Beautiful Books #2: NaNo 2015

So… I have stuff scheduled for the blog throughout this month, and was going to entirely ignore blogging (after my Ishness post) until December, because NANO! Because I’m so insanely busy and can’t even seem to get around to replying to comments till like a week later (sorry guys…).

…But then I saw that Cait and Sky have a second round of Beautiful Books up, and I fell in love with the questions and just HAD TO DO IT!!! *flails around*

So, for those who care, you’re going to get a peek into how my November writing is going and what’s up with The Silver Forest. πŸ˜‰


Join in the linkup if you want! (You don’t have to be doing NaNo to do it.)

1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?

My goodness. HOW DO I EVEN ANSWER THIS QUESTION??? *rides on roller-coaster of emotions and gets off, panting*

SilverForestCoverFinalUm. Some of it I like and is turning out wonderfully. Most of the princesses are kind of how I want them, especially Emerald… Fun dialog, gorgeous description of Faerie. I love some of the other characters too. But it also has a lot of poor quality writing, just thrown together. Some of the characters are being stubborn and not turning out how I want them to be (i.e. not cardboard…), not to mention I’m 16,700 words in (which is a third of NaNo’s goal of 50k) and I still haven’t gotten out of what I was originally planning to be chapter two…? Um. Yes.

I basically am going up and down between passionately loving it and loathing it with the loathing of a thousand burning suns.

I was sick of it last night and thinking of just ignoring it forever and going to write something else instead, or, ya know, just ignoring the fact that I need to write at all this month and just read books… when suddenly I read over some of it and fell in love again and a whole bunch of things clicked into place and now I want to go back and rewrite all of it that I have so far BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT NOW AND IT’S GOING TO BE AMAZING. …But I’m going to make myself press on instead, just knowing that I’m going to know how to fix the beginning after I finish the story.

So right now I adore it and can’t wait to write more (even though I’m behind and am apparently blogging instead…?) but probably by this weekend I’ll be in the depths of despair again, I dunno. *shrugs* Such is NaNo.

2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

As the first chapter was written between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m. after a week of sleep deprivation and absolutely no plotting whatsoever, the first chapter (including its first sentence/paragraph) is not fit for any living being to see and is going to be SCRAPPED. So, instead, you get the opening of Chapter Two:

Β Β Β Β  Peach skipped along a white-pillared, tapestried corridor and ducked out a side-door into the castle garden in search of more sisters. At fifteen, she was the youngest of the twelve, and that was perfectly fine with her. She was full of life, constantly curious, and tended to move at higher speeds than any of her siblings besides Emerald. So it was not surprising when she came around a magnolia bush in the glory of summer bloom and ran smack-dab into someone else, and they both went down in the grass in a tangle of arms and legs and skirt.
Β Β Β Β Β  β€œOh, stars! I’m so sorry,” she said, scrambling back to her feet and surveying with curiosity the person she had run into, who was doing likewise. It was a boy, perhaps her own age, whom she had never seen before.

3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?

I am a plotter. I need plot, otherwise I flail around and make messes and the story gets monstrously long and sprawled-out. I always try to plot extra for NaNos, but most NaNos I seem to end up pantsing more than ever because I don’t get my plotting finished because I was too busy. THIS IS A PROBLEM BY THE WAY.

So I’m currently using a mixture of both methods because I have a rough outline for the first several scenes, and after that a VERY rough Three-Act-Structure (which I’d never used before) outline of the rest of the story. But the details, I’m pantsing ish, and as soon as I get past the scenes I have in mind, I’m basically doomed, so we’re not going to think about that right now…

4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?

I update my wordcount on the NaNo site so that I can see the little graph looking as it should. *nod nod*


(Yes, yes, I know I’m behind. Hush.)

5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?

I don’t usually have themes for my names, but this time I do, so YAY! πŸ˜€

The princesses are all named after colors, mostly gems/precious metals. Silver, Ebony, Amethyst, Sapphire, Turquoise, Emerald, Ruby, Auburn, Ivory, Goldie, Rosie, Peach.

For most of the other characters, I’m using Celtic names, mostly Irish ones, or tweaked combinations of words from an Irish dictionary. πŸ˜‰ Irish names like Finnigan, Brogan, Seamus, Rory, Fergal, Etain, Niav, and Alanna, some of which I pulled from memory; others I looked through some books of Irish fairy tales for inspiration. Niog is a Welsh name, I believe, which I ran into somewhere and just LIKED. Justin and Tristan and Kern just sounded right. Taghdach (moody), Cothrom (fair), Dilis (faithful), Riogal (from rioga/riuil: royal), Prechan (rook), Bronach (sad), and Leithshae and Sisceall, were derived from Irish words or tweaked.

6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end β€” and why?

I have no idea. I’ve only written endings a very few times, so I don’t feel I can even answer this question… But probably endings because it gets so exciting and I’m almost done and just yes. I only wish I got to them more often… 😦 HOWEVER I also enjoy beginnings, getting to explore the opening of the story and meet the characters. But middles might be the best too because you’re over the awkward figuring-out stage of the beginning and are just zipping along with the plot. I DON’T KNOW OKAY. Maybe all of them? Or none of them? Or something.

7. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

My half-fae prince Taghdach. ❀ …Also Niog the enigmatic gardener boy. And unexpectedly, Seamus the court jester who appeared fully formed on the page without planning and stole my heart. I imagine the only reason there aren’t several others on here is that we haven’t met them yet in the story…

8. 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?!)

(See my review on Goodreads.)

I researched the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale, which means that I read a collection called Twelve Dancing Princesses Tales From Around the World edited by Heidi Anne Heiner.

I also “researched” character types that I like, meaning that I went through my list of favorite characters from books I read this year, and previous years, and categorized them in the categories I wanted to use, and then made lists of the characteristics and stuff. (Dark guy; sweet romance hero; young enigmatic lad; awesome fighter; rogue/thief; and Undefined — which is a favorite category of mine, which I cannot describe, and is where Seamus is going.)

And I’m going to eventually have to research magnolia bushes and wharfs and causeways and such things because I threw them in there in the heat of the moment when I was writing, and then realized I don’t know if they were really what I was thinking of. XD

9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?

It depends. I think in the long run I write better in a room entirely alone. But sometimes, being at a write-in will make me actually write because everyone else is writing.

And I like to share my work sometimes; it also depends. I usually read each day’s work aloud to my sister to get a feel for it and some immediate feedback/encouragement. Most of the time I like having beta readers as well, but during NaNo it’s far too horrendous for anyone to see, so I like to keep it to myself for the most part during November. πŸ˜›

10. 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!

During NaNo, I usually open my bulletin board on my laptop (a feature that came with it) where I keep inspiration, and open my document and plotting file, start some music, and — hopefully — write.


(Bulletin board for my NaNo this year.)

I don’t eat while I write; I can’t multi-task like that. I listen to a playlist of fast or inspirational music I have on my computer; or, if I’m somewhere with internet, I’ll have Pandora or my youtube playlist. Music is so helpful! I think I write best late at night, which is unfortunate. But I do want to try writing early in the morning to see if that’s better… it just hasn’t happened yet.


(Le writing space.)

And there you are. My Writing Process. Huzzah for Beautiful Books!

Now it’s back to NaNo for me…

23 thoughts on “Beautiful Books #2: NaNo 2015

  1. Sounds like you’re doing fabulously! Even if you might not have as many words written as you would like, you should be proud of your work πŸ™‚ And you’ve got a new plan for the first chapter so THAT’S GREAT!!!

    YOUR BULLETIN BOARD IS BEAUTIMOUS I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! And your Viking helmet is wonderful, of course. XD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re doing so GOOD, girl!!! πŸ˜€ Keep it up! I love the snippet and Irish names and just everything. This book sounds so perfectly fairytale-ish. ❀

    (And I had to chuckle at the Viking hat on top of the lamp. XD )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww, your laptop has a little NaNo sticker. THAT IS SO COOL. XD Ahh, and I’m so glad you did this!! πŸ˜€ It’s always fun to read your writerly posts, *nods nods* And squeak, I can’t multitask while writing either. I can’t even listen to music because it takes too much brain power for me these days, hehhhh. I eat when I finish or am on a writing break. aHHHH I LOVE YOUR NAMES. Welsh and Irish and Celtic names are AMAZING. ❀ Although I bet I'm never pronouncing them right.
    And I love your bulletin board! I basically do a papery version of that on my wall and then a picturey version of that in pinterest and now on Scrivener. VISUALS FTW.
    Thanks for joining in!! ^_^ THIS POST = FABULOUS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love my NaNo stickers. XD
      Aaahh I’m glad you enjoyed it! Day = made. ❀ Thanks for posting such fantabulous questions! πŸ˜€
      Yesss, eating is good for a break. *nod*
      YAY NAMES. Pfft, I'm probably not pronouncing them right either. πŸ˜› BUT THEY ARE STILL COOL.
      Really?? I've always wanted to have some sort of physical pin-board thing but never have. THAT'S AWESOME. PINTEREST IS AWESOME TOO.
      Thanks for reading! ^_^


  4. We just cannot resist the lure of Beautiful Books! And I’m so glad you did it. I looove seeing how your NaNo is going. I’m sorry your story is being stubborn, but it thrills me you’re loving it again and have exciting ideas for it! It’s going to be AMAZING, I just know it!

    I NEED MORE SNIPPETS. I adore the one you posted. Peach is so cute! And smacking into the boy. *giggles* Toooo much fun.

    Getting to update our wordcounts on the NaNo site is the best part of NaNo!

    Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE the names you chose for this book? The gems for the princesses is so brilliant and then all the pretty Irish things! Brogan, Seamus, Etain…GAH. I love them all so much!

    I want to know more about Seamus! o.o He sounds delightful. They ALL Do.

    *high-fives for reading stories as research* πŸ˜€

    I just love your bulletin board thing so much. So very inspiration! And your viking hat on your lamp! THE. BEST. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knoooow, it’s just a siren call. XD *huggles Beautiful Books*
      Thank you!
      I’m glad you liked the snippet, and believe me, there will be more after NaNo. πŸ˜€
      YES, updating wordcounts is the best!
      Aww, thanks! I’m kinda fond of the names myself. πŸ˜‰
      Heehee, Seamus is a mess; I adore him. πŸ˜›
      *high-fives back* Reading stories is the BEST research!!
      Yup, part of my NaNo decor. πŸ˜‰


What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.