So the amazing Paperfury and Furtherupfurtherin are doing this great writers link up to get bloggers talking about their writing goals this year. To be honest this is exactly what I need 1) to give myself a kick up the bum to finishing off my own WIP, and 2) actually start interacting with the blogging community instead of just… you know. LURKING. I am the champion blog lurker. Muhahahahahaaaaa.
Soooo: here goes!
1. What were your writing achievements last year?
Ahhahaha. Okay, so last year was an extremely bad year for me writing wise. In fact, it was possibly the worst year for writing I’ve had in the past five years. AARGH! I had, however, one modest achievement: I wrote another 15k of my WIP.
What I’m working on at the moment is an Odesta fanfic — that is, Finnick and Annie from the Hunger Games. I utterly adore writing fanfiction, and am minus 127 percent ashamed of that fact. Fanfiction is one of the most involving and dedicated homages a fan can give to worlds and creator they love, and if you don’t believe me, you need to open your eyes and your mind, dude, because you probably watched or read a zillion TV shows, books and films last year which are literally just public-domain fanfiction.
I was actually quite underwhelmed by the Hunger Games books, (I found the love triangle yawny and the emotional/mental ramifications of Katniss’ actions totally underexplored) but holy CRAP I adore the movies so sosososososo much. Finnick and Annie just really got under my skin, and I wanted to explore the story of Annie’s Hunger Games, and work out my interpretation of how they ended up together. Wsdkfslfk so many FEELS
also i literally get to write about topless Finnick all the time. But that is not the point. The point is that I have an amazing plot idea and deep, inspiring feelings about these incredible characters and th-
No but seriously, I massively effing ship this couple. They are excellent. Also, the writing I did in 2016 brought my work up to 86k. This is to the almost finished stage — past the two-thirds climax stage that is — and down to the last couple of chapters. However, then I hit a massive writers block, uni started again, and I didn’t carry it through the last 100m and over the finish the line. Then to unleash it upon AO3. Muhahahahaaa.
(Or not?? Maybe just bury it in my hard drive forever and pretend it doesn’t exist so it doesn’t come back to bite my future arse??? Idk I just know that Sarah Rees Brennan’s awful experiences really scared me???)
2. What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
Firstly, and most obviously, finish off my fic! It’s so close to the end I have no excuse. I reckon within 5k (10k max) it’ll be done. DONE. Which will make it my longest fully edited and completed work to date! (I have previously completed NANO twice, on first and second halves of an original novel, but no part of that draft deserves to ever see the light of day. Ever. Also there’s a huge ‘middle half of the story’ shaped whole between the two, hence why I can’t even call it a completed draft.)
Secondly, I want to start working on one of my original work plot-bunnies. There’s a few which I have ran over and over in my head for so long that it’s about time they started actually arriving on paper. Otherwise, I’m concerned that I’ll be dead before the day I manage to get anything I’ve written out in the world.
Thirdly, it would be brilliant if I could fully plan out a couple of my other plot-bunnies for which I have some awesome concept and scene ideas, but not much of a coherent story arc. Battling through those writers blocks would make it easier for them to come out the manuscript production line some time later.
3. Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
So I talked about my Odesta fic, but now I’ll introduce my original ideas which I want to write. *is nervous because no-one has ever heard these ideas before*
- The witch-fantasy coming of age quest about a girl bonded by blood to her fighting partner until she repays her life-debt to him, a free republic fat on the trade of war slaves to its neighbours, and a long-lost princess who might just be a shape-shifter. (I lie. She’s definitely a shape shifter. That bit’s in the prologue)
- The one about the dead-beat demon-slaying angel duo, who have spent God knows how many years stuck with each other on earth, punished to remain wingless for crimes they don’t remember committing, because their memories are periodically wiped by angelic middle-management.
- The coming of age action vampire romance in which a teen enlisted into an elite vampire-killing magically-gifted crack squad awkwardly, accidentally, and kinda murderously becomes the thing she hates most of all.
- The sci-fi about the assassin-bodyguard sworn to protect the prince she secretly loves from deadly court conspiracy on a co-orbiting planet system.
- These are the plot-bunnies that are the most developed. There are thousands more. THOUSANDS I TELL YOU
4. How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
Umm…I actually don’t have much of an answer to this in terms of specific writing techniques or weaknesses. The main improvement I want to see is that I become someone who is able to follow through and finish on their projects, and actually just *do* what it is they keep saying they want to do *some day*. If I could manage to hit my targets, that would be massive progress for me.
I see myself at the end of 2017 as, to be honest, having failed to hit my targets like I did for the past two y- *positive me barges to front of screen* NO! I REFUSE. I WILL HIT MY TARGETS AND WRITE THINGS. I WILL START HOLDING MYSELF TO ACCOUNT FOR SLACKING. AND I WILL SUCCEeeeeEEEEeED!!!! *panting*
5. Describe your general editing process.
My natural editing process is that I edit as I go, firstly because I’m a perfectionist, and secondly because I actually am one of those incredibly weird people who enjoys the editing almost more than the actual initial writing. For some reason I get so much joy out of rereading what I’ve already put on paper and shuffling things around! Hence I’m an amazing procrastiwriter…and actually have a paid part-time job in Teh Real World as a copy editor.
For NANO, those instincts obviously must be CRUSHED to make me actually get out wordcount. To be honest, I think these instincts need to be crushed in general right now — otherwise I’m never going to hit my year goals!
6. On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
Soooo as I was saying, it’s almost done and because I edit as I go it’s pretty much nearly ready to rock and roll…I think? I definitely want to get it beta’d before I shunt it off into the big scary universe. I’m honestly not all that sure how it’s turned out, because although I tend to love things when I first write them, the more time there is between the initial writing process and later rereads, the more I tend to think WHAT THE FFUDDGE DID I DO HERE!???
7. What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
(this is the noise I make when I don’t know how to answer)
THE ENDING. At the moment I’m concerned that I’ve created a LOTR/Eragon style denouement, in which the book just does not freaking end once the major battle is over. I need to make the emotional resolution of the fic (the real ending) as punchy as the action resolution, (which happens about 4/5 of the way in).
8. What do you like the most about your draft?
I think the fact that I’ve explored such a large cast of characters and interesting concepts to a relatively high level. I’ve picked up on some of the niggling things about THG which I thought felt unfinished or unanswered, and tried to make something yummy out of them.
9. 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?
ALL OF THE ABOVE, PROBABLY SIMULTANEOUSLY
10. What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?
Oh dude. I’m basically still exactly at this stage myself, so not sure I’m really in a position to give any advice. I can tell y’all what it is I always tell myself, though — keep writing, you massive prat.
WRITERS WRITE. SO GO BLIMMING DO IT.
Although I’m massively shite at taking my own advice… I know that I’m right.