Thursday, December 31, 2015

Beautiful Books #3: SlavicNovel Yet Again


Well, 2015 is almost over here in Chicago - only six and a half more hours to go until the New Year! I thought I'd end off the year with this month's Beautiful Books post - obviously not because I'm LAZY AND PUT THINGS OFF UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE, but because it's all about edits and future plans and hopes for next year.

I wanted to finish SlavicNovel by today - that was the goal - so that I could have something editable fresh for the new year, but that didn't happen. However, I'm close to the end! I just need to figure out that dang climax.

Anyway, here we go with the questions!

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

Weeeell I haven't finished it yet. But it's really close to being done. I'd say right now it feels like a 4 or a 5, but maybe that's pessimistic? The ending (ish) defied my expectations because it was way more complicated than I thought it would be dangit.
But on a happier note, some of my characters defied my expectations and were way easier to write than I thought they would be - namely, Baba Yaga, Damla, and Oriana.

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

Dang this is complicated. Let's go for the Grisha books (by Leigh Bardugo) meet The Darkest Part of the Forest (by Holly Black) meets... something with ninjas. I dunno.

3. Do you enjoy working with deadlines and pressures (aka NaNoWriMo)? Or do you prefer to write-as-you're inspired?

Deadlines help definitely. I don't like them, but I can't deny that I am ten times more productive with them than without them. I like to think I'm self-motivated (homeschooling and all that) but perhaps that's only with academic pursuits. With writing, it's way harder.

4. How do you go about editing? Give us an insight in to your editing process.

Confession time: I've never reached that point on a WIP where I wanted to edit it. My collection is full of first drafts. But with SlavicNovel, I know I want to go farther. Here's my plan:
-Take a month long break from the novel.
-Send it to my kindle/phone and read it straight through as though it were any book I was reading.
-Make a gigantic plot outline using sticky notes and/or Scrivener
-Make the plot make sense. Cuz right now it doesn't.
-While working on plot, figure out character arcs kinda simultaneously.
-Eat a lot of chocolate after the plot is happy. CELEBRATE
-Take a break from the technical stuff for a month or so and conglomerate a ton of worldbuilding facts and fun stuff
-Somehow dive into rewrite #2.

What'll happen after that, I don't know. I'm not sure how rewrites work in my world. We'll see.

5. What aspect of your story needs the most work?

This is so hard to pick. I'm going to go with two things: worldbuilding (which is usually awesome for me *sad face*) and the conclusion/climax. I'm bad at tying plot points together.

6. What aspect of your story did you love the most?

Characters! As always. See next question :-)

7. 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?

I have quite a few major characters because epic fantasy y'know.

Tania (my MC) - ew. She definitely needs work. She's so dang normal, and when she's not normal, she's whiny and immature. I can't seem to figure her essence out. She's supposed to be a bit of a jerk, but I can't figure out what she is when she's not being a jerk. Currently, she's pretty unlikable, which isn't good for an MC.

Stefan (Tania's unintentional friend) - pretty decent. He's kind of peppier than I though he'd be, but it's good, it balances out Tania's jerkiness.

Baba Yaga (witch) - epic sassy witch. She came out way sassier and way better than I expected she would. All the love to Baba Yaga.

Damla (thief) - wait no, all the love goes to DAMLA, not Baba Yaga. Or split it evenly between the two? Because this little marzipan ninja is my favorite of the badass women of SlavicNovel. She is perfection.

Oriana (warrior queen) - she's pretty decent, my major issue is that she's basically Damla but without as much heart and more violence. Which isn't what I want. Oriana's got heart, but it's a different kind from Damla's and I'm struggling to show that.

Koshiy (villain) - I'm trying to not make him your stereotypical dark bad boy but he very much so wants to be. I'm still not 100% sure what he's going to end up but whatever it is I know it will be fabulous. I don't have doubts with him, just unsureties.

Then there are various mermaid characters who are lesser than I wanted them to be (Laryssa, Rusalka), so I'm going to work on expanding those in the next draft.

8. 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?

Though I have hid many novels in dark holes forever, SlavicNovel is not destined for that path, happily. There will definitely be WAYYY more edits though, and eventually - maybe in 2017? - I'll find some beta readers. Querying and publication is the eventual goal, but that's a long while away.

9. Share a favorite snippet!

Hm. To a sharp eye this might technically be spoilers but oh well....

10. What are your writing goals and plans for 2016?

Drafts #2 and #3 of SlavicNovel! Start a fresh WIP (not sure which one yet). Write a couple short stories because I'm awful at that. Write around 100 words a day (small and therefore manageable).

Now it's your turn! Tell me about your editing process! (Any advice for me?) And what are your plans for 2016? Writing and otherwise?


  1. First of all, I love that snippet! Most of the time when I read someone's WIP sample, the first thing in my mind is 'ew'. (And I know, that's why it's a WIP, etc., etc. but still.) Yours sounds really interesting!
    As far as editing, I don't want to say too much, 'cause I think everybody needs to find their own path. Therefore, my advice is: take your time, but don't procrastinate. And make sure you still love your story.
    For 2016, I don't have tons of writer-ly plans. I don't really feel that I have a story to tell right now. But I'm going to try to write for my blogs much more, maybe try a few short stories, who knows. I'll see where the wind takes me. I hope this will be a good year for you and your writing!

  2. Great snippet, all of your characters sound awesome. I want to be a beta reader if you ever need one. Happy New Year!

  3. Me about editing? Only that I'm a catastrophe. I used to already start edditing while actually drafting, now I never reach an end of my drafts and never get the chance to edit, because I love editing so much (or, at least I think so) but never get the chance to do it. Sadly.
    But my plans for 2016 are definitely writing too. Gah.


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