Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Beautiful Books part 2: NaNo update

There's another Beautiful Books linkup going this month! Normally Cait and Sky do 'Beautiful People' - questions about your characters - but around NaNoWriMo they change it to questions about your NaNo story. Last month's linkup, Part 1, was to introduce your NaNo story to the blogging world. I skipped it, though, because I had Julian's whole WIP Special to introduce my story with.

But Part 2 of the Beautiful Books linkup is a sort of NaNo update.


So, since I am all about ignoring my responsibilities and NaNo in particular accountability and boring you to death with abundant but insignificant details of my writing life keeping you up to date with my progress, I thought I'd take the questions this time.

Why are you even here you should be writing.

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


I'm a much slower writer than everyone else seems to be. On the bright side, I spent a few days thinking, and ended up with a few pages of plot! Like, two whole pages! Or one and a half. But it's definitely helped me write more... decisively. Because I now have an idea of what I'm aiming for.

(Did you think that because I don't plot, my brain isn't screaming, "PLOT, YOU FOOL"?)

(Because it is. It is screaming.)

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

Wellll, I kind of... didn't start a new first draft?

Which you all knew already.

So apparently I'm a rebel.

Here's the first paragraph[ish] of what I wrote on November 1st:

His jaw snapped shut. "Fine," he said, voice tense. "Sorry for interrupting your perfect life. Sorry for thinking you might want help. Sorry for opening my mouth."

He abruptly turned and strode out, bellowing to his men from the hallway.

(I left things in the middle of a tense scene last time.)

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

Wha- you want me to play favourites with my babies??

Riiight this instant, my favourite is probably Rowan. He's going to enter the scene I'm currently writing soon, and I'm looking forward to it. BUT, favourites change depending on what I'm writing and what new thing I've discovered about my story and what I feel like at the time.

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

The characters. And making them misunderstand each other and the conflict that ensues.

Also the aesthetics, which are even almost making it onto the page??

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

I know some people just write during NaNo - not even stopping to fix typos - but I cannot do that. Aaargh no no nope. Part of the reason I'm not so great at sprints, I guess. I need to loosen up :/

Mistakes, on the other hand? A heap of general plot holes - that come from not having a clue where I'm going except maybe a vague idea. Characters changing how they talk/think/act, characters who leave the scene but I need them to be there later on, characters just plain giving 'but plot' as an excuse when questioned by other characters.

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

I'm... actually not sure? When I start at the beginning, I have a tendency to write fluff and never get around to the important bits; I worry about not getting enough content to fill a whole middle (but I've decided middles are a conspiracy to make young writers suffer, so there's that), and endings - well, I'm still not sure what the ending is??

Me to me.

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? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space! 

My writing habits:
  • Ignore writing until after dinner and then try to write 1000 words before my parents chase me off to bed. 
  • Get up the next morning and sit at my laptop, swearing to do things differently. 
  • Do things exactly the same. 
I don't eat - my mother raised us to not be snackers - and I generally write best when I'm not listening to any music, even instrumental.

8. 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)? 

Except on my blog, I do not share my writing at all. Sister 1 reads my blog to find out what I'm writing. I do not talk about any details of my writing in person. I can't even write if someone else is in my room. I work alone.

[I believe I've ranted before on how Batman actually works with the biggest superhero family ever?? so I won't do it again. Unless you want me to. I'll totally do it if you want me to. :P]

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

The knowledge that, if I don't finish this thing, I won't be able to read it. Why though.

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

Just about everyone else is more qualified to give writing advice than I am, so I'll go with "top 3 pieces of writing advice yOU REALLY SHOULD TAKE, JEM. SERIOUSLY."

  1. Prioritize your writing. Take it seriously. Do not wander Pinterest or YouTube X-Men clips or the Babylon Bee or the general internet when you are supposed to be writing. No. BAD. BAD JEM.
  2. You can edit anything except a blank page. It doesn't have to be perfect first time. A plot would be nice, but is, apparently, not required. 
  3. Write. Write. wRITE. WHY ARE YOU HERE. GO WRITE. 

