Happy Friday Book Babes!
With my post yesterday, where I decided to share my NaNoWriMo stats with everyone, I also came across this fantastic tag hosted by Paperfury that invites NaNoWriMo participants to link up and share some bits and pieces of the novel that they're working on.
I'm an intensely private person when it comes to my creative pursuits. I don't like sharing my process or my incomplete work with anyone. Ever. It freaks me out. I can make an announcement to the world about my intentions to do it, or that I am, in reality, actually doing it like right now. Sharing details, however, has always been an iffy endeavor for me.
After having read several other shares, I thought it might be worth it to come out of my shell a little. So here are my answers to this month's Beautiful Books link up.
1. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
"Somewhere in the dark beyond the window, winter clung stubbornly to the earth and in that wintry darkness there was a sound. Perhaps it was a fox whose frantic yipping disturbed the midnight stillness. Perhaps it was not a fox at all. The noise was distant at first, faint and vague, but it was this clamor that began to stir a young girl from her peaceful, warm, sleep."
2. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
I used to think that I was a pantser. It was the way that I had always written anything before. College papers? 32 page Senior Thesis? Short-Stories? Whatever it was I'd just slam it out. Even using this method I actually always managed to do really well on my academic papers, and I got a few really "pretty" paragraphs in to my story ideas before my brain would overload.
When I finally decided to get serious about writing this book I decided that pantsing probably wasn't going to work for me, so chose plotting. Voila. I'm nearly halfways finished with my Nano Goal already thanks to outlining and character sheets.
3. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
I'm terrible at setting rewards for myself. There are few things that I really really really want badly enough to be a worthwhile prize. I managed to find one thing though that keeps me working towards my goal: Family. My parents agreed to drive the 3.5 hours to see me for a weekend if I hit the 40,000 word mark by Nov. 19th. Almost there!
4. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
To be perfectly honest, I just pick names out of thin air. I don't think about them ad nauseum. I think about my character, what kind of person I expect they'll be and I wait for a name to come to mind. Sometimes several names will cycle through my mind before a good ones pops up. When the name feels right, I take it. So far that's really worked out for me. My main character, though, I knew what her name was going to be long before I even started brainstorming the book. I tend to go for names that aren't common or that may be a bit peculiar or old sounding.
5. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
If we break this question down like we're talking about "chapters" instead of an entire book then I think I'd say that the end of chapters is the best for me. All of this stuff has happened, and now we're making sense of it. There's like this mini-climax at the end of every chapter where even I'm wondering "What's next, what's next?!" even though I already know!
6. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
My main character is nearest and dearest, but actually I'm really fond right now of a secondary character. He's this ancient old man who looks uptight and stern and plain old grumpy, but there's something really strange and wonderful about him.
7. 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?!)
I haven't done much research for this project yet. This is a fantasy so I can break quite a few rules. However, I did have to look up recently what climate lavender thrives in so I wouldn't be putting that flower into some weird place it didn't belong. I'll also probably end up researching horticulture at some point.
8. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
I definitely prefer to keep my work to myself until I feel that it's ready to be shared. If there's a particular scene or chapter that I'm really feeling, then I might share it with my family just to get some feedback. Otherwise I keep it to myself.
In reference to writing alone or in groups... I'm pretty much an introvert so I prefer to work alone. However, I don't mind working alone in a social atmosphere. Coffee shops and bookstores make perfect work spaces for me. I don't feel isolated, but I don't have to talk to anyone either. There are times when I really need that accountability and I have writing partners (very good friends who also write) who will spend a few hours writing with me from time to time.
9. 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!
You know, I haven't really noticed my writing habits! Thinking back, I guess I drink a lot of coffee... but isn't that sort of required? I write best in the morning time and right after lunch. Closer to the end of the day I start feeling tired and foggy, especially this time of year when it gets dark so early.
I don't listen to music while I write or I end up getting side tracked by my daydreaming. Music is great inspiration for ideas, but when I'm trying to get already formed ideas onto paper I usually need some kind of quiet.
If you're participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I hope that you'll connect with me, AuggieJ, so we can encourage each other on this awesome adventure!
Until Next Blog,
Read (And Write) On!