Monday, November 9, 2015

Beautiful Books# 2 Gif-tastic NaNoWriMo Edition Part II

Well, as any glance at my blog will tell you, I've been pretty much silent for the last week. That's all thanks to NaNoWriMo (and work), and the fact that I was house-sitting for my parents all last week as well :) I also caught up on some reading (and there are reviews to come!)

Anyhow, I saw that Sky and Cait had the BP/BB post up and thought a little break from both work and NaNo (well, sort of) might do my overtired brain some good. If you'd like to join in with this awesome monthly feature for writers, check out the details here.

My NaNo project is a dark comedy/mystery/ alternative history with the tiniest spice of terror, and I've tentatively titled it The Butler Did It. And if you'd like to read more about it and the main characters, check out my other Beautiful Books link here.

Beautiful Books #2: NaNoWriMo Continues

1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?

Well, it's going along a little more smoothly than I thought it might. I seem to have unearthed a surprising depth to some of my characters, and my themes have gotten more complex. At any rate, I haven't resorted to flying monkey ninjas yet, so I think I'm okay.

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

I am skipping the little "note on the world," the prologue letter, and the urgent telegram insinuating an attack on a bleak Siberian base here to give you the *actual* first 3 unedited lines of the book (Which I have not looked at till now in fear that I will despise every word, as is my custom):

"Blood and death were not supposed to follow you into the Citadel. Was that not the reason the Citadel had been built in the first place - to protect us from the darkness outside? Was that not why the walls soared for hundreds of feet above us, keeping us safe from whatever shadows roamed in the night?"
Of course you're not safe, you complacent characters you - this book is about murder and mayhem, and manners, and monsters, and many other things.

3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?

Neither - I'm a shifting, adaptable, whimsical writer. I have tried both methods though. Neither one worked better for me. Basically, I'm at my story's mercy - for example, the first time I did NaNo, I did a hardcore schedule/outline/research thing for the two months, and then ended up writing something completely different (which I finished). Last year, I started out will a silly premise, intending to wrap things up easily, and ended up with an epic post-apocalyptic parody that I'm still plugging away at.

4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?

There are rewards (other than words on a manuscript)? 
Can we take a moment to appreciate the level of skepticism in this gif? Thank you.

Actually, I tend to be a workaholic who refuses to take time off unless I'm forced to. This goes into my writing habits too. But if I get ahead in my manuscript, I'll watch a silly movie or read a few chapters of a fun book to give my brain a vacation.

5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?

I'll spare you by posting this necessary quote in the footnotes*
Picture Source
Anyhow, a rose by any other name might smell like a rose, but I don't think I could take it seriously if it was called a wild donkey cabbage, you know? Likewise, I still can't take Peta (Hunger Games, you know, that one) seriously because he is a baker's boy named after BREAD (Spelling is a technicality). 

Names are extremely important to me/my characters. I either spend hours agonizing over the exact combination of sounds/meanings, or have them pop out of my head fully formed like Athena. No exceptions. They are usually themed by book, character, or have some special meaning/clues to the character's culture and or values. Because I like everything to be connected.

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

Depends on the book. I love writing beginnings, but I usually end up changing them half a dozen times. Endings and middles can both be hard for me. I love the feeling I get when I type the last words though.

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

I'm actually liking my MC, Ernest/Ernestine a lot more than I thought I would, seeing as she's such a different character for me. Her layers are starting to show, though. And naturally, the mysterious Master Butler, Mr. Smith, is basically my favorite character. But that was destined to happen.

8. What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)

Walled cities, walls, architecture, steam engines, geological history, world languages, communes, the Wild West - all just little dips into things so I can get a good grasp of where I need to know more. And of course, Victorian Culture and everyday life. I love research, so it's almost more of a distraction for me. I try to do a little reading, a little quick Google translate, and then just get on with the story (I flag stuff for follow up later). During NaNo, researching and me should not go together. Because all I will do is research.
Weirdest? I don't know . . . this book hasn't brought up anything too strange yet. Mainly just medical/ disease stuff.

9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?

I know how you feel, Kyo, I really do.

By myself, by myself, to myself. I am a shy, shy author. I basically have a crisis every time someone reads my stuff - embarrassing, isn't it? (Even the above sentences caused me some angst, especially since I hadn't reread them till now!) And yet I write on.

I work around people every day, and it exhausts me (which is fine, but there it is), so writing is a happily solitary thing for me. As for sharing my work - it's kind of a wonder I have a book deal at all, because of the aforementioned writer's anxiety - will they hate it, is it terrible, am I so delusional that I've lost all sense? 

If I didn't have a brother and sister who were not only my absolute best friends, but my biggest supporters/readers/cheerleaders/fans as well, I don't know if I'd ever have found any of my projects to be "good enough" to submit. *Blushes* because this was too personal and revealing for her comfort zone.

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!

Did I mention that I am a fickle creature? I do not have consistent habits. Sometimes I do silly things like trying to eat bowls full of noodles (with chopsticks) while writing.**

So do you NaNo? If so, do you have writer's anxiety, or do you show your stuff to anyone who'll read it? (if so, you're a fortunate brave soul) If you don't NaNo, what projects are you working on?


Deny thy father, and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.        40
  Rom.  [Aside.]  Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
  Jul.  ’Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part        45
Belonging to a man. O! be some other name:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes        50
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
  Rom.        I take thee at thy word.
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d;        55
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
  Jul.  What man art thou, that, thus be-screen’d in night,
So stumblest on my counsel?
  Rom.        By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am:        60
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,
Because it is an enemy to thee:
Had I it written, I would tear the word.
**I must need more excitement in my life or something