Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Beautiful People #14 // Writerly Resolutions & Goals

Yes, I know I haven't been around much on this blog lately. That's because I've been galivanting around Denmark, and you can check out my adventures here. But in addition to eating a lot of pastries and walking through foggy streets I've also been planning a lot of guest posts. YAY! Awesome people are coming to share their knowledge/likes/dislikes/wisdom/fangirling with you! If you would like to join them as a guest blogger on Ravens and Writing Desks, click here.

And now, on to Beautiful People!


This month's Beautiful People is a little different - it's about ME (because I'm obviously a Beautiful Person). We are talking about goals, resolutions, and achievements for 2016! Because New Years are exciting!

Linking up, as always, with the lovely ladies Skye and Cait.

1. What were your writing achievements last year?

You seriously expect me to remember what I did over three months ago? Okay, let's try.
  • I wrote a 450 word flash fiction piece. And it was actually KINDA FUNNY. *fist pump* 
  • I realized I don't know where I stand on the plotting/pantsing front. (Why is this an achievement? Because I learned not to box myself in when I write.)
  • I plotted out 80% of a novel idea in three days and wrote it for NaNo and it actually has hope for being concluded and a decent work of fiction. *double fist pump*
2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

I have two:
  • SlavicNovel: finish up Draft 1 sometime in the coming months (so close!) and start (and hopefully finish) Draft 2 by the end of the year.
  • CamelotNovel: plot (by the end of the semester) and write Draft 1 (summer project). Maybe get this on WattPad? Because it's totally just for fun and not for publication.
3. List 5 areas you'd like to work the hardest to improve this year?
  • Plotting. I feel like I'm never going to be comfortable with plotting. It's SUCH AN EFFORT for me.
  • Time Management: My writing schedule is entirely messed up and sporadic. I need to try to write consistently.
  •  Focus: I get distracted by plot bunnies easily, and don't always put in a lot of effort into my trouble-spots (cough plotting cough cough).
  •  Caring  Less about Writing Garbage: I like to think that I'm cool with this but it's still a struggle every time I want to sit down and write. Once I'm writing, it's all good, but I think fear of imperfection is my biggest impediment to actually starting my writing sessions.
  • Scrivener: Basically I want to fully figure out Scrivener and use it to it's full potential! I just got it for NaNoWriMo (free trial woo!) and then after I won NaNo I got a 50% coupon code so it went from eeep-a-little-too-expensive-to-splurge-on to oh-that's-less-than-the-price-of-two-hardcovers. This isn't really an area in my writing, but it contributes, so I'm saying it counts.
4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?

Well, NaNoWriMo, obviously, but beyond that, nothing else really.

5. What's your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

Since I've never finished an edit-worthy manuscript, I've never seriously considered critique partners or beta readers. BUT. With SlavicNovel promising to be done soon, I'm definitely going to be requiring some beta readers in the coming months, so I suppose I'll figure that out when I get there?

6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

In terms of research, I'm definitely going to be skimming through rereads of Malory and Chretien and all the good classic Arthurian lit for CamelotNovel.
For SlavicNovel, I'm probably going to need to delve deeper into Turkish culture, but through which books, I don't know. 

7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

So for some reason, in both CamelotNovel and SlavicNovel, I ended up liking my secondary characters better than my MC. WHY? Therefore, I suppose the answer to this question is Tania, SlavicNovel's MC. Because I so WANT her to be a good character but I haven't been giving her the attention she deserves. Also in that vein, I need to develop Dina, CamelotNovel's MC.

Both of them are too flat, so I'm just going to make thousands and thousands of detailed character profiles and have fun writing lists of likes/dislikes for both of them, since that's my favorite method of character development. But I think I'm going to focus on Tania, since she's in better shape than Dina is, and SlavicNovel is actually mostly written, whereas CamelotNovel is just a Scrivener outline and a pinterest board.

8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what's your plan of attack?

Well, I kind of already mentioned this, but YES editing, and NO querying (at least not this year). SlavicNovel is going to go through a major editing adventure for Draft 2, which... should be fun. We'll see how that goes.

My plan of attack is, once I finish Draft one, to make a giant post-it/string/colored-pen scribble wall of plot lines and all that, so I can make sure my plot flows well, since that's my biggest problem. 

9. Tony Morrison once said, "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." What are the books that you want to see more of, and what "holes" do you think need filling in the literary world?
  • Female MC's without romantic subplots
  • Female MC's who decide they're cool with being single in the end.
  • Awesome families!
10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

Writing-wise? Blogging-wise? Or life-wise?
  • Draft 2 of SlavicNovel
  • Write CamelotNovel and put it up on WattPad (eeeeeep nervousness!)
  • Write more short stories (and flash fiction!)
  • Host a giveaway (or two!)
  • Completely redesign my blog theme
  • Get back into consistently writing reviews.
  • Get a research internship
  • Start studying for the MCAT and thinking about medical schools (aaaaah real life is bearing down on me!)
  • Eat more chocolate (this is a lifelong, continuing process, considering that "more" is objective).

Now it's YOUR turn! You are a Beautiful Person too, so let's talk about you! What are your goals (writerly and otherwise) for 2016? And what's one awesome thing you've achieved in your 2015 writing life?


  1. These seem like utterly fantastic goals, Sophia. GO YOU. And also MAY I JOIN YOU IN SHOUTING FOR NON-WESTERN FANTASIES??? BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE TO SHOUT TOO. *nods emphatically* I've found a few, but srsly, never's a gargantuan hole in literature, I AGREE. *heavy sigh*
    Oh oh and good luck with finishing manuscripts and editing!! :D Editing is like the bane of my existence, but the rewards are worth it. Ooooh, so worth it.
    Thanks for joining in. ;D


      Thank you! I kind of like editing but so far I've never gotten to that point with something this large-scale. We shall see if my liking sticks around. :-)

  2. We do need awesome family's in fiction, and happy single people. Good luck with your goals!

  3. So I didn't know you were abroad this semester! I am too (but in France, not in Denmark - it would have been too cool). Different endeavor though, I'm doing a lab stage for my PhD. I'm going to follow you immediately!

    Awesome life & bookish (both blogging and writing) goals. You can do it!! And no pressure here, but I'm dying to read CamelotNovel if you put it up on Wattpad. I like your writing voice by what I can judge from the blog, so I'm very curious about your novel.

    1. Oh WOW FRANCE how exciting! So far I have no plans during my travel breaks to go to France but perhaps...?

      Thank you! Eeep I really hope to put CamelotNovel up on Wattpad. I'm working on plotting now so maybe it's not too crazy of an idea?

  4. Hmmm... I rather have the problem that I constantly need to tell myself: "Stop plotting, Mulan! Start writing" because even though I wouldn't care much about garbage, it's still so much easier to write down the ideas for the next novel instead of actually writing the first one. That would probably be my writerly resolution this year.


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