“I will be posting less than usual in the month of January,” she confidently states, with a sense of established authority. Hahahahahahahaha…. (By the way, this is the same sound I made yesterday when I found out all my library holds had come in at the same time.)
Then today there’s the last part of Beautiful Books waiting for me. I already committed, back in October, to this series, so I shall finish it, and do it well. But, after this, there truly must be some sort of break-age…
What were your writing achievements last year?
Okay, I won NaNo, so this is a major achievement. Also, I made a contract with a printer to get the first novel in my fantasy series officially published. That’s quite major, too.
What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
Finish Volume 2. (It’s currently a bit of a mess.) Maybe even start Volume 3. (Hahahaha…)
Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
Top priority is getting Volume 1 printed. After that, working on Volume 2.
How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
I want to stop over-editing. This is something I do too much of; I constantly judge my own work too harshly. At the end of 2017, I really would like to be more confident in my own writing ability.
Describe your general editing process.
Staring at the screen with my hands clapped to the sides of my face. Muttering. Groaning. Making more tea. Changing the same word in the same sentence multiple times. Realizing this is foolish, chastising myself, moving on to the next chapter. Eventually giving in for the day, and telling myself to stop being so self-critical.
On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
Around 8. After NaNo, it only took about a week of final editing to be (mostly) content with the document, and declare it (against all odds) finished. But, this was also my 4th draft of this same idea. I kept throwing out plots and characters I tried and didn’t like for the premise.
What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
In terms of Volume 1, this currently doesn’t apply. But, what did need the most work was the pacing. Sometimes I rush a scene, out of pure fear of reaching writer’s block before its conclusion; or the scene ends up dragging because I’m having trouble finding clever ways to deliver the exposition.
What do you like the most about your draft?
That it’s finally done? Okay, hmmm… Well, I think I at last found the tone I was after. This is just Volume 1 of 6 (I know, I know), and I feel like there’s a real sense of the foundation of the story being set. For any book, that’s important. But for a series that (I’ve already decided) will be this long, it’s extra important.
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?
There were many times when hiding it in a dark hole seemed the much wiser option! But, seriously, I am (emotionally) ready to publish, and excited about it.
What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Whether you take pride in slaving away over your first draft, so that little has to be changed later on, or whether you just write what comes into your head after that first cup of coffee, it doesn’t matter. The shape of the story is beginning to form. Your characters are being developed. Your plot has laid some groundwork. All that is progress compared to having nothing written down.