I was a little shocked and worried to realize that none of my goals for 2016 directly related to writing. What could this mean?? I had things I WANTED to accomplish. There’s a book in my head that’s almost completely outlined and I know I’ll write it this year. But none of those were actual real, tangible, set goals.
And then Cait and Skye came out with January’s BP and saved me from myself. After reading about a dozen other blogger’s answers to these questions, I am not only sick of reading them over and over again, but I have some good idea of how to answer them myself.
First: le button.
- What were your writing achievements last year?
Last year was not a good year concerning my writing. Not good at ALL. I was in a huge slump, over stressed and over busy with life and work, and I didn’t seriously write anything until August. In August I wrote a 16,000 word book in twelve days.
I also partook in Nano for my second year and though I am very happy that I finished my book, I get in a depressed slump after Nano and can’t write for ages afterwards. I think that’s why 2015 was such a bad year for writing for me, because I never got back up after Nano of 2014.
So I wrote two books and learned that Nano doesn’t help me in the long run.
- Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
I have two main projects for this year. I doubt they’ll take up the entire year, so there’s plenty of room for more. But right now I plan to focus on editing Red Hearts(my August 12-day book from last year) and write my new Dementophobia. It’s nearly ready to begin. I just need to sort out my outline a little better and make sure it’s as smooth as I can get it. It will be interesting to write because I’ve never written a book from a full outline before.
- List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
I don’t know if I have exactly five areas in mind, but I’ve never fully edited a book before, so editing Red Hearts will definitely be an area of growth. As I mentioned above, I’ve never written a book from a fully formed outline before, so Dement will definitely be a learning curve in that area. I’d like to get back into the swing of writing weekly, if not daily. In 2014 and some of 2013 I wrote almost every day, but as I said, in 2015 my writing routine and mentality just fell apart. I really want to fix that this year and make writing a top priority in my life again.
- Are you participating in any writing challenges?
Nooooope. I figured out Nano isn’t for me, so I won’t be doing that again. I am TEMPTED to try Camp Nano. If I do that, it’ll probably be the July one, not the April one. Also I might hop over to Go Teen Writers and see when their next 100×100 challenge is. But I’m not actually PLANNING to partake in any of those. I’ll just see what happens when I get there.
- What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
I am very happy with my group of beta readers. I trust them and they give wonderful feedback. Though I’m not against the idea of more people reading my books, I’m not going to actively look for more readers. The only area that might be considered expansion is that I’m thinking about posting some of Dement on Wattpad as I write it. But I doubt I’ll end up posting the entire thing. I don’t know yet though.
- Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
Ahem. Well. This is an actual shelf on my bookshelf.
I have read three of those books. I’m in the process of reading a fourth. And all those magazines are writing magazines, mostly Writer’s Digests, that I got for ten cents each from my library. I still haven’t read any of them.
As for research, I want to reread the the original Alice in Wonderland for editing Red Hearts, as well as any other good AiW retellings I can find. (suggestions are VERY WELCOME.)
- Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
I learned something when I whipped out Red Hearts in twelve days last year, with literally two ideas and maybe an hour and half of sound boarding to a friend.
It is possible to write a decent book, a well plotted book, by completely panstering. That included not knowing hardly ANY of my characters beforehand, except for the obligatory Alice, and a couple ideas for the other classic characters.
No, I don’t know what White eats for breakfast every morning or the number of freckles on the Cat’s face. I don’t know how much the Caterpillar weighs. I haven’t even decided what Roe’s hair color is.
After writing Red Hearts, I realized that too much emphasis is put on knowing the nitty gritty of EVERY. DETAIL. OF. OUR. CHARACTERS. Now don’t get me wrong. I understand some writers write better when they know literally everything about their characters. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.
But I also know that that’s not for everyone. For myself, I learned that it’s not absolutely necessary to know everything about my characters. I don’t need character sheets and sketches and interviews. I am perfectly happy learning the little quirks and idiosyncrasies of my characters as I write them onto the page.
Eventually I’ll probably write a deeper post about this subject, but for now I shall step off my soap box and continue with the other questions XD
- Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
I mentioned above that I plan to edit Red Hearts, but as for querying and other such, I’m not ready for that yet. Learning how to edit will be a large enough mountain to tackle this year XD
- Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
I am very grateful for all the other posts I read before I wrote mine, because otherwise I wouldn’t know how to answer this questions. But I got so many ideas from reading other bloggers’ opinions.
I believe we need more dragons. Whether in fantasy or modern contemporaries or futuristic AUs, I believe the lack of dragons in fiction is a HUGE blunder on the part of writers. I’m not pointing fingers! I just believe it’s an avenue that could be used and enjoyed SO MUCH, but so many people forget that they’re allowed to write about dragons.
Steampunk is another. Good, clean, fun steampunk. I know there’s some out there, but I haven’t found it yet. I will gladly take recommendations for good Steampunk ^^
Heist and con-artist-ness. I feel like these are so hard to find, but when you CAN find them, they’re pure gold. Ally Carter’s Heist Society trilogy and Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows are definitely top favorites of mine, but those are literally the only ones I’ve read. AGAIN: Recommendations MORE THAN WELCOME.
- What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
I would like to see Red Hearts in decent, full length condition. Dement completely done, and possibly have the first draft of Dream Hearts completed. Beyond that, anything I get done will be a pleasant surprise.