Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In have created another addition to the Beautiful Books part of the Beautiful People link-up, as I’m sure many of you already know. These are always fun to do, and I can’t wait for a Beautiful People one! I feel like I haven’t introduced you guys to my characters particularly well, and I started doing this link-up around the end of October, so I’ve actually only done Beautiful Books.
Shall we move on to the lovely questions?
What were your writing achievements last year?
- I won NaNoWriMo!
- I did a lot of worldbuilding and other prep for the novel I worked on during the above.
- I delved a lot more into poetry than I previously had, particularly free verse.
- I partially edited my project from NaNo 2015.
Doesn’t add up to a ton, but I’m very happy with it. (Oh, and I also started this blog, if that counts?)
What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
I want to write more poetry and short stories, but mainly, I just want to turn my 50,000 words of an incomplete first draft into a somewhat coherent whole. I’ve never completed the first draft of a novel, and I would really love to.
Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
It’s the one I mentioned in the previous two questions, my novel from this past NaNo. If you would like to read more about it, check out my post introducing Arevik here.
How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
I see myself with a complete first draft, less rambly sentences, and hopefully more writing experience in general under my belt. I don’t really know, otherwise, because there are some very different ways that my writing could go this year.
Describe your general editing process.
I’ve only done this with short stories and incomplete novel drafts, but usually, after a break from whatever the writing is, I print out the whole thing and read it. After I’ve finished reading it, I go over with a red pencil and write all over it. (Having the text be double-spaced really helps, because otherwise I need to squeeze all of my notes into the margins, which I don’t like doing at ALL.)
On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
A six? I think?
It’s hard to say, really. I learned a ton about my world, but I’m pretty sure that most of what I wrote won’t make it to the rewrite of Arevik draft 1.
What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
THE LENGTH, UNDOUBTEDLY. 45,000 words barely covers one not-too-important day– that’s reeeaaally stretched out. Even though I’ve never finished an entire draft, I know I’m going to be one of those writers who has to cut out thousands of words out to reach the right length for the final draft.
What do you like the most about your draft?
Ooh… I started out with a rather small cast of characters, but during the writing process, I added somewhere around sixteen more, and they all have personalities. It was a very pleasant discovery!
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?
My project from NaNo 2015 is currently hiding in a dark hole, hopefully not forever. I’m going to try to prevent that from happening to this one.
I would say more editing, probably. And then even more editing. If my family is willing, they’ll look over it and give some constructive criticism, and then I shall edit again. Probably then, I’ll let friends read it, and somewhere around that point, I will also start looking for beta readers.
What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?
Take a break before going back to edit your draft. It can be a few weeks, it can be a few months. But if you just jump right into editing after writing, it can be hard to distance yourself from your story and look at it critically. A break really helps to clear your head.
What are your writing goals for 2017? Have you ever completed a first draft? If you have, how many? And in what ways do you edit?