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What were your writing achievements last year?
Well, I reached Draft 5 of the novel I've been working on for years. I am actually a sugar-filled, hyperactive three-year-old and have the patience and attention span of said three-year-old, so sticking with something long enough to get it to the 5th draft is basically the highlight of my year.
There are only a few more easy(?) steps until I look into self-publishing/looking for an agent/whatever I decide to do, which I suppose brings us to the second question.
What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
- WORLD DOMINATION
- just kidding
- though I did get a journal that suggests I might be planning evil things.
- Who am I to question the writing gods?
- I'm also hoping to work my way to publishing through a foolproof four step plan.
- Give my novel to my family.
- Hand it over to my friends (along with my heart).
- Find beta readers to TEAR APART MY NOVEL.
- Figure out what the actual heck I want to do with it then.
- I'm hoping that I can manage to write one new book this year, plot one, and edit two.
Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
THIS IS THE DILEMMA THAT I HAVE. I have about 3678 book ideas that I want to write this year, but I think I'm going to write We Are, plot Strange Sights, and edit War Games and something else.
Then again, I could simply ignore common sense and all my responsibilities to move onto a remote mountain and spend the rest of my year writing all 3678 book ideas.
How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
I hope that I can figure out exactly where I am in my writing expertise (because I think I have very far to go, but others say I'm great, but they're also my family, so they have to be nice to me.) I want to obtain as much of an objective perspective as possible.
I see myself sending my pitches to possible agents or looking into self-publishing. Whichever avenue I take, I really want to be pursuing my first novel being out there for the world to criticise and hate...
On second thought, how 'bout I just hide away all of my creative efforts and watch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries until I die.
Describe your general editing process.
Mostly staring at my computer, wondering why I am an idiot, and then congratulating myself when I move an apostrophe, because if I am able to change one little thing, then clearly I have the potential to do so much more. And potential is all that matters (no, not actually doing things and being productive. That doesn't matter).
- After I finish the first draft, take a nice vacation to the other side of the galaxy to escape from all of my mistakes, and spend a few months eating potato chips and contemplating my life, I like to go through and
REWRITE EVERYTHING BECAUSE IT'S HORRIBLEmake reasonable changes because I am a rational human.
- Then I print out my manuscript and go through it making edits that are both amusing and helpful. Things like "Don't do that. That's dumb.", "I am a genius", or "I am an idiot."
- I take a little bit of space (like a few planets. That's enough space, right?), and then go through my notes, making whatever changes to my manuscript is necessary to make it into a sparkling unicorn.
- I give it to a family member to get their feedback and notes.
- Repeat steps until I run out of things to change/family members to review
On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
Seeing as I both adore and hate my novel, I would give it a solid 10, and then I would take that 10 and throw it to the curb to make way for my low novel-esteem (it's like self-esteem, but it means more).
What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
What do you like the most about your draft?
My characters. I have spent a lot of time making sure that my characters are the best they can be, and I love them so much. Who needs to get married and have children when all you need is fictional characters to fill your life (don't look at me like that, mom).
What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?
After I finish editing, I plan to give it to my mother (aka the Grammar and Punctuation Queen Because I Have No Understanding Of the English Language. Yes, that is her full title). And then instead of hiding it in a dark hole forever, I am going to crawl into the hole myself because giving your heart to people is scary.
What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?
Take a deep breath, my dear friend. You have just done something that many people have never done. You have done something amazing. SO GO YOU!
But this is the best moment you will have because if you want to make your novel great, then you are going to face a lot of rough stuff. You are probably going to have to cut away a lot of scenes that you love. Also, digging deep to bring out the emotion of scenes is not the easiest.
My Advice: Enjoy this victorious moment, you have earned it! But prepare yourself.
What is something you look for in books? And for all my writer peeps: What is the hardest thing you have had to cut/change in your novel? Do you like showing the world things you have created? Or do you prefer to tap into your inner Gollum and creep in the shadows until everyone just goes away?