Monday, January 11, 2016

Beautiful People #14 - Not A Repeat of My OTHER Writing Goals List

I was a tiny bit dismayed when I saw the Beautiful People theme for this month: Writerly Resolutions and Goals, since I'd already done a slightly similar post. However, when I skimmed the questions, I realized that I hadn't really answered any of those questions. So, naturally, I decided to tackle the challenge of a whole new list. Because, why not?

Beautiful People is a monthly meme for writers, hosted by Cait and Sky (click their names for their respective awesome blogs).

Writerly Resolutions and Goals for 2016 (Part II, Sort of)

1. What were your writing achievements last year?

Other than my book deal (see here), I amassed a large word count on three other projects, completed another year of steady reviews for a local publication, and picked up blogging again.

2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

Finishing The Last Coffee Shop. This has been my BP topic for most months. If you want to read about it, click here. I would also like to finish my draft of my NaNo project, The Butler Did It, and do some polish edits on some of my older, finished manuscripts.

3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

1. Organization (just in writing, I'm not asking for a miracle!)
2. Plotting. While I'm not as bad as Swiss cheese here, I tend to pay a lot more attention to my world and characters than, you know, the plot. And with a mystery like The Butler Did It, that doesn't work out so well. I'm planning to rework and chart that book's plot soon.
3. The quality of my blog and posts. Writing can always improve!
4. My editing. I just need to actually, you know, do it.
5. Focusing. Maybe not just in writing. I tend to jump from book to blog to book to another book and subject to subject. This makes research a little scattered, even though I love research. So I need to pick something to work on and Just. Work. On. That.

4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?

Other than (planned) NaNo, no. Does anyone have any suggestions? I love challenges!

5. What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

My beta/critique is nil right now, mainly because I have nothing I'm ready to show someone! However, I do have a few victims friends, and my long-suffering and loyal sister/bff Grace, who are intended readers when I have something that won't make me screech in embarrassment.
I am open to more betas - I just need something for them to read, that's all.

6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

Erm, no? I am always doing research for something or other. I love nonfiction and have a tendency to pick up random books and head down pointless rabbit trails. I have two pet projects that I really want to get some preliminary research down for, so I'm reading a few books for those right now (hey, it's an excuse to read another book about samurai).

7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

I want to get to know most of the characters in The Butler Did It better, but especially the narrator/MC, Ernestine. I will probably do intensive character sheets, and maybe some Beautiful People posts :)
As I've said before, my characters are usually the part of a novel that I'm most confident about. They're also my favorite part.

8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

Edit. Edit. Edit. Since I have a book coming out this year, I'll be focusing on getting more manuscripts in publisher shape. My plan is discipline! Despite my distraction issues, I'm pretty good at making myself do things. So I plan to chart out an editing checklist and guide for the rest of the year (probably from February on, since my January is already pretty busy), and stick to it!

9. Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

As a mad King Arthur buff, I can never see too many Arthurian novels. However, I am equally interested in world mythology. We need more fantasy/myth stories set in places like Zimbabwe or Malaysia, and rooted in their unique cultures. Also, more graphic novel - novel fusions, like The Graveyard Book or The Nest. I love manga and animation inspired art, and I'd love to see more books that fuse traditional novels with a more visual medium.

On that note, I am currently stewing over two novel projects set in a mythical variant of Korea, and rooted in actual Historical Japan, respectively. The latter is a retelling I've been wanting to do for ages. The only problem with it is that I want it to have illustrations. So, either more work for me, or I write the book and find an illustrator someday. (My dream is to team up with one of the amazingly talented artists on deviantart).

10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

While world domination would be my second option, I'd really just like to get my debut novel into as many readers' hands as possible. Also, to have a few rough manuscripts, and at least one that is publisher ready, that would be phenomenal.
If you didn't mean books - then progress with my Japanese and Korean studies. I am dreadful with languages, and I'm trying to learn two (in addition to my sorry Latin and bad French, and perfectly acceptable English).

So what are your writing (or other) goals for this year? Do you have any challenge suggestions for me?