Snippet Sunday is a weekly writing post in which you share a snippet of your current writing project. This snippet is from Scarred Flawless
Vivian Devereaux knew better than anyone that The City of Stars and Moonlight was nothing more than a flawless facade, and its crystalline beauty was nothing more than gold plating put in place to hide the scars beneath the surface. In the reality that no one wanted to face, Artimay was nothing more than a masterpiece of flawed perfection around which the world revolved.
Beautiful Books is a writing link-up created by Cait @ Paper Fury. Today’s topic is, “How’s the writing going”?
Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?
My mental state is pretty frazzled at the moment. It is day five of NaNoWriMo 2017, and I have 1057 new words to my name. That isn’t even the recommended word count for day one… Because of this pathetic excuse for a day five word count, I have switched my goal around a little bit. Instead of trying to edit Scarred Flawless and draft 50K words of the sequal, I have made my primary goal to finish editing Scarred Flawless. This is WAY more important to me than drafting a new thing right now because I want to have it in the hands of beta readers by January. Therefore, I’ll be counting every thirty minutes of editing as one thousand words for NaNo this year.
What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
The Counsel Hall was no place for the innocent or kind at heart. So much innocent blood had been spilled upon the tiles that it was a wonder the floor was white instead of scarlet. Niko Devereaux had watched every drop of that innocent blood spill a thousand times over, and sometimes the presence of the unseen in the Great Room was so strong that it was difficult to tell what was tangible and what was non-corporeal.
Who’s your current favorite character in your novel?
The proper answer here is, “Please don’t make me pick a favorite fictional child”, but I’ll be honest… Niko is my favorite.
What do you love about your novel so far?
I LOVE my characters! The characters actually came to me before the plot, so they were extremely well-developed before I even started writing.
Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?
I haven’t made any hilarious typos myself, but autocorrect did a number on my first draft! I didn’t realize it was on, and for some reason it insisted that my main characters name should be, “Nero Develop”, instead of Niko Devereaux. Let’s just say I spent some quality time with the find-and-replace feature before I did my first read through… 🙂
What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
Beginnings are my happy place! Nothing has to make a ton of sense in the beginning because the rest of the story is there to explain things, but middles and ends require logic! I don’t like it when writing and logic collide!
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 eat while I write because food and keyboards should never mix, but I do drink coffee or tea depending on what I’m up for that day. I do listen to music while I write, )you can click here to view my Scarred Flawless playlist on youTube). I write best either late at night or early in the morning when no one else is awake.
How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?
No one gets to know about my writing except my closest writerly friends until the first round of edits are over.
What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?
Other people did it, so I can do it too!
What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?
◦Don’t chase after any shiny new ideas unless you are absolutely sure that your current project isn’t going anywhere. You’ll never get anything published if you don’t stick with something.
◦Write about something you are passionate about. If you love something, you’ll probably also enjoy writing about it.
◦Writing has no rules; don’t let anybody tell you otherwise!
Happy Halloween/NaNoWriMo Eve! This is kind of last minute, but I thought I would share five of my favorite NaNoWriMo bullet journal spreads.
*If you are unfamiliar with the bullet journal system, click here for a video that will explain it better than I can.
Unfortunately I can’t show you pretty pictures like most of the bullet journalers on Instagram because all of my spreads are in braille, and the vast majority of you couldn’t read them. However, I will do my best to describe the spreads well enough for you to actually understand what I’m talking about… 🙂
The Monthly Spread:
This is basically a staple of all bullet journals, not just writing ones. I don’t typically use the monthly spread when I’m planning for a normal month, but I do during November. This is so that I can easily see what weeks are going to be insanely busy and what weeks are going to be basically free. If I’m going to have a crazy week, I make sure to cover for it in the week prior.
The Word Count Tracker:
This is a table consisting of three columns: day, word count, and damage control. Along the left-hand side, I list the 30 days of November. In the word count column, I write the word count I achieved for that particular day. In the damage control column, I write the number of words that I need to write the next day in order to fix any damage I did the day before.
The recommended word count per day to win NaNoWriMo is 1667. Although it is possible to win NaNoWriMo by not writing on the week days and doing nothing but writing on the weekends, (I have done this), it is MUCH easier if you stick to a daily goal of somewhere around 1667 words per day. Hence the word count tracker!
The daily spread:
For me, this spread is literally just a todo list. Basically, these pages consist of checklists of everything I have to do before I can write. Without these pages, I would get completely sucked into NaNoWriMo, and important things like homework and algebra tests would be forgotten.
The Inspiration Spread:
This page consists of a list of things that inspire me to write my novel. The majority of WriMos, (including myself), tend to get sick of whatever they’re working on half way through the month and move onto a shiny new idea. This is bad, because you will never finish anything if you don’t stick with something. Also, if you were excited enough about an idea to decide to do it for NaNo, it’s probably pretty good, and you should probably stick with it! My inspiration pages usually consist of things like…
◦I love my characters!
