Hello all! So despite the title, this is actually my first Beautiful Books blog post (hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up Further In). Whilst my NaNo novel has only got, ooh, 2000 words, I’ll try and answer the questions as best I can…
Here’s a bit of context if you wonder where my writing heart has disappeared to over this month.
- Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
Well, I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s “defying expectations”, but it’s not exactly turning out the way I thought it would. To be honest, though, I didn’t really have any expectations, I was just planning on writing and hoping for the best…
- What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
“The night the future Scottish king was born, a maid saw three young women standing in the courtyard of the castle, simply staring.”
- Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
A bit of both. In past years, I’ve completely planned the first bit, pantser’d the next bit and failed… and then completely plotted and still haven’t finished my novel! Anyway, this year I haven’t planned any chapters, but I have a kind-of-almost-complete timeline of my MC’s life and some character development in my head but that’s about it. Already I’ve managed to kill a dog in a slightly unexpected manner, so that’s happening.
- What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
Uh… bragging rights? I don’t really know, to be honest. Last year… I don’t think I did anything, aside from persuade my mum to get me a t-shirt. Maybe I’ll have a movie night… or a Harry Potter marathon… ooh, now that’s motivation. Mostly, if I finish a big work like a novella, I have a cry and a clap and a hot chocolate and that’s about it.
- What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
Well this year I’m essentially writing prequel fanfiction (okay, I am NEVER thinking of my lovely, death-filled novel like that again), so I’m using other people’s characters and names from history. HOWEVER, I have invented some of my own characters, and this has basically been consisting of continuously Googling “11th century Scottish noble names” and hoping for the best. Normally, though, I just look for a name I like and I won’t stop looking until I do (aside from that one time I used a place holder name of “GIRL” and it was a disaster). I was nearly going to use a placeholder name of “Bob” (no joke) for the near-dead dog, until I found “Lockie”.
- What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
Middle. Although I’ve only written a couple of ends, and I liked them when I got to them, but middle is where all the action and character development happen. But endings are sweet. Sometimes…
- Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
Currently, the dead dog. No, I joke. Macbeth’s father, Findlaech.
- What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)
Weirdest thing thus far: “how much room do sheep need?”
I’ve researched religion, food, chess, animals, clothing, housing, education… pretty much everything for learning about a time period I don’t particularly know much about.
- Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
Ahaa, alone, definitely! I listen to music (anti-socially) and sometimes rant at myself. (EG: “Character, no! Character, why the **** are you doing that?!”)
I haven’t shared any of my Macbeth story yet, aside from posting the beginning three paragraphs on NaNoWriMo because I felt sorry for the one liner.
- 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 like to have a drink, generally squash, next to me, although that tends to mean I drink about 2 litres in the space of 2 hours which means I need the toilet. A lot. It’s compulsive when it’s there and then I feel really thirsty when it’s now… Anyway. I don’t tend to snack, because I listen to music through headphones and hate the sound of eating through headphones… although I do sometimes suck on mints or have something to eat between writing breaks. I write better at the evening/night!
Well that was my first Beautiful Books tag! I’m going to do Beautiful Books 1 in the next few days, so stay tuned… Thanks for reading!