Friday, 13 November 2015

Beautiful Books - I Think I've Turned Nocturnal

Today we're linking up with Beautiful Books, a link-up hosted by Cait at Paper Fury and Sky at Further Up and Further In so that I can gabble on endlessly about my writing process.

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

Oh God. If you'd asked me that question yesterday, I would've fallen at your feet in a sobbing mass. Last year, I pantsed and the first two weeks were a snap. This year, I planned and ended up with the most chronic case of writers' block imaginable.

But you didn't ask it yesterday. You asked it today.

I'm two days behind. But the novel is going infintely better.

(Keep telling yourself that.)

The plot works (it always worked, it was my brain that didn't), the characters have stopped picking on me, and I've found my perfect writing time. Yay!

2.  What's your first sentence or paragraph?

Hmm...I'm not quite sure how to answer this one because, right now, I have two opening sentences. You see, I'm writing my alpha and beta plots seperately and merging them at the end. The beta plot contains the first sentence of the novel, but I'm doing the alpha plot for NaNo.

So my NaNo novel starts with the rather unexciting:
"Colin was irritated."
Technically, this is the start of the SECOND chapter. 
3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?

I'm definitely a plotter, but I only know that because I pantsed last year. I literally decided to do NaNo two days before it started, so I took a previously invented fantasy world and five major characters and went for it with no idea where I was going.
The characters ran back and forth across the world a few times.
Then, in a desperate attempt to create some form of overarching plot, I resorted to fantasy cliche.
Obviously, it wasn't very good. I enjoyed writing it though, and I love going back and reading it.

This year I have a 16,000 word word document full of character plans, vague plot outlines and world information. I also have the alpha and beta plots written out in detail and blutacked to my wardrobe doors.

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

Chocolate. Ice cream. An online quiz. 

(Liar. You tell yourself that you'll reward yourself with them, then have them as you write.)

Okay. Fine. So I don't understand the concept of a reward system. In my defence, the food keeps me going and, if I'm beginning to lag, a quick quiz perks me right back up again.

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

When I'm naming a character, I either pick something that sounds right, or go looking for something that sounds right. My NaNo novel stems from an idea I first came up with as a kid and I've used one of the many casts of original main characters. They kept their first names, but I went looking for middle and surnames that were somehow linked to them. Of the new characters, one is named after a character from a comic I read as a kid. Another has a name drawn from the solar system. At least five are named for mythological figures. There's no hard and fast rule.
I usually have themes for place names though.

6. What is your favourite to write, beginning, middle or end? Why?

It's different for every novel. Usually bits and pieces of each. The end can make me either happy because yay! Achievement! Or sad, because I've been working on that forever and now what will I do with my life?

(Finish something else, maybe? Or, hey, here's a crazy idea, why don't you edit something?)

...I had to ask.

7. Who's your current favourite character in the novel?

I absolutely love the caravanners, which is stupid because
A. They haven't appeared yet
B. They're only scheduled to appear for three chapters.
Minor and supporting characters. Even in my own stories, I love them.

8. What kind of things have you researched for this project? How do you go about researching? What's the weirdest thing you've researched?

Superstitions, tarot cards, Gods, myths, weapons, all manner of monsters, Celts, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Native American culture... What haven't I researched? 
It usually involves me sitting in front of my laptop, clicking away like a mindless zombie. 
Gemstone healing is the weirdest thing I've had to look at for this project, just because it seems so random, but I've done weirder.

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

I write alone. Holed up in my room. At crazy o'clock. When I think of sharing my work, I think of the apocalypse. Specifically, it happening.
A teacher recommended blogging to me as a way to build my writing confidence.

10. What are your writing habits? Is there is a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best?

Music is the great mind focuser. Often I'll just pick one artist and loop their songs all night. Sometimes, I just play one song. Over. And over. And over again.
For some reason, my writing comes out best between 9pm and midnight. Expect a post about this in the near future.

Are you taking part in Beautiful Books? What's the weirdest thing you've ever had to research?
Please leave your thoughts, theories, moans and groans in the comments.