◦My plot is super exciting!
◦These characters have a story to tell, and it’s my job to put it on paper.
◦The world needs my novel!!!!
The playlist Spread:
Most of you probably know by now that I make a playlist for everything I start. I can’t rite in silence, and if I’m going to listen to music while writing, it should totally be stuff that pertains to my story! Putting the playlist on shuffle and listening to a few songs is usually enough to get me in the writing zone, but sometimes I need a little extra help to get into the mindset to write certain scenes. So… I list all of the super important scenes that may be tough to write and associate each of them with a song so that I can listen to that song in order to get in the mindset to write that scene.
Hey writerly people!
You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in like… three months or so. That is because school happened! It’s my senior year, and I haven’t had time for much of anything other than classes, college stuff, and the occasional stolen moment of editing Scarred Flawless. However, I am going to do NaNoWriMo again this year, and, (because I am a crazy person), I have two projects:
- I am editing Scarred Flawless. I have about 25 more scenes to put into place. After that, I will do the final read-through, and it should be ready for beta readers in December or January!
- I am planning to write 50 thousand words of the first draft of Fractured Faith, which is the sequel to Scarred Flawless.
Will I win NaNoWriMo? Probably not! But at least I can say I tried!
I will still probably be pretty inactive on here until January when my course load lightens up a little, but I will be posting NaNoWriMo updates on Twitter! At least I think I can manage to write a 140 character update every day… Maybe… Probably NOT!
If you are also participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to add me as a writing buddy! Also, let me know what you’ll be working on in the comments! I promise I will check the comments! And respond to the comments! Over Thanksgiving break… 🙂
Beautiful People is a writing link-up created by Cait @ Paper Fury. This month’s topic is your writerly process!
How do you decide which project to work on?
I always write the thing that I want to read most. Usually this is the project that I’ve thought out the most and at least somewhat outlined, but sometimes it’s a completely new project that I know very little about but already love.
How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
That depends on the project… I can usually do a short story in a month. Novels take about a year, (with three months of drafting and nine months of cleaning up the mess that I call a draft).
Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
I always diffuse peppermint oil when I’m writing because it helps me focus, and I usually listen to either my project playlist or nature sounds.
What time of day do you write best?
Either really late at night or really early in the morning… what is sleep?
Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
Ummm… no. My style is my own, just like every other author’s style is their own. I honestly think that you could give three different authors the same prompt and ask them to write a story, and they would come up with completely different stories because everybody’s brain works differently!
Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
I started writing because I loved reading and telling stories, and I just never stopped. It’s so much of a habit to write every day now that it feels weird to not write in a day! I’ll keep writing as long as I have stories to tell, and I’ll probably cry if I ever run out of stories!
What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?
Definitely my Shaman Novel! The number one piece of advice that you’ll hear as a writer is, “Write what you know”. I personally think that this “rule” is idiotic and hardly ever follow it, but it does have a tiny bit of value. When I started writing my Shaman Novel, I stepped off a cliff into the deep blue unknown, and that was the most terrifying moment of my writerly life! It’s one thing to create a magic system, world, characters, plot, and fantastical creatures out of your imagination, but it’s a completely different thing to combine fantasy and psychology when you know absolutely nothing about the psychological disorders at hand! Speaking from hours of experience here… Google is a writer’s best friend!
Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?
Nope! Now that I’ve written two drafts of my Shaman Novel, I can write anything!
What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?
Uhhhh… I’ll just skip this question! Just kidding… My main goal for 2017 was to have my Shaman Novel ready for beta readers by June, and clearly that did not happen! I have world building woes, ok?! Cut me some slack here! I still gotta name some fictional countries!
Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!
I absolutely positively despise gifs because gif + screen reader = BAD! So… here are my three words: messy, incoherent, somewhat insane. That turned into four words, but I’m calling it good!
Snippet Sunday is a writing meme created by Samantha @ Reed’s Reads & Reviews in which you share a snippet of your writing. This snippet is from my Shaman Novel.
So much blood has been spilled upon this floor that I can’t believe the marble is white instead of scarlet.
Beautiful People is a writing link-up created by Cait @ Paper Fury in which you share a bit about your characters. This month’s topic is parental relationships! I’ll be answering the following questions for Niko Deverow, (The main character of my Shaman Novel.)
Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
Niko’s biological parents mysteriously disappeared when he was three years old. His Aunt Zelda and Uncle Quinn are his legal guardians, but they don’t really care what he does as long as it doesn’t ruin their chance at a spot on the royal counsel. The closest thing he has to a real parent is his shaman mentor, Archer Cross. She was like a sister to Niko’s mother, and now she’s made it her mission to save him from the royal lifestyle as his mother would’ve wanted.
Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence, and how has it affected their life?
I already answered the first part of this question above… Sophia and Gidian Deverow disappeared when Niko was only three, so he never got a chance to know them. Niko inherited his Mom’s shaman gift: the ability to see spirits and residual energetic imprints. For example, he could see the blurred image of a violent murder that played out 50 years in the past because of the energetic imprint it left behind. This made it super hard for him when his Aunt and Uncle got guardianship. His dad basically ruined the Deverow name when he married a shaman, and now Zelda and Quinn care about nothing beyond fixing their reputation and reclaiming their spot on the royal counsel. From a VERY young age, Niko has been taught to hide his abilities. He wears a flawless mask to keep up his royal pretence, but beneath it he is filled with scars and secrets that can never be revealed. Because he’s holding so much inside, he finds ways to numb the world. He becomes addicted to Bliss, (a made-up drug), and turns to self-injury as a form of release.
How did their parents meet?
Every year, the Counsel and the Shaman Court meet under a peace flag. Gidian Deverow and Sophia Murser met at one such meeting. Sophie saw that something was off in Gidian’s aura. He didn’t quite fit with the other royals, and that intrigued her. She struck up a conversation at the peace banquet, and after several months of secret meetings, Gidian made plans to desert the counsel which would throw his family name into exile.
How would they feel if they were told, “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?
Niko would be overjoyed to get ANY kind of information about his parents! He’s spent most of his life trying to find out what happened to them, which is difficult because he has no access to shaman records, and the counsel doesn’t keep information on traitors. Even though he sees the spirits of the dead, he’s never seen his parents. He can’t decide if this makes him scared or happy because it either means they’re not dead, they’re in some kind of afterlife, or they’re alive and somewhere worse than death.
What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
Sophia was training to become a spy for ISA, (the International Shaman Alliance). Gidian was being groomed to carry on his family name and one day inherit the Deverow’s counsel seat.
Is there something they adamantly disagreed on?
Considering they never new each other, they didn’t have a chance to disagree on anything.
What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
It was very difficult for Sophie to find out that Niko had her abilities. Sight and Empathy are two of the most difficult shaman gifts to master, and when they’re combined, they usually result in madness.
What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
Niko has a vague memory of his mother singing him to sleep in a foreign language that sounds a lot like Hawaiian. However, he can’t decide if it really happened, or if he just made it up to feel some connection to his life before the counsel.
What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
Niko was a very quiet child. He was always watching, listing, and absorbing the world around him.
Why and how did the parent(s) choose your character’s name?
The name Niko means, “victory,” or, “warrior”. Gidian and Sophie named him Niko because they knew the world was a harsh place, and they wanted it to remind him that he was strong enough to fight and win.
It has been forever since I’ve posted a monthly recap, (mostly because I always forget them), but here is the recap for April!
What I Posted:
■Snippet Sunday–in which one of my characters figuratively drowns.
■Top Ten Tuesday–things that make me instantly want to read a book.
■Snippet Sunday–in which one of my characters makes a sarcastic statement.
■Camp NaNoWriMo Tips–staying inspired.
■Snippet Sunday–my Shaman Novel synopsis.
■Writing Up Wednesday–the craft of writing.
■Book Review–Fear the Drowning Deep
■Camp NaNoWriMo Tips[[having the best experience.
My Writerly Achievements:
I somehow managed to score another CampNaNo win! My goal was to spend thirty hours editing my Shaman Novel, and I hit that and worked five hours over! It doesn’t look like I really did much though because I ended up writing in another subplot in order to fill a plot whole, which means that I now have to write those scenes. I’m still hoping to have this thing ready for beta readers by the first of June, but I already have a crazy buisy Summer planned, so we’ll see! My Shaman Novel also has a working title now: Flawless Scars. I love it, and it fits the story and main character really well, but you guys please let me know what you think of it in the comments! Would you be drawn to pick up a young adult fantasy book with this title?
Upcoming in May:
■Book Review–Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor.
■Book Review–Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor.
■Book Review–Embers by Karen Ann Hopkins.
■The Why I Love Me Tag–late as usual.
Snippet Sunday is a writing meme created by Samantha @ Reed’s Reads & Reviews in which you share a snippet from your current writing project. This snippet is from my Shaman Novel.
Vivian Deverow was drowning. It was kind of ironic if you thought about it. “Strike a match and let it burn,” she muttered to herself through a choked laugh. That’d been her motto for years, but her matches couldn’t burn under water.
Snippet Sunday is a writing meme created by Samantha @ Reed’s Reads & Reviews in which you share a snippet from your current writing project. This snippet is from my Shaman Novel.
“Maybe I don’t play card games with power,” Niko said quietly, still holding Adam captive in his icy blue gaze.