Beautiful Books: How’s The Writing Going?

I’m sooo behind on NaNo, guys. But I just finished one major research paper and I’m 1/2 done with another paper, so maybe after I get those out of the way I’ll take a day to…I dunno…write 10,000 words in a day. (*laughs because that will not happen*)

beautiful books

I actually should be finishing the other half of that paper, but I need a break from that, so I’m tackling Cait and Skye’s Beautiful Books tag.

Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

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My mental state is…exhausted? I was keeping up with NaNo really well that first week, but we’re on the last leg of school, and it has worn me out so much. My poor baby brother has been trying to get me to read over his story, but I haven’t yet because every time I come home I just don’t want to look at words. At all.

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

I’m actually a little annoyed, because I originally had a great opening for January Snow. But, alas, when I reshuffled the story the scene -while not scrapped entirely- was inserted a couple chapters in rather than at the beginning. I’m not particularly satisfied with my current first sentence. Which, predictably for me, is also its own paragraph:

January Snow had long ago decided that the public’s preference for alcohol was stemmed from two things: one, their own inability to face up to their problems; and two, to disguise the fact that without their liquid crutch, they would all be exposed as very tedious, very boring people.

Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

January Snow herself has given me so much trouble over the years that I never would have guessed that I’d grow to love her. But once I discovered who she is and what makes her tick, she’s become dynamic and interesting, and I love writing her.

What do you love about your novel so far?

I love my theme and the feel of it- at least what I have in my head, anyway. It’s been very difficult getting that down onto paper.

Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

Nope. I did make a name change to one of my major characters, though, but I still forget that from time to time, so his name isn’t always consistent.

What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

I love writing beginnings, because there’s something great about starting out on an adventure. I love writing endings even more because I love seeing everything come to a conclusion and wrap up. But middles? They are my nemesis.

What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music?

I usually divide my writing into word count chunks, or on occasion time chunks, and then treat myself with something every time I accomplish one of these smaller goals. For instance, I might take out three Hershey’s kisses and line them up where I can see them, and every time I write 500 words I treat myself to one, or something similar like that. And I always take small breaks after every hour of writing, to stretch or close my eyes or check social media or something. It keeps my brain from frying.

I can’t listen to music while writing, though. It’s too distracting.

What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

Well, during the school semester, I usually like working as soon as I get home. When I’m not in school, anytime from 10 in the morning to 1 in the afternoon is usually a sweet spot for me. I’m fully awake, but the day hasn’t had the chance to exhaust me yet!

I don’t have a good picture of my writing space. I have a vintage 1920s-ish dresser/desk in my room that I write on, underneath a messy bulletin board.

How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?

(Well, first of all, Batman has like 10 kids and a cow (and Alfred!) so I’m not sure he’s the best example of working alone.) But yes, when it comes to writing, I do work alone- especially with that first draft. Every once in a while I get the need to talk something out, but I don’t necessarily need another person to do that. Like Sherlock Holmes, I find skulls work just as well. Thanks to my biology-major sister, we actually do have a skull in our room. It’s fake, but it’s a skull nonetheless.

What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

The Hershey’s kisses I mentioned. Sometimes, they are all that keep me going. Chocolate is a powerful motivator.

What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

  1. Be fearless- don’t be afraid of making mistakes or risky plot and character choices. You can always go back and tweak things later, but sometimes those crazy choices turn out being the right ones.
  2. Remember that revision and editing is a thing. That first draft may be absolute trash now, but the thing is to get it written. You can transform it later, but first you have to get all those ideas down somewhere.
  3. T A K E  B R E A K S. Your body needs them. Drink lots of water! Do some jumping jacks and stretches! Pet a cat! Defeat the Joker in a surfing contest! For me, taking small (even just 5 minute) breaks helps clear my mind so the time I do spend writing is more productive.

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11 thoughts on “Beautiful Books: How’s The Writing Going?

  1. Word of your writing desk is giving me Feelings. I just bought a lovely old rolltop from a thrift store, but I’m about to move house and will not, for the foreseeable future, be able to take it with me. I am bereft!

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  2. Now I feel like I just need to go buy a skull to put next to all my Hamlet stuff. Why don’t I have a skull to talk to???

    Batman really has acquired quite the large number of um… helpers… over the years, huh?

    I might have to do this tag myself. It’s quite fun!

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    1. haha! My sister’s skull would look very out of place in a production of Hamlet, I’m afraid. It was designed for educational purposes rather than for writers who need a silent, sympathetic audience for their problems, so it’s a very colorful plastic object. 🙂

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      1. Maybe next Halloween I’ll find a nice, life-sized skull at the dollar store or something. Usually they’re garish, like purple and glittery or something. You’re right, I don’t want a colorful one 😉 But not too lifelike, or my kids will be afraid of it!

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  3. Hmm… Can’t say I’d want a skull staring at me all day, but I admit to occasionally finding consolation in having Funko-Pop Frodo or Samwise in my desk and telling myself to be as enduring amd brave in my writing journey as they were on their journey. 🙂

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