Beautiful Books #2: The Writing Process

8:19 AM Gemma Fitz 2 Comments

Beautiful Books is back!! What is "Beautiful Books" you ask? It's yet another link-up which affords me the chance to throw my NaNo novel at your heads and yell at you about how awesome it is.

Basically, Beautiful Books is a lovely link-up hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In in which you get to answer 10 questions about your current WIP. It's particularly geared towards NaNo novels, but it can apply to any book you happen to be working on. And it's truly awesome-- you should do it.

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

Definitely defying expectations. I mean-- it's funny. Guys, I was going to write a super creepy urban fantasy/paranormal, bordering on horror. But at this point, it's looking a lot more like a sitcom. And-- I'm not really sure if I'm disappointed or not?

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

Um-- it's really boring, but here goes.
"You mean Micah didn't tell you?"
 Yeah, not very interesting but you asked for it.

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

Urgh, hard question. I identify as pantser, but it is actually incredibly rare that I go into a book without some idea of where it's going (my current novel was one of those cases, and I was/am really nervous about that). But I don't outline. Or take notes. Or write hardly ANYTHING down (except for names, because I'm always afraid I'll forget a good one). I just kinda let things stew in my brain for a couple years before I start writing.

But yes, I have tried both. Basically every time I start a new novel I freak out and decide, "DUDE, I really need an outline this time round so I know where I'm going." And then I try to write an outline and after about ten minutes of it, I'm about as stressed out as I am at any point in the pantsing process, so I quit.

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

Um-- chocolate!

At least in theory. My problem with reward systems is that I forget to reward myself. I'll finish the chapter and then forget to go get that piece of cake I promise myself. It's really sad.

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

I look for something that fits the character. It's that simple, and that hard. I will scroll through long lists of names, saying them aloud until I find the one that fits perfectly. Often times there's no reason to why a name fits, other than it sounds right.

Though, in my NaNo novel, my MCs name, "Rae", was chosen because it's a homonym of "ray" and it seemed an appropriate name for a protagonist pitted against a shadow for some reason. *shrugs* I'm cheesy like that.

As for where I find my names, I either pull them out of thin air or just google baby naming sites.

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

End. Because it's done and that is the best feeling. Also, the end in most of my stories is where everyone dies, and I just really enjoy killing my characters for some reason.
I also quite like the beginning, however, because that's when I'm still excited about my story and not burned out and miserable.

7. Who is your current favourite character in your novel?

*panics* *shrieks* I LOVE THEM ALL.

If I had to choose, though, I absolutely adore my MC, Rae. She's actually my favourite protagonist I've ever written. I usually fall for the side characters (who die) in my novels and end up hating the MCs, but not so with Rae! She certainly holds her own, and I relate with her so much, even though we're totally different (no, seriously, I'm pretty sure Rae is an ISTJ, while I'm an ENFP-- we are totally different). Plus, she's just plain hilarious.

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?)

I just went through my Google search history, and here are some of the things I found (that have to do with my story).
  • what's the character in doodle jump called
  • paranormal sightings
  • life force energy
  • english to old english translator
  • bible belt
  • talking shadows
  • how long do you have to wait in line at the ER
  • motorcycle store
  • redneck names
  • how hot does it get in (insert various cities)
  • can you hear worms in the ground
... I think that answers all the above questions?
I will say though, do not look up shadow people if you value your sleep at night.

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

Uh-- everything depends. I prefer to write by myself in real life during NaNo, so I don't get distracted (outside of NaNo, though, I am totally okay with other people in the room). However, word wars are life and make everything better, so there's that. As for sharing my work, in theory I will share it when I've edited it a couple dozen times and it's finally good enough for anyone to read without dying from the sheer awfulness of it. That hasn't happened yet, so I don't share my work as a whole. However, I sometimes will share snippets.

10. 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!

I don't have writing habits. I don't have habits, period. I'm too forgetful to have habits. I may do something and like it, but I forget to do it again, and so I never make it into a habit.
That being said, I wrote an entire post about my writer's life a while back, and you can go read it if you want.

That's all folks! Are you doing NaNo? How's your novel coming? And which do you prefer-- beginning, middle, or end?


  1. Haha, you have some interesting searches there. "Bible belt" caught my eyes.


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