Beautiful People: 2016 Writerly Resolutions/Goals

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE IS HERE! With Writerly Resolutions and Goals for 2016. Sound scrumptious? Of course it does. Let’s get this proverbial show on the proverbial road!

bp

Beautiful People is a monthly meme for writers held by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In — join in the linky if you like! It’s a lot of fun! πŸ™‚

1. What were your writing achievements last year?

R&RWriting and editing an entire novella (The Rose and the Raven) and entering a contest. Writing two short stories. And working on several novels and getting a total wordcount of over 100k words for the year. Also taking new approaches at my two series. And I learned how to do a draft zero, how to write a lot of words, how to write small things, and also how to CUT a lot of words. I also learned how to write utterly adorable romances (in my humble opinion) so I’m proud of that. πŸ˜„ Basically I made some achievements and learned a TON in 2015 about writing and vaguely feel as though I’ve taken great strides.

*blinks* …Wow, until I answered this question, I had no idea I felt that way about the year! o.o Hurray for Beautiful People bringing out our deepest thoughts! (If it works for our characters, it can work for us writers too!)

S&Scover42. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

Ummmm. Work on The Other Half of Everything, The Siren and the Skyship, The Silver Forest, continue The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2), and replot my entire epic fantasy series, the Starrellian Saga? Maybe? I know, that’s not one, but I’m sort of on writing hiatus right now and… yeah. Those are what I’m thinking about anyway and want to work on the most. πŸ™‚ (Now watch something entirely different happen… >.>)

3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

  1. Plotting. I get so caught up in “I have to write WORDS and increase my number of actually WRITTEN writing!” that I often write when I’m not ready for it. I need to remember that plotting is a HUGE part of writing, even though it’s not easily visible.
  2. Actually writing. I’m very much a binge-writer, and I can’t write consistently to save my life (or… okay, during NaNo. But it’s exhausting and I usually would rather write 3k one day so I can take a day off than write 1667 words consistently every day). Consequently, it can be really hard for me to actually sit down and START writing! I need to work on this.
  3. Stop waffling. In line with the first one, I need to try to make my plots tighter and more interwoven. I tend to go off down rabbit trails and have a lot of stuff going on without actual plot happening, which makes for freakishly long and daunting books.
  4. STOP CHASING PLOT BUNNIES! …Okay, so this one is probably out of my control. *cough* But I keep getting SO distracted by attractive new plot bunnies that hop by me and drag me off down rabbit holes. I have oodles of perfectly good books to work on already and I don’t need any more until I’ve actually WRITTEN a few of these!
  5. Write what I love. This is actually a contradiction to the point before this, since many of those plot bunnies ARE what I love. But vaguely, I get caught up in stories the way they appear, and sometimes I don’t remember to throw in things that really catch my interest. I’d like to focus on that more this year.

4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?

NO. …Ahem. Yes, I’ll probably participate in NaNoWriMo in November, because I love NaNo, but I’m kind of burnt out as far as challenges go so I think I’m going to leave it at that… (Of course, that was my plan last year and then I randomly entered the Rooglewood Press contest soooo there’s that. *cough*) Challenges tend to stress me out and make me feel guilty for not writing, and I really need to relax and rediscover my joy in writing without all the pressure. πŸ™‚ Currently, writing is for ME so I shouldn’t get caught up in deadlines when I don’t have to!

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

Hum. I have a few lovely people who like to read my things at times — I still don’t quite know WHY. O_O — and… I haven’t worked on this much. I still haven’t figured out what I want most from a critique, which also accounts for my struggles trying to be a good beta-reader for others (I’m sorry, everyone!) so… I don’t know. I basically fail at all things beta/critique. :-/ I guess if I had plans it would be to actually read and give feedback for the lovely stories people send me, and figure out what I actually am looking for in a critique? Basically: LEARN THINGS AND NOT BE A HORRIBLE PERSON. There. That can be “plans to expand,” right? πŸ˜‰

writingmagic6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

I’d like to read Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine and possibly On Writing by Stephen King and maybe a few writing books I have around. I do have like twenty random ebooks on writing etc. that were given to me. Not sure. *shrug*

Research… not really. I’m not much of a researcher. Reading fabulous books that I love is my research in general and always has been. πŸ˜€

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

meridian2

Meridian

Oh my goodness, I don’t even know. O_O I do have a few characters who kind of lack something or I don’t really know what they’re LIKE yet… like Meridian in The Other Half of Everything, or Arielle in my Kedran’s Wood series (and also a certain spoilerish character from KW who I can’t even mention). So maybe someone like that. Or maybe just rediscovering my favorite characters from my Starrellian Saga, or any one of my favorites in the other books I want to work on.

