Beautiful Books : NaNoWriMo Check In!

It’s time for another Beautiful Books post!

You know, that glorious, glorious meme hosted by Cait @ PaperFury & Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Check it out. It’s glorious.

Like last month, this month’s meme is all about our current progress on NaNoWriMo, and since that’s one of my favorite subjects around here (and I was planning on checking in at some point anyway), naturally, I had to join in. I won’t even lie, trying to juggle NaNo and blogging at the same time is totally NOT my jam, I really should have been better prepared for this. It’s not like I was talking about NaNo ALL MONTH or anything.

But we’re a full week in now, so what better time to check in!

Beautiful Books 2017

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

How are things going, you ask? HOW ARE THINGS GOING???

Donald Duck Laughing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Laughing? Crying? YOU TELL ME.

2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

Oooh, a chance to show off my amazing expertise and skill? Don’t mind if I do!

“Once upon a time, a soldier everyone called Tin sat on a train taking him from the Capital City to the furthest train station in the whole state.”

Wow. Okay. That’s pretty awful. Let’s try the second sentence instead.

“The sun had begun to set behind the dusty hills, and along with it the lights in the car flickered in and out.”

Stop. Just stop.

3. Who’s your current favorite character in your novel?

Prince Tulio. Hands down, my sweet-angry-totally-not-named-after-a-character-from-El-Dorado prince! Granted, so far he’s probably said a total of about 7 words, but 7 words can have a whole lot of meaning, okay? Truth is, the creation of Tulio and his entire story arc is particularly personal for me for a variety of reasons. While all of these traits might not make it into the final book, they are parts of him I identify with and simply knowing a character like him exists (even if I’m the one who had to create him) is of great comfort to me. Also because he’s kind of a jerk. And who doesn’t love to write a (adorable) jerk???

4. What do you love about your novel so far?

That it’s coming together exactly as I hoped it would.

No, hear me out. I love to outline. It gives my writing a purpose, a goal and helps me feel better prepared as a writer. But sometimes things still get a little muddied along the way, and I started to panic and cry and procrastinate. But this novel? It’s following my outline beautifully. I could rifle through my outline, pick any scene and find it in my novel and THERE IT IS. It’s like the movie in my head is literally unfolding on the pages in front of me and it’s absolutely glorious. I probably just jinxed myself in 58392 different ways, and it’s not like everything is perfect (let’s ignore all those too-short scenes, shall we) but for now, let me just have this.

5. Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

Maybe. Probably. Yes.

Truth is, unless I type a word that’s glaringly wrong and my spell-checker picks it up right away, I don’t really notice these things. When I’m working on a first draft I NEVER go back and reread anything previously written, since that’s a surefire way to halt any and all progress for me, so I just keep pushing forward. It would seem all hilarity will have to wait until my first draft is 100% complete. Le sigh.

6. What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

The beginning-where everything is still shiny and new exciting, and characters are dashing and enticing and oh-so beautiful. What better place is there to write? It’s certainly so much better than that draggy, saggy, middle where everyone starts to realize they don’t really like each other all that much and the world begins to look a bit gray around the edges, and for sure, FAR better than the end when all I can do is stare at my characters and wonder to myself ‘WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE??’

Yes. This is probably why I have about 300 unfinished manuscripts sitting on my hard-drive that will never see the light of day (I mean, who doesn’t???), because once that beautiful first spark goes away? Why bother. I’m in this for FUN, man. And um, maybe to be a published author someday.

7. 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? 

Habits? You mean something OTHER than smash my hands at the keyboard and hope something halfway legible comes of it all? Well, let’s see. To be honest, it’s much easier to think of habits I DON’T do as opposed to habits I DO do (…haha, doodoo).

For example, I don’t:

  • Write with any sort of noise-music, television, talking. No. I need complete and utter silence.
  • Write with anyone else in the room. Even if they’re ignoring me. Even if they’re completely busy with something else. Go away.
  • Eat or drink. Anything. How am I supposed to type if my hands are holding my favorite Princess Bell mug!?
  • Write at night. THAT’S SLEEP TIME.

Basically, the fact that I manage to ever get any writing done at any point in time is a miracle unto itself.

8. How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone?

That greatly depends on what you mean by “writing”.

Scenario 1: I’m actually sitting at the keyboard tapping my life away.

Me: GO AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!

Scenario 2: I’m outlining/brainstorming/planning/gushing about my 5835739 brainbabies.

Me: DON’T LEAVE MEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

As you can see, I’m a very complicated creature.

9. What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

Pure, unadulterated obsession. Probably not the healthiest answer.

10. What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

Oh wow, way to put me on the spot. What do you think I am, some kind of writer? (I’m so hilarious) Sheesh. Alright, I’ll give it my best shot.

  1. Stop with the perfectionism. Seriously stop. STAHP. Confession: I loathe when perfectionism gets in the way of actual progress, so much so I might just write a post on in it. Keep an eye out.
  2. You don’t have to outline if you don’t want to. On the flip-side, outlining is TOTALLY VALID if you do want to. Either way, it’s cool. Just don’t be a jerk about it. No method of creativity is better than another.
  3. Make a book cover. Even if no one sees it but you. Even if it’s total garbage. It’s a lot of fun and super inspiring!

