Thursday, November 24, 2016

Beautiful Books: November 2016

November has proven to be a busy month. I started a new project with a few friends: a high fantasy serial story called Thieves of Bakkaj. Basically, the four of us will switch off writing chapters to tell a story about a handful of heroic thieves. And it's going to be epic. The first four chapters are already available to read, and we'll be releasing a new chapter every week. Check it out and let me know what you think! (Also, I'm super stoked for you to read because this is the project Ryker and Wren are from!)

In addition, I've been rewriting and editing A Girl and Her Dragon for Nanowrimo. How is it going? Well, I'm glad you asked. This month's Beautiful Books link-up is all about mid-Nano progress! Here are the questions. Huzzah!

Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?
Surprisingly, my mental state is fine. Nanowriomo is actually the calm part of my mental state right now. Overall, it's going splendid, which is not a word I ever thought I'd use to describe the editing and rewriting process. But I'm making progress and ideas are coming together. I'm impressed with myself.

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
Since I'm editing/rewriting the middle of the draft, I don't have a "first sentence." Instead, I'm going to share a favorite line:

"But here, the books lived and breathed. Here the spines squabbled for space. Here the ink lifted right off the page and danced before Brielle’s eyes."

Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
Making me pick a favorite character is like picking a favorite pet or a favorite food. It's hard. And I can't choose. Nope, no. I can't. I love them all.

The whole gang

What do you love about your novel so far?
The characters are the heart of the novel. They are guiding this story (which is great except the plot kind of just gets sidetracked at times). I just love that each character is so distinct and their own person without even being real.

Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?
I'm sure I have, but nothing significant comes to mind. Since I'm editing/rewriting, I've been looking over my "baby" draft of this novel, and oh, boy, there are tons of awkward taco scenes that should never, ever, ever see the light of day again. I'll just burn them. It's fine.

This kind of happened also.

What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
Usually, I like to write beginnings--the thrill of a new story sweeping me away is what I live for. But since I'm rewriting, I'm actually focused on the middle of the story. And surprisingly, I'm enjoying the journey. I like putting in the conflict points and watching the story unfold as the characters grow and learn. It's amazing.

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!
My writing habits consist of thinking of great ideas at inopportune times when I can't sit down to write, spending too much time working myself up to writing, and also writing late into the night so I'm dead tired the next morning. I don't have a specific snack to eat, but I've learned keeping water nearby is definitely good. (Who knew writing made one so thirsty?)

I've been listening mainly to the soundtrack for Stranger Things, which has been oddly motivating and conducive to focusing. My novel doesn't relate at all to the 80s-style synth music of Strange Things, but it works.

My writing space is pretty much anywhere I can sit down and write.

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)?
It depends on the person. I've been telling a few close friends about my progress, but otherwise, I'm find just barreling through this thing by myself. So maybe more like the Flash then Batman?

What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?
I guess I keep writing because I want to see how the story comes together. I want that sense of accomplishment when I finish off the draft and know I did the thing. It's also helpful to have people begging to read your story, so you're motivated to do good and not give them a messy pile of writing vomit.

What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?
1. Carve out time every day. Even if it's not necessarily writing toward a specific work or if it's only ten minutes, writing every day gets you into a habit. Habits help get things accomplished. When I don't write, I tend to slack off and then suddenly it's a month and I haven't written anything. Bad.

2. Find time to read. We all know that to be a writer you have to write a lot and read a lot. So make sure you have time to read. Sometimes we need a break from writing--it's okay to do that. Just don't binge-read an entire book series in one sitting instead of writing. Balance is key.

3. Have fun. I know, cheesy. But if you're not having fun while writing, why should you continue? Why should you write? If a story isn't working for you--if you're not having fun writing it--put it aside or toss it completely. It's okay to write something fun, that's the whole point of writing.

Tell me about your NaNoWriMo month below!


  1. WHOO HOO FOR STRANGER THINGS! Love that show! I'm glad your novel is going well. Wishing you the best!

    1. Thank you! I hit 50K last night with one whole day to spare, so I'm very pretty confident about it. Of course, I'm editing/rewriting so there is still a lot to go, but there has been a lot of progress! :)

  2. I...I haven't read that quote you picked!! Must read more, Jaime!! 0.0

    Also, I get not being able to pick a favorite character. I wouldn't be able to do it either. Feel you on that.

    And just mentioning Stranger Things gets me even more pumped for watching the show soon. Had no idea that the soundtrack was that inspiring!!

    Anyway, keep up the good work!! Keep writing!! I want to read more about these precious children. <3

    1. Oh my goodness. You don't know about that part of the story yet. :D I'm so excited for you to get there. Soon! I know, I keep saying soon. But I promise soon!