I didn't realize how pretty it was until I watched a concert of my favorite band in Japan, and one of the guys spoke Japanese the whole way through all his talking parts. Then I really heard it and realized how cool it sounds, and now I kinda wanna learn it too.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks! :) And thanks for stopping by!

  5. Ooh!! I can't wait to read this!!! (For I shall be one of your beta readers. I will steal that title if for some reason you withhold it from me.) I still have a feeling I will like Bertie the best. :)

    And, as you know, I love Alomina. :)

    A new story?? I can't wait to hear!!

    Wow! You accomplished a lot last year! And I'm sure you'll accomplish a lot this year, too. :)

    1. Yeah... uh, when you do read it, you may be a bit angry... I kinda started Bertie out by beating the guy up (by blowing up his plane, to be specific). :)

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  7. Oh, wow, so many writing projects on this year - good luck with them all! :)

    I used to edit as I go (going as far as beginning every writing session by starting at the beginning of the story before I could move onto the next scene) but I've found I never get anything done and had to ditch that. My current project is such a mess though!


    1. Thank you! And the same with your own!
      Yeah... well, it works for some people, I guess. :) Good luck!

  8. I think Barbossa is a good spokesman for New Year's Resolutions in general, haha. Still, congratulations on getting to the coveted 50k! Even if NaNo wasn't so great, you still got to that novel mark, regardless of whether it was during November or not. It sounds like you need to become a bit more villainous yourself though, haha. But I'm sure you can tackle this goals nonetheless. =)

    Elisabeth @ Inkspelled Faery

    1. Haha, yeah, Barbossa. :)
      And I don't regret NaNo. The only thing I regret is the forcing myself to believe I had to, thus damaging my health and my writing. Other than that, I believe I got a good deal done! :D
      Thanks! :) And thanks for stopping by!

    2. Oh, don't ever put your health over NaNo. :( No, no, no. Clearly, you did quite well even without it.

    3. Well, uh, I did okay. And also made myself not want to look at the story again for a year. :P ;)

  9. That's awesome that you reached 50k for Alomina! And I bet you will finish it this year! You can do it! And it's totally awesome that you loved your characters for you new book! That's extremely important! I can't stand when my characters are being difficult. :)

    1. Yes, isn't it??!!!! I literally followed Maria around the whole rest of the day just kind-of smiling and occasionally bursting out into another delighted squeal. :) Yeah... the characters are really one of the only reasons I'm keeping the book. The prose is okay in the latter half, but it's a mess before that. And yeah, the plot is... good by modern writing standards, but it's way too intense for me!!! I will read intense things, but with how much I get into writing, I can't stand writing them! Thankfully, calm Tsonja, funny Bertie, and unexpected Vance all jumped in to save the day from chaos. :)