I know, this wasn’t the most in-depth post I’ve ever written, BUT I’M WRITING YO. Did we all forget that? What am I even doing here? What is this place. MY NOVEL IS WAITING FOR ME.

Tell me about your NaNo novel! Is it going well? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Are you having fun? TELL ME EVERYTHING.

13 Comments

  1. I dunno about in-depth but I love posts like these. They’re entertaining but you still get something inspirational or motivational from it 😀
    OMG I love writing the beginning of my stories the most too! I mean. That’s probably the only thing I ever write HAHAHA (<- not proud of it)
    "No method of creativity is better than another." I love that! I'm gonna write that and tack it next to my bed just to remind myself that every time 🙂

    1. Author

      Haha, I’m glad you still got something out of it! I’m so scatterbrained lately I’m basically just hoping anything I write is even semi coherent! But it’s a good kind of scatterbrained, so I won’t complain 😉
      YES! It’s so so important to remember that writing is a *personal* thing! It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game, and that’s truly the killer of passion. We need to build each other up, not tear down!

  2. So glad everything is working out with your novel this year! It’s a nice feeling when all your outlined elements fall perfectly into place and everything is mainly smooth sailing. In past NaNo projects, I felt this too. But this year sucks! lol, but seriously it does, It’s been a constant struggle. I’m 10k behind and finally feel like I’m gaining steam. I’ve been doing word sprints just to get myself into motion. My novel feels like garage but I wouldn’t dream of reading it right now to see if it truly is. I’m actually looking forward to edits for once, to piecing this mess together and creating a better draft. Keep up the great work!

    1. Author

      Thanks and you too! Even though you might have run into some trouble in the beginning, I’m so happy you haven’t let that stop you! Too many writers get behind a day or two and stop altogether and it makes me SO SAD. This is where I try to emphasize it’s not about winning, it’s about writing! Currently I’m about 1k behind, but I’m confident I can keep going 😉 I’m glad it’s all picking up for you!!

  3. Awww I’m so happy to hear that your writing is coming together nicely and things are actually happening the way you planned them to! I’m currently writing my outline but my mind keeps getting new ideas and I have about 3 different options of how my story could turn out so… now I gotta make the tough decision. And it’s so HARD XD

    And I can’t write with music either??? Or people in the room??? Or while eating or drinking??? HOW DO PEOPLE DO THAT. I do tend to write “at night” or rather at like 10pm because I get like random bursts of motivation lol.

    Best of luck with NaNo tho <3

    1. Author

      Omg, you’ve reached The Crossroads…I admit, sometimes I like all my options so much I’ll go back and write little “mini stories” explaining how things might have turned out if I’d chosen a different option. They’re just for me to read but SO much fun to write!
      YES! I have the attention span of a flea so if anything at all is going on around me my writing progress is nil. Ugh. Wish I could write while drinking hot chocolate though, it seems so cozy 🙁

  4. “Pure, unadulterated obsession. Probably not the healthiest answer.” =most relatable thing ever. When my friend asked me how I already had 30k for NaNo, I told her it was “obsession. Obsession and sorcery”.
    Good luck with this! (Also, I read a lot of Beautiful Books posts last month, but I think I remember your’s. is it the Tin Soldier retelling? Or was that someone else’s?)

    1. Author

      Yes yes yes! Crucible is a retelling of The Tin Soldier!! 😀 Aaaaaah! I’m sooo giddy someone remembers. Excitement and flailing for days!!
      And holy smokes, now you’ve jumped to 30k? That’s so is amazing! I need some of THAT type of sorcery in my life…I hope the rest of the month treats your writing well 🙂

      1. I remember it because I love the Tin Soldier (and also because you mentioned the solider was known as Tin in that snippet, but shush. I’m putting all this down to my genius memory).
        I know, I’m surprised too! Usually I just go with the minimum word count for each day, but I’m super invested in this story and just flying along. What’s your username on NaNo? I’ll add you. 😀

        1. Author

          I’d love to add you as a NaNo buddy! My username is UnicornDustBooks 🙂 I’m a tiny bit behind right now, but still moving forward!
          And if you EVER find another Tin Soldier retelling, please let me know!!!

  5. I LOVE YOUR ANSWERS SO MUCH. SO RELATABLE THOUGH. And #9 is me. 😂😂 Ahhh hahaha…*sits quietly for a moment and thinks about life choices* And I also don’t eat/drink/talk when I’m writing. I want silence so so bad, like I even waited to do my NaNo book till my family was away for the weekend so I wouldn’t even have PEOPLE around.😂

    (Also you named a character from El Dorado!! BEST MOVIE EVER!!!)

    Thanks so much for joining in the link up. ;D

    1. Author

      I admit, I often really do wish I could write in whatever random situation-I would GET SO MUCH more work done! At the very least I want to be able to drink yummy hot chocolate while I write-I get so cold 🙁 I think I just need to build myself a 3rd hand at this point.

      I’m really like the Beautiful Books/People memes a lot more now 🙂 So glad I didn’t let my intimidation get the better of me!

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