As to how to achieve it? I have no idea. My characters do what they want and I can’t make them behave so I’ll just sit here and wait probably, because I’m lame like that. πŸ˜› (Tips, anyone?)

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

I don’t knooow! *flails around* I usually edit somewhat as I go, and whenever I actually FINISH a thing I edit it… I don’t have a plan of attack and I have no idea about queries vs. self-pub and all of that utterly confusing industry type of questions. Basically I want to write and not worry about such things right now.

9. Toni Morrison once said, β€œIf 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 β€œholes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

OHEcoverWhimsical, funny, epic, rollicking, insane fantasy adventures of the sort that Diana Wynne Jones wrote. The world does not have enough of these. I have no illusions that I will in any way approach DWJ’s genius, but The Other Half of Everything is SUPPOSED to be more along those lines… (Though it is still very vague and also keeps throwing dark subplots/characters at me… HONESTLY. It’s supposed to be lighthearted! Like I said, my books do what they want. >.>)

Also retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. There are definitely not enough of them. Which is why I’m going to totally return to The Silver Forest and write MY version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses (and hopefully make it fabulous *cough*).

(Also, there need to be more YA heisty/con-artist books. But I’m afraid I can’t help there. Yet…)

10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

I’m really bad at making goals and actually sticking to them. My inspiration is a flighty and unpredictable thing, and whatever I think is the most important will probably get tossed to the wayside as my writing self tackles a totally random project I never heard of before (*cough* basically everything I wrote last year *cough*). So instead of having anything particular I’d like to have achieved by the end of 2016, I will only say that I would like to HAVE ACHIEVED. I’m not particular. As long as I can look back at my writerly year and say “I achieved”, then whatever that is that I did achieve, I’ll be content. ^_^

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27 thoughts on “Beautiful People: 2016 Writerly Resolutions/Goals

  1. Loved your answers! I definitely sympathize with the bit about being too focused on getting words written and so writing stuff before you’re really ready.
    For the record, though . . . I would argue that binge-writing isn’t all bad, as long as when you do that writing, you’re writing a lot. If you write 2,000 words one day a week and I write 290 words a day seven days a week, we still have about the same number of words. Not that I’m saying you shouldn’t write consistently- I’m just saying that you shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t write every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! And yeah… sometimes things just don’t want to be written yet and we should pay attention to them when they say that! πŸ˜„

      And thank you! I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t write consistently, I think… I’m going to embrace my binge-writing tendencies. πŸ˜› And you’re entirely right, as usual! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep . . . of course, there are limits; sometimes in order to be ready to write something, we have to do a bit of muddling through and not knowing quite what we’re doing.
        You’re welcome! Glad I could help!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I so feel for you on plot! I feel like it’s so slippery and I just can’t seem to get a grip on anything good. :/
    Writing Magic is a really good book, and it really inspired me a lot! ❀
    As for characters, mine do what they want too. IMHO πŸ˜› , the best way to go about getting to know your characters is putting them in all sorts of different incidents and events. I've written stuff about my characters that will probably never even make it into the books… πŸ˜„
    I hope you have achieved by the end of the year! πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, plot is enormously slippery. *nodnod* I feel you.
      I’m glad you liked it! I’m looking forward to reading it. πŸ˜€
      Characters… can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em! πŸ˜„ Hmm, that’s a good idea… Thanks for the tip! I may try that. πŸ™‚ (Of course, knowing me, they’ll all end up in the actual books anyway… :P)
      THANKS! ❀

      Like

    • YOU MAKE ME HAPPYYYY. ^_^ I have 6k words of snippets but it won’t START. *flails* Hopefully this year… >.> I may make you an official beta reader if I get anywhere with it… πŸ˜›
      DWJ IS THE BEST! ❀
      And thanks! I had so much fun making that cover! πŸ˜€

      Like

  3. You did so much in 2015! And I’m excited to hear about your 2016 plans!

    Those dreaded plot bunnies, though… Such a distraction! They’re like the sirens of writing, drawing you in with tempting songs until BOOM, they show their true colors and gobble you up. o.o Okay, not really, and that was a terrible analogy. πŸ˜„

    Why people want to read your writing? I’LL TELL YOU WHY.
    1. CHARRIES – All the awesome people! All so vibrant and quirky and lovable (yes, Tare, you’re lovable–deal with it.)
    2. DIALOGUE – Snarky, witty, sparkling with vim and vigor. Looping around in hilariously delightful twists of thought and almost-logic. (Baz, looking at you.)
    3. VOICE – Seriously, even though I haven’t read any Diana Wynn Jones, I can tell she’s an inspiration. You write much like I imagine she writes.
    4. SECRETS – Aaargh, the suspense! I’m thinking particularly of Tare’s backstory, and how wonderfully agonizing it was to wait so long to get snippets of it. πŸ˜‰
    5. BASICALLY ALL THE THINGS. Anything you write puts a smile on my face. That has to count for something. ❀

    Ooh, "Writing Magic" is a great book–and I've been wondering if I should someday read Stephen King's "On Writing."

