Friday, November 20, 2015

Beautiful Books: November 2015

You know how when you promise to post more on your blog, there tends to be this thing that happens, which includes not posting more? Yeah. I'm in the final month of my last semester of undergrad. Forever.

So I apologize for my continual absence. Fingers crossed I'll be around more in a month. I'm still writing for The Fangirl Initiative every week. And I'm thick into my novel for NaNoWriMo.

Since it's NaNoWriMo, I'm here to answer the next month of Beautiful Books questions! You can find out more about Beautiful Books here and participate yourself by answering this month's questions here. Since the questions are about writing processes, you don't necessarily need to be participating in NaNoWriMo to join in!

In the words of Disney's Peter Pan, "Here we go!" (I will be answering the questions for my NaNo novel, The Secret Library Society, which you can learn more about here.)

Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
Yes and no. It's going along the same vein I had originally hope, but it's definitely given me some surprises and twists I didn't see coming. Plus, it's becoming something better and more important than I thought possible.

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
Arthur Benedict Williams was a very special boy. And he definitely deserved it.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
Panster the whole way. I've tried plotting, but I lose interest or don't stick to it. So I usually write with some ideas of what will happen (important plot points, scenes, or the ending/beginning, etc.) and let the rest just take over as I go. This is why lots of surprises and twists end up popping in and shocking me.

What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
Sleep. Food. More writing? It's hard because I just sit down to write and stop when I'm finished for the day. So far it hasn't been hard for me to sit down and write. It's hard to stop and go to sleep or get ready for the day (or do the things I'm responsible for).

What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
I'm not sure what this question is asking. I usually just come up with a character and write down the first name that comes up. Sometimes I do go looking for names to fit specific characters.

For example, I've got two Pages in my novel (not like pages in a book but the people who shelf books). They're part of the Secret Library Society and their jobs are like "police officers" of the Library. They protect the Library. So I cleverly named them Recto and Verso, which mean the right hand side and left hand side of a book, respectively. (Oh, how I love play on words.)

Other names are taken from people I know who work in libraries.

What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
This is so hard to answer. It truly depends on the story for me. Sometimes I like the beginning because I get to launch myself into the story and into a  new world. Other times I like the ending because it's satisfying to write those final words, which wrap up the whole novel. But I've been enjoying the middle of this particular novel because I knew the beginning and end before I started. But I didn't know the middle. I've been having a blast exploring the middle.

Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
This is also so hard to answer. I adore Arthur because he's just this adorable little baby of mine. But Recto and Verso have been fun to write, as well as the other Inkling Arthur meets.

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?!)
I've been researching a lot about books and libraries from before 1960. The book is set in 1960ish, so I can't have Arthur reading books that weren't out yet or weren't popular enough yet. Plus, the library system was quite different in the 50s-60s than it is today. I've also been looking up book covers of books for different years (though, I will probably need to fix this during edits).

I think the weirdest thing I researched were tools used in a library that could be used as a weapon. Hey, this is a fantasy! :)

Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
Definitely alone. I can generate ideas with others or talk to them about what is happening (like, oops Arthur just book-jumped to Narnia) but I can't write with other people around. It interrupts my flow. I will shares this with people eventually, but I like to keep first drafts--especially incomplete first drafts--to myself. When I started editing and need feedback, I'll share.

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!
I don't have many habits. I don't write the same time every day. Sometimes I eat, sometimes I don't. I usually do have a cup of water nearby but I also usually forget it's there and never drink it. I like to listen to instrumental music to help the flow (8-tracks playlists are the best). But sometimes, I get so into the zone, I don't even realize the music has stopped playing for twenty minutes!  I also tend to write wherever I am (provided there are no people to bother me; dogs are ok). So my writing space is the WORLD.

Well, that's all of them. I hope you enjoyed. Let me know something interesting about your writing process in the comments. And tell me if you're participating in NaNo or Beautiful Books!

My current word total is: 38,085 (with plenty of time to spare!)



  1. I'm glad your story is going well for you! I love when surprises come up. ^ ^ That's why I'm a halfbreed between plotter and panster so those can still happen haha! Your research sounds really fun. What are some differences in the library system now and back then? Happy NaNo!

    1. :D Thanks.

      The biggest difference is libraries didn't use computers to do most of the work (checking books in & out, indexing everything, putting books on hold, ordering books, etc.). They used the card catalog instead (though I technically didn't have to research this because I already knew about it). Most of the time-period details will be more precisely added in later. I'm just trying to get basic plot down and I'll fill up the world with details once I've done real research toward it (pretty much just googling random stuff).