How's your project going? Is there screaming and/or fire? If not, tell me your secrets! What's your word count? Out of idle curiosity, what's the body count? (mine is zero, if you were wondering, but I'm going to have to get tougher soon.) Have you made some typos that made you laugh? (I just wrote it 'tpyos'... *headdesk*) Do you write better at night or in the morning? What writing advice do you know you should take... but don't? And did you know there's animated bloopers for The Lego Batman movie?


  1. Lego Batman and the Babylon Bee. I relate to this list so much. XD

    1. Well, I read your recent post, followed your link to the comic, searched around there for a while, then found myself at 11pm on the Babylon Bee. So it's your fault, really, Faith. ;P

    2. Oh, well, forgive me... *sniffs haughtily*

    3. It's such a rabbit hole! ...but a hilarious rabbit hole. So I guess I HAVE to forgive you. *sighs*

  2. Your story sounds really interesting! I love the paragraph you shared!

    My mind doesn't seem to wake up until mid-afternoon most of the time so... I write better at night. =)

    1. Thanks, Madeline! And thanks for commenting :)

      *night owl high-five*

  3. I used to not be able to write without correcting typos, so I know what you mean. But more recently I've been able to let myself, and it is actually really good. I don't mind editing (it makes me feel productive for some reason).

    Also, your writing advice is the best. :) I like the second, and as for number one: I get distracted so easily, so if I'm really serious about writing, I'll disconnect from the internet. It helps a lot, haha.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this post! All the best with NaNo! :)

    1. I haven't finished a first draft yet, so I can't say from experience, but I think I'd like editing?? And maybe rewriting. I'd at least have something to work with!

      Disconnecting from the internet sounds like an excellent way to decrease distractions... mWHAHAHA THERE GOES PINTEREST :P

      Thanks, Jessica! I hope your writing goes well too (+ NaNo, if you're doing that?)

  4. I loved the GIFs, Jem!! And that first paragraph...just wow! ,

    Aghhh, I do the same thing with mistakes/typos. I can't STAND typos. Distracting little critters.

    *I have a problem being distracted by the internet too. 'Cept I need it cause that's my Spotify and Pinterest connection...."


    1. Aw, thanks, Catherine <3

      YES I just can't ignore typos - they're too distracting.

      I use myWriteClub for word sprints, so I can't turn off my internet either! (at least, that's my excuse... and I'm sticking to it...)

  5. We write the same way! (My family also reads my blog to hear about what I'm writing. I don't talk about it. Nope, nope, nope.) xD Best of luck with the rest of NaNo!!!!

    1. It's so much more comfortable to rave about your story to complete strangers over the internet than to try to string words together to tell your mum what it's about xD (My mum still has no idea... she once laughed while reading one of my early stories, and I've never trusted her with a draft since xD)

      Hope your NaNo goes well too, Melissa! How's Of Traitors and Tricksters coming along?

  6. When I got to the Captain Cold gif, I knew it was going to be good! Your story sounds so good!!

    I might even be able to do this linkup since it doesn't require any specific details about the WIP. But knowing me, I probably won't.

    1. I've only seen Season 1 of The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, but Captain Cold is awesome xD

      Aw, you should do it, Sarah! (I used it as an easy post... + motivation to WRITE the thing...)

    2. I actually stopped watching the shows (I got tired of them pushing the bad content), but I still love his character!

      I might do it for next Friday. We shall see...

    3. Oh, yeah... there were several characters I could never fully invest in (e.g. Iris or White Canary) because of the bad content associated with them. Buuut Captain Cold was cool. :) (And Barry and Cisco were both adorkable!)

      I'll keep an eye out!

