Beautiful Books Linkup #3

(This is in place of my usual Writerly Post Wednesday.)

On a completely unrelated note, Christmas is tomorrow!

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Hi guys! *waves* Today I’m linking up with Cait and Sky for their fantastic Beautiful Books linkup #3. I’m pretty sure I missed out on the second one, but never fear! I’m back with the third one. Today is about editing. The project I’ve decided I’m going to talk about today is The Empire of Stars. I didn’t write this one during NaNoWriMo, but oh well!

1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) how well do you think this book turned out?

Dude. All my first drafts are 1s. Slowly, very slowly, I crawl myself up from a one, and then to a two, and then a three, and so on. I don’t sugar coat things; my first drafts are awful, awful, awful. But that’s what editing is for.

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Yeah, pretty much.

2. Have you ever rewritten or editing one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s your plan?

I am what I like to call myself a chronic rewriter. I rewrite. And I rewrite. And then I rewrite some more. I think I rewrote the first novel I ever wrote about four or so times. What I do to prepare myself? Nothing, really. I just sit down at my laptop and rewrite. My plan for The Empire of Stars is to rewrite it completely (which I’ve half completed) and then… Well. I haven’t got that far yet.

3. What’s your final wordcount? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book?

The final wordcount (of the first draft I am talking about) was 90k. After this rewrite I expect it to be around the same — if not a little longer. And then I plan on trimming it a bit. (If I can.)

4. What’s are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?

I suck at two of those things mentioned, so I have to say plot. I also think my strongest writing is prose/description. (I could be completely wrong here, people.)

5. What’s your favourite bit of prose or line from this novel?

HAH. Talking about prose… (I actually have no idea this question was coming, okay?) My favourite but of prose is probably the first line of the novel — which I came up with at four in the morning. “Today, the stars fell from the sky.”

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6. What aspect of your book needs the most work?

EVERYTHING. JUST EVERYTHING. For a start, I need to smooth out the pacing because at the moment it’s a mess. (I plan on doing this after the rewrite; the rewrite is where I figure out my plot.) And then I want to focus on characters, because I suck at them. (Not necessarily in that order; the character stuff probably fits somewhere in the plot.)

7. What aspect of your book is your favourite?

Can I say the prose again? ;) If not, then I do like the vastness of the world. See, that’s why I love high fantasy so much: you can create whole worlds from nothing. Also, worldbuilding is fun. (If you’re wondering, my how-to worldbuilding series will be continued next year!)

8. How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed-out?

Erm. I think this is an aspect I need to work on a bit. I want them to be fleshed-out; I want the reader to feel what the characters are feeling. Which, for me, is hard. Ideally, I wish my characters were fleshed-out to begin with. But…

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Not gonna happen, apparently.

9. If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?

Huh. You know, I don’t think I’d change anything. Every time I write something, I learn something new. Mistakes and made, but it’s a learning process.

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10. Did anything happen in your book that completely surprised you? Have any scenes or characters turned out differently to what you planned? Good or bad?

YES. OH MY GOSH YES. There was one particular plot element which was not there at the beginning of the novel but is not, and it’s very very very fun to write. Also, I cut a character from the first book. Instead he’s going to be in the sequel. But I’ll talk more about cutting characters in a later Writerly Post Wednesday.

11. What was the theme and message? Do you think it came across? If not, is there anything you could do to bring it out more?

Eh. I’m not really one who writes novel with themes or messages, or anything like that. So I can’t really answer this question: my goal in writing this novel is to tell the story that my characters have, not to portray a theme.

12. Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?

YES. DEADLINES. DEADLINES ALL THE WAY.

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13. Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book?

Uhhh, Game of Thrones meets The Lord of the Rings? Yeah, really, I don’t know. All you need to know is that’s high fantasy. Obviously. :)

14. How do you celebrate a finished novel?!

One word for you, people: chocolate. Oh, and sleep. Sleep is good too. But most likely I’d celebrate finishing a novel by starting a new one.

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15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?

“OH MY GOSH I WANT THE NEXT BOOK NOW.”


Tell me: what are your thoughts on editing? And what do you think of The Empire of Stars?

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6 thoughts on “Beautiful Books Linkup #3

  1. YAYYYYY fabulous post (oh and you can send me more whenever you like…I have an Empire of Stars-shaped hole in my heart).

    I think I’m a compulsive first-drafter. I write ALL the first drafts and forget about rewriting them. But hopefully next year I’ll be querying The Daisy List, so that’s fun :D

  2. OH MY GOSH I FEEL LIKE TWINS WITH YOU RIGHT NOW, KARA. Firstly because our answers for 14 are exactly the same. Enough of consciousness. SLEEEEEEP. And also because my first drafts are so so horrible I can’t even bear to think of them. *cries softly* I have first drafts that are just so bad I don’t even want to clean them up. TOO MUCH WORK. #lazyismysuperpower
    Ahhh, but HIGH FANTASY IS FANTASTIC. I really want to write more high fantasy. I miss it. I went through a stage where I didn’t want anything to do with it, but I think (I blame it on Sarah J Maas actually) that I want to get back in. I DO have that massive 6.5 book fantasy series that would like cleaning up too. heh hehe. xD
    LOVED READING THIS.

    • Being lazy is a completely acceptable superpower, I reckon. SLEEP IS VERY IMPORTANT. I mean, we’ve just finished writing a novel! We deserve some sleep! Yeah — actually, I have a couple of first drafts I just have not touched. Ever. Because they’re so bad I can’t even look at them. YES, WRITE MORE HIGH FANTASY. HIGH FANTASY IS AWESOME.

  3. My first drafts are so bad, too. That’s why I’m scared to edit them. I don’t want to look at them ever again. Luckily, I’ll be doing JaNoEdiMo with a couple of other writerly friends, so I’ll finally begin editing. I lean so much every time I write a novel too. Writing novels is just one huge, never ending learning process. Ah, yes! In number 15 that is the feeling that I want my reader to have when they reach the end of my books, too. Except that none of my books have sequels yet.

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