It’s the last day of the month, so it’s the perfect time to post my final Beautiful Books post for the month. Nothing like leaving time sensitive tasks until the very last minute to get the heart racing. For those who don’t know, Beautiful Books is a writing link-up hosted by the amazing duo, Cait@PaperFury, and Sky@Further Up And Further In. For the past two months, I’ve been discussing my NaNoWriMo 2015 project, Blood Debt, a novel set in a dystopian future where blood is currency, people require regular blood transfusions to live past their forties, and where debts are deadly. I managed to finish Blood Debt in November, and this month, for Beautiful Books, we’re looking back at how the book turned out, and ahead to its future.
On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how did the book turn out? Did anything defy your expectations?
Overall, I’d rate it 5/10. The beginning went fairly well, but goodness knows what happened in the middle to end. It needs more of pretty much everything, including vast amounts of logic. But that’s pretty normal for a first draft of mine, and there’s plenty there for me to work with in the future, which is all I really wanted. So overall, I’m pretty happy with how it went.
Comparative title time: what published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men.)
Ugh, I’m so bad at comparative titles. One title is the film In Time, but what else my book is like is beyond me. I obviously haven’t read the right books or watched the right films yet.
Do you enjoy working with deadlines and pressure (aka NaNoWriMo)? Or do you prefer to write-as-you’re-inspired?
YES. I love the way events like NaNoWriMo push me to work harder, and force me to write every day to hit my goal. I feel more motivated and way more dedicated when I have a deadline to follow rather than writing when I feel inspired. (If I waited for that, I doubt anything would ever get written). If NaNoWriMo went all year, I would so be up for it!
How do you go about editing? Give us an insight into your editing process.
My editing begins with me reading my book through while taking notes on whatever issues I want to address in this round of editing, such as plot problems, or character arcs. Then I brainstorm solutions. Next I edit those issues. And then the book lies dormant for another few weeks until I’m ready to come back for another round of edits. Not the most efficient solution probably, but it works for me. You can find a much more in depth discussion of my process HERE.
What aspect of your story needs the most work?
Can I just say everything and be done with it? There is so much to fix it’s hard to know where to start. I never brainstormed half enough worldbuilding details, so it’s a weird hodge podge world of wishy washy details that remained vague in the hope I could come up with something awesome at a later date. Characters are very…fluid. One character vanished halfway through the book, and others appear to have multiple personalities they change that much during the draft. And don’t get me started on my terrible ending. My climax involved the villain getting taken out in a stroke of luck by a motorcycle. Disorganised to the extreme. I’m going to have to tear the entire book apart and put it back together in hopefully some semblance of order.
What aspect of your story did you love the most?
Probably the overall concept. The execution is pretty terrible at the moment (with the potential to get vastly much better of course), but I adore the overall concept of blood as money, degenerative diseases, and a literal blood debt. I get a little bit excited every time I remember it.
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?
Kyra, my main character, turned out the best of all the characters, probably because I got to spend so much time with her. I was hoping for her to turn out with a bit more of a sense of humour throughout the book, and she was pretty good at the beginning, but then she got very brooding and overly noble, so that’s something that will need addressing in edits.
Jason, one of my two male main characters, turned out terribly. Poor boy couldn’t decide whether he was going to be grumpy or understanding, and ended up being a whiny little baby. I feel I did not do him justice in this first draft.
Adam, my other male main character, turned out much better than expected. He’s slightly older and more mature than her, and is the strong, silent, supportive type. He’s possibly a little too perfect at this point, but he has a satisfying base to work from, so I’m happy with that.
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?
At the end of all the rounds of editing, I’d like to query this book and hopefully, HOPEFULLY, eventually find a publisher for it. I do rather love this book, and it would be awesome to see it find a home with a publisher at some point.
Share a favourite snippet!
Just one? Maybe I can cheat and share a couple? I’ve shared most of my favourite excerpts before, but they’re worth sharing again, just one more time.
What are your writing goals and plans for 2016?
I’m supposed to have thought about those already? Oh dear… Well, the plans I have at the moment include:
- Getting my YA Fantasy Song Of The Crystal Tree to the beta reader stage (finally)
- Participating in both Camp NaNoWriMos and NaNoWriMo
- Writing the fourth book in my fairytale rewrite/superhero series
- Editing the first book in said series so that the plot finally makes a lot more sense and the dual POV narration works.
- Finally learning how to use all the cool stuff in Scrivener properly
These are just a few of the goals I have for my writing next year. Now to see how many of them I can actually achieve. But I’m looking forward to getting back to writing. I took the whole of December off from writing, and I’ve really missed it. It’ll be great to jump back into my fictional worlds again soon.
What are some of your writing goals for 2016? Did you participate in Beautiful Books this month? Link me to your post! And tell me, what books or films would you compare your writing project to?