  7. Okay so I LOVE that you asked for body count instead of word count. 😂 You're amazing. I have like...oh wow I have a huge body count intended for my NaNo novel so THAT will be fun. (It's a contemporary that should be a thriller but DANG IT I'LL MAKE IT A CONTEMPORARY IF IT KILLS ME...or my characters, IDK). I also love your 3 pieces of advice! I always priorities writing when I'm drafting...but editing? Hahahah. Like can I fit 7 hours of editing into 15 minutes after dinner? Lemme just try that.😂

    1. Well, I'd say that writing a 100k novel (or whatever) in a week also seems unlikely to me... So if you want to do 7 hours of editing in 15 minutes? ...do it. And if Time doesn't want to cooperate, throw stale cake in his face. Or put him in your book and kill him.

  8. The lego batman gifs were perfect <3 and the thor gif omw. Great post!! May the rest of nano go well for you and may the odds be in your favor.

    1. Thanks, Daisy! Although the odds [or current word counts] are not terribly reassuring... (maybe it would help if I did some writing??)

  9. Guess who's commenting on this when she should be writing 500 words? Not me, no of course not!! I tried to find that Batman gif for my own post and then gave up in frustration. The Lego Batman movie is awesome (and that's coming from someone who doesn't like Batman all that much).
    My body count, thus far, is disappointingly zero. But don't lose faith in me, the stakes shall rise soon enough and by the end of the novel...We shall count the survivors on one hand. Okay, that sounded very dramatic and it makes me feel like a horrible person. Moving on. :D
    Good luck with defeating procrastination and conquering the dreaded NaNo beast!

    1. Guess who's replying to your lovely comment when she should be writing at least 1k? NOT ME HAHA NO.

      The Lego Batman Movie definitely poked fun at Batman and a heap of general comic stuff - and even though I am a new comics fan (or maybe because of it??) I LOVED it. xD

      My body count's currently zero too. Never mind; there's still two-thirds of NaNo to go!

      Thanks, Chelsea, and you too! You can vanquish that NaNo beast!

  10. yes I did just come here from Jazzy's blog and yes I did just subscribe and yes I will forever refer to you as the Snooping Little Reader (if you don't mind) and UM YOU HAD GIFS FOR DOCTOR WHO AND THE BATMAN LEGO MOVIE HON YOU MY PAL FOR LIFE.

    (also, now YOU get my novel-length comments as well as Jazzy and a few other million people so be grateful.)

    (also, I tend to be overly sarcastic and crazy so you can tell me if I offend you or am being to loud or any of that stuff I WILL BE NICER I PROMISE)



    1. Oh, hooray! I never did get enough nicknames, considering I'm Aussie xD You might have to shorten it to SLR, though - like Dear Little Friend/DLF??

      *fangirl highfive* (I have yet to use the GIF of Ten saying "BLOGGING". But I will. I will.)

      (I am VERY grateful and glad to have you here, Esther! :D But I am also curious as to how you have enough time to write comments of such astounding length as those on Jazzy's blog...)

      (I LOVE BEING SARCASTIC and crazy too. So we can just sit at our computers snarking at each other. And I think I would actually prefer it less if you were just sort of 'bland' when you talked to me? if that makes any sense?? [it probably doesn't but never mind] YOU BE YOU and I will be happy to have you here ;)

    2. I cannot tell you how happy this made me. Like, I know I said they last one made my day, and IT DID I PROMISE but this one just made me SO HAPPY Because I am sure that I have found a kindred spirit in you, and like Anne (of Green Gables), am starting to think they are not so rare after. THIS IS A WONDERFUL THING.

      Also, lolz, YOU'RE AUSSIE SO UM, FREAKING FANTASTIC!!!!!! I know I know, my American is showing, but STILL. I am obsessed with Australian accents thanks to a dear friend who traveled to America for my sisters birthday and an overabundance of youtube videos by Australians.
      anyway YES!!!! (aww the Dear Little Friend. That was a good book, and he made the movie almost worthwhile. Well, and Lucy and Edmund obviously) I will definitely shorten it unless I am yelling at you WHICH I NEVER DO SO YOU SHOULD BE GOOD!!!! (shut UP, Jazzy's blog!! I NEVER YELL ON THE INTERNET AND YOU KNOW IT)

      *fangirl highfive back* (YAAASSS!! that was a pretty good episode too! I MEAN CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE. Though I wasn't too fond of Martha.)

