I've decided to join in the Beautiful Books link-up! It looked like too much fun!
1. What were your writing achievements last year?
Last year I had only one goal: write. I had hoped to write one page a day (week days only). I think I did alright, but I could have done better. My achievements throughout the year were more in learning the process than accomplishing goals. I learned that it's okay to let go of pieces of work at any time and it is okay to take a break from them. Sometimes it is needed.
2. What's on your writerly "to-do list" for 2017?
I would like to accomplish at least 500 words a day and finish a first draft of something. I planned in November to buckle down on Lyla's story, and this month I've gotten side-tracked with a new one. I think this was a result of stress, so I'm not going to fight it this time (I used to) but ride it out and see what becomes of Ember's story.
3. Tell us about your top priority writing projects this year!
Lyla: Lyla's story is slightly steampunk; it is Victorian but involves mythological creatures (I've an interest in Celtic mythology) and one other character who is... other (*wink wink* can't say what). Exploring themes and morals is something I really enjoy in the writing process, so I'd like Lyla to learn about loyalty and trust.
Ember: Ember appears to be leaning towards dystopian in tone, and think she needs to learn forgiveness and that change can be alright.
Blogging: Finally, I'd like to keep up with producing blog posts regularly that are both edifying to God and intriguing to you all.
4. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
I hope to learn more about blogging and using social media wisely, but I also hope to learn more about structuring a story and how to balance my fly-the-seat-of-your-pants urge in writing with better structure. Proof of that success will be if I can finish a first draft of either Ember or Lyla's story.
5. Describe your general editing process.
Weeeelll... This is sort of something new to me! Sort of. Typically, when I sit down to write I back up a few paragraphs or a page to catch up to where I left off and I end up editing that as I "get into the mode". This is not any major kind of edit, but often I find that in the moment I write so quickly that my ideas don't come off as clearly as I meant or even awkwardly.
In the past I've made the mistake of editing my drafts over and over and then becoming frustrated with how it was not working out and how I'm never finishing anything. I have been learning that I need to pull back, and follow my writing instinct more strongly instead of allowing that trained Editor in my creep in. We're taught to revise and edit all the time in school and college, and it is hard to break away from that. It can actually halt or bruise the creative process if it gets too out of hand.
Lyla is my practice for using structure. I'm holding back pieces in this work, and restraining my emotions on it to build it up from it's "blue print."
Ember is less edited, with absolutely no prior structure created. I'm not ready to share her publicly because I've been pouring more emotion into her and I also don't know what direction her story will go.
6. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
So far? Um... 5. Hard to say. I know *I* like what I'm writing but I have that fear that just because I like it doesn't mean readers will.
7. What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
All of it. Haha.
8. What do you like most about your draft?
Lyla- The sass, of course, and Simon. I love writing scenes with them together, they are nothing alike. It's great fun to put two juxtaposed characters in a room together and see how they interact.
Ember- I see a lot of colors in my mind when I'm writing Ember. I like her perseverance. Ember is brave.
9. What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hold forever?
Many of those, actually: finish first draft, edit, find beta readers, unsure about self-publishing or finding a publisher yet, but I won't be hiding them in a dark hole forever.
10. What's your top piece fo advice for those just finished writing a first draft?
Keep writing and make friends with writers you admire and like. I'm learning that friendships in the writing world are vital to making it through any process of writing. They are a wonderful source of encouragement and mutual learning. I cannot say how thankful I am that my writing friends and I can pray for one another.