Monday, December 7, 2015

Beautiful Books Link Up - Editing Process

Happy Monday, Bibliobabes!


I've been busy. I've been busy doing something wonderful, something that I told myself I would do since I started writing my own stories in middle school. I'm writing a book.

I KID YOU NOT! This is no joke, my dearlings. No. Though occasionally I will sit back in my chair and THINK to myself that it's a joke. That I'm kidding myself.  Yet, those thoughts eventually pass and I feel right at home.

Mini Backstory

I finally started  seriously writing on the book (not just jotting ideas down and writing unassigned dialogue... of which I now have a lot of) the middle of this year. So much changed for me and my family this May when my little brother passed. I unexpectedly had this gaping hole inside and the "This will never happen to me or my family" comfort was gone. Suddenly, life was even more fragile than I believed it was before. I thought of all of the times I'd told my kid brother I was going to be a writer, and how supportive he was and how much he believed in me. I thought of how proud he'd be, no matter where he is, if I could claim that dream for myself.

NaNoWriMo 2015 was probably the big spring board. I had about 10k words of the actual story written by the time November rolled around and I was struggling with my inner critic. I swore to myself that I was going to focus and actually get my first draft done before the end of the year. NaNo yielded 50k words and this crazy wonderful belief in myself.

11k more words since December 1st means I'm approaching the end of my first draft. Not going to lie... I'll probably bawl when I type the last word. But hey, I'll have earned myself a good happy cry.

Goal now is to finish before Christmas and begin the full-on editing process by New Years 2016.

Now, with all of that info in mind I'll be answering the questions for this last 2015 Beautiful Books in an altered way, with a 'nearly' finished first draft!


 On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how did the book turn out? Did anything defy your expectations?

So far, my book is hitting a 9 for me. My expectations going in to this first draft were medium. I believed in myself pretty well and thought that it at least wouldn't be TOTAL crap. Now, I'm not saying that my first draft is ready. Not at all... but geez... my characters have caught me off guard several times, their personalities just shine out and they're honestly nothing like I expected.  Scenes have changed, entire new worlds have popped up, and my vision for the work has solidified. This entire process so far has been beyond unbelievable.

Comparative title time: what published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men.)

Ooh. This is hard. Em. Maybe "Coraline" meets "Howl's Moving Castle?" (Both the books, not the movies). Or "Little Nemo"(NOT "Finding Nemo") meets "Mirror Mask"? (Movies).

I don't know! I feel like that's a call for other reader's to make.

Do you enjoy working with deadlines and pressure (aka NaNoWriMo)? Or do you prefer to write-as-you’re-inspired?

I loved working under deadlines. It forces me to write when I'm not feeling it. What I've found time after time is that if I MAKE myself start writing even when I have zero inspiration, something great happens. Some of my best writing days so far have started out as difficult-to-get-started days.

Now that NaNo is over, I have a self imposed deadline to finish the draft before Christmas. My entire family knows the deadline so they're on me about it, which makes it a lot easier to force myself on days I don't want to!

How do you go about editing? Give us an insight into your editing process.

Oh, geez. Not yet. I go back occasionally and read what I've written. I won't let myself edit it yet, but I will make notes in the margins about what I'm planning on changing, or what has already changed in another part of the book.  When the time comes to get into editing, I'm going to print it all out and read through with a red pen. Make some changes.

Then I'll hand it out to some family and friends. With their feedback I'll probably make some more changes.

Finally I'll find a few beta readers that AREN'T family and friends. Again, I'll make changes based on feedback and then go from there!

What aspect of your story needs the most work?

I think that there's a lot of TELLING going on right now and maybe not enough SHOWING. So I'll definitely need to go back and see if there are ways I can uncover important information for the main character through some action.

Also, I've been skipping really detailed descriptions, because they hang me up. So if I get to a part where I'm wanting to describe something (let's say, a cottage) and it's really interesting and fun but it's taking me HOURS to get the words right... I make a note to come back to it and move on. So I'll need to go back and fill in the blanks.

What aspect of your story did you love the most?

I love my Protagonist and her journey. She's so curious and adventurous and loving. She's compassionate and strong willed and she just wants to protect everyone. Even with all of this insane stuff going on she's just like "Bring it on!" She's that kind of character that keeps her wonder and her empathy despite all of the horrible stuff that's happened to her. I love her!

Give us a brief run down on your main characters and how you think they turned out. Do you think they’ll need changes in edits?