      I've made a deal with Time you see, so that every minute I spend on here is crunched into the time of a second so I can take an hour to write a comment but only a minute has passed thanks to Time. However, I also tend to be slightly crazy on here and I am beginning to understand how the Mad Hatter got the way he is today.
      LOL BUT IN REALITY I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. I don't even have very much time to free read (THO I DO ANYWAY MUAHAHAHAHA) or write on my nanowrimo novel (*WAILS*) or comment (*CRICKETS*) yet somehow I manage to do them all???? THE ANSWER IS NO SLEEP AND BLOOD SACRIFICES UNDER THE BLUE MOON AND MY FIRSTBORN CHILD YA DIG? ;D

      Girl, I know EXACTLY what you mean! One of the reasons I write such long comments is because I try my hardest to write comments that a) will make the reader smile (possibly even some SLRs as well as the intended audience) b) will allow me to rant as much as I want on any particular subject and c) will be REAL. my real self, using stories and thoughts from my real life and just make it seem like a Real Life (TM) and I will get to know the reader (er, answer-er) better.
      (you cruel piece of pineapple, making me comment on two places in the same morning. geez)

    3. I CAN'T BELIEVE I MISSED THIS COMMENT. I mean, I had to approve it, so I know I SAW it. But how could I have missed replying to such a marvelous comment???

      YOU BEING HAPPY MAKES ME HAPPY. (We're just going to go around in circles getting happier and happier!!) (and most likely crazier and crazier, but that's okay) xD

      *preens* I'm Aussie, therefore I'm cool... xP (But... I don't have an accent?? ...YOU all have accents???)

      Your deal with Time sounds like an excellent idea... Hm, maybe I could sacrifice my sanity?? ...haha oh wait.

      So. Yep. LOVED your comment, Esther; sorry for replying late; and we shall communicate through sarcasm and fangirl shrieks forevermore. Because that is obviously the most real form of being real. *bows at hordes awed by my genius*

      (...*is a pineapple*...)



      *sulks* (uhh riiight. suuuuure. I belieeeve you.)

      Yeah you can't sacrifice something you don't have dearie, it's common knowledge. I mean, it's so common even I know it so yeah. Try a best friend or sister's kidney Time likes those.

      *is part of the horde awed by your genius*


      We shall go around in circles being happy and crazy like a dog chasing its tail...

      *pats you on the back* (it's truuuue)

      Naaah. I reckon I'll just "sacrifice" my sanity and once Time's made the deal I can inform him that if he finds it he can have it. That's not cheating, right?? (pst DON'T TELL HIM)

      *pineapple, overcome by the horde's awe, falls off chair*

  11. Characters using "but plot" as an excuse is SOOOOO relateable. In a hilarious, almost painful way. Also, not having a plot is relateable. So I don't know what's going on.
    Me: "What are you DOING??!?!"
    Characters: "It's for the sake of the plot."
    Me: *shuffling through papers and looking under the table, my bed, the carpet* "What PLOT???"
    Yeah. Life is weird.
    Good luck win NaNo!!!!
    (Also, you used a Captain Cold gif so here's a metaphorical ice cream cone of happiness)

    1. "Me: *shuffling through papers and looking under the table, my bed, the carpet* "What PLOT???"" < YESSS THAT'S EXACTLY ME. xD Glad I'm not the only one whose characters give "plot" as their motivation!

      Good luck with NaNo to you too, Temperamental Writer! :)

      *eats metaphorical ice cream of happiness* He has some excellent lines... and I'm pretty sure his name is actually Leonard Snark??


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