Protagonist - She's a 13 year old orphan who's been stuck at this horrible home for girls for the past 5 years. Her world is turned completely upside down when a strange book turns up in her dormitory with her name inside. All of these weird, terrifying, and wonderful things start to happen and she's just taking it on. Despite her strength, she has a lot of hidden fear and doesn't really believe in herself throughout the majority of the work. That starts to change when people she cares about become mixed up the craziness of her new life.

My thoughts:  The Protagonist is still growing and changing. I haven't reached the end of the first draft yet, so I'm sure she'll alter again before it's all said and done.

- Anthropomorphic animal with a real smart mouth. He's a bit secretive and doesn't always give Protagonist the whole story but he never leads her wrong (when he can help it) and they're very close friends.

My thoughts:
I like the Guardian as he is, I don't think there will be too much editing on his part. Though I might go back and adjust some of his snark just a tad bit.

Best Friend - A very shy and gentle older girl who Protagonist kind of takes under her wing at the home. They become pretty much inseparable and are more like family. This character is sweet, and curious, and extremely loving. Never speaks a harsh word about anyone. Despite her gentleness she's always up for an adventure (even a dangerous one) and she's super resilient.

My thoughts: BF needs more page time in the beginning. I'll be going back to add her in a little more, probably. 

Mage- The young man with lots of secrets. He's a bit flighty, and though extremely intelligent he often loses his train of thought or forgets there are other people around. Very blunt and occasionally oblivious. He looks out for mostly himself, but he'll never purposefully leave anyone in danger. He and Protagonist have a tenuous friendship born of mutual respect for each others' abilities.

My thoughts: Barnaby cracks me up, but he's the hardest to write because of his secretive personality. I still don't know everything about him. We'll see what the story brings to light!

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?

Once initial editing and beta readers are done? I'll edit one more time (maybe consider a professional proof read) and then start Querying! In my research I seem to be finding that writers/agents suggest that it's not necessary to spend exorbitant amount on professional line editing unless you're planning on self publishing.

Share a favourite snippet!
“What in the world are you doing here?” he demanded. Before Penelope could even answer he was pulling her down the dim hallway. “That won’t keep them back for long. They’ll be regrouping even now. It’s time to run.”

In a fury of feathers and large bellowing battle cries Rigsby attacked the young man, yelling for Penelope to escape. The stranger brought his arms up to cover his head, swatting wildly and calling out in alarm.

“I’m not…Hey!” After some scuffling the stranger managed to right himself, yelling so loudly that Penelope clapped her hands over her ears. “CEASE THIS INSANITY! I’M A MAGE OF THE PARLIAMENT!”

Surprisingly, Rigsby did indeed halt, though with much reluctance. He took a heavy perch on Penelope's shoulder, head bent low, ready to attack again if necessary. If birds could spit, Penelope was sure Rigsby would have.

“A Mage?" Rigsby scoffed, "Even if such beasts were trustworthy you’re certainly not a Mage anymore, are you? Look at yourself. You’ve been stripped of your title. It’s plain as day!"

The young man self consciously reached up to touch his hair. The strands were so white they were almost blue. Penelope was amazed she couldn’t see straight through them to his scalp. '

What are your writing goals and plans for 2016?

Finish editing this first book and send out Queries. While I'm waiting to hear back I'll start on the next one!


  1. Omg congrats on this project of yours!! (I'm so sorry about your brother...) And I hope you have th ebest luck with editing and querying (and totally agreed: I don't think you need to worry about hiring someone before querying. It's good to edit it reeeeally hard, but I queried with only getting beta-readers help and not hiring anyone :P) Oh! Oh! And your comparative titles sound amazing. :D
    Thanks for joining in the link up!!

    1. Thanks Cait.

      I'm really looking forward to the editing process, honestly! I think once I finally get the story out of me and onto paper I'll feel uber accomplished.

      The Comparative titles were difficult! I kept thinking to myself "How am I supposed to live up to these wonderful movies/books?!" but putting it in words was fun and definitely an exercise in reeeeeaaaaaly considering what my book is all about.

      Looking forward to future Beautiful People link-ups!

  2. I'm so proud of you Auggie! Your book is gonna rock! You have been such an inspiration to me and I can't wait to get back to my own writing journey :)

    1. Thank you my beautiful co-host! I'll have to send you some bits and sign you up to be one of my beta readers (family and friends category). ;)

      Get on your own writing, girl! I know you've got some stories in you!

  3. I'm so sorry about your brother. *hugs* I know that must have been really tough. I can't imagine losing one of my younger brothers. I'm glad that you let it propel your story. It's going to make the book all the more meaningful. Your characters sound very cool! I love that one is an anthropomorphic animals! That's awesome. Wishing you the best with editing and querying!

    I did Beautiful Books too!