    I like that–to Have Achieved. That's a good way to look at it. That way, whatever you end up writing, you meet your goal! I wish you all the best with your 2016 writing pursuits, Celti!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tracey! ^_^

      I actually love your siren plot bunny analogy. πŸ˜„ IT’S SO TRUUUE.

      …… alskjflskdjfls;kfj
      gargh tracey why you so nice
      aaaaahh
      let me hug you
      *does so*
      I’m kinda… robbed of words so I will just say this made my day and thank you so much you darling person. ^_^

      (Tare is giving you a hard stare for that “loveable” comment, and Baz is smiling smugly. πŸ˜„ Also there is no way I write as amazing as Diana Wynne Jones. O_O But thank you! And you should TOTALLY read Howl’s Moving Castle, ya know! ;))

      I have no idea if On Writing is any good. O_O I hope so. πŸ˜› And I love Gail Carson Levine’s blog so I’m sure I’ll love Writing Magic, though it’s also good to know you liked it! πŸ˜€

      Thank you so much! Best to you on your writing pursuits this year as well! ❀

      Like

  4. I’m so excited about this version of BP. LOVE these questions. And reading your answers was the best!!!

    LOOK at all your achievements from last year. YOU DID SO MUCH!!! You were soooo productive last year. Just…just… *collapses* You are awesome! (And your romances ARE adorable. Yes, yes, and YES!!!)

    You’re thinking about writing OHE this year??? *jumps up and down* I NEEDS IIIIIIITTTTTTT!!!!! Okay, I need all your stories. ALL OF THEM. *gathers them and huggles them forever*

    Oh my goodness, I have the problem with not actually putting in aspects I love in my stories, toooo! I thought I was the only one and totally insane because it doesn’t make sense to me. I write stories as they appear as well, and get too…comfortable? to add different things to them. I stick to cliches and boring things and never venture out into the awesome bizarre stuff I love. I don’t know WHY. That’s something I’ve been trying to work on the last few years. To throw caution to the wind and toss all sorts of insanity in my books and write what’s FUN. Ya know?

    Um, excuse me, you are an AWESOME beta-reader and I don’t know what I’d do without you!

    YES to #9. ALL THE YES. Gimme more DWJ-type stories. I NEED. One of the many reasons I’m in desperate need of OHE because it DOES feel like that. (Also it’s written by YOU, and that’s reason enough.) And one can never have enough TDP stories. Silver Forest is going to be soooo fabulous!!!

    Your answer to #10 was perfection. “To have achieved.” Yes, I love that! And it’s so true, because everything we do toward our writing IS an achievement. I know you’re going to be amazing, because you’re ALWAYS amazing.

    If you haven’t gathered yet, I adored this post. Your answers, the perfect pics, ALL THE THINGS. ❀ ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • ME TOO! BP is so much fun. πŸ˜€ Thank youuu! ^___^ For all of the things!! *flails around* Ack, you so niiice. *blushes*

      And… yes. I’m kiiiinda thinking of working on OHE this year. >.> I’s glad you’re excited. πŸ˜„ IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY.

      I’m glad you understand! People might think it sounds silly, but it’s TRUE! It’s sometimes hard to remember to put fun/loved things in, yes. Everything you said!

      D’aww. ❀ (Except everything you said about awesome beta-reader and not knowing what would do without, is what I think about YOU! O_O Seriously.)

      DWJ and 12DP!!! πŸ˜€

      THANK YOUUUUUU! ❀

      Like

  5. Omg I LOVE your answer to the last one…just the “I achieved”. That. YES. That. *nods* Because that can be different for everybody and still just as important, right?! EEP. ❀ And I hope you do achieve marvellous things this year. :')

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I need to stop waffling, too. I tend to waffle around with my plot when I’m trying to write frantically for something like NaNo and I get to a spot where I’m not sure what to write so then I write a bunch of nonsense until I can get back to the nice tight plot. So basically my rough drafts are like swiss cheese. I love your standards for the year. Just achieving something is enough and I think I need to acknowledge that and not be as hard on myself. Good luck with your writing this year!

    Also, what’s a draft zero?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heheh, waffling is a very common occurrence during NaNo, yes. πŸ˜€ I hope you can achieve your own goals! Thank you!

      And a draft zero… I’ve never heard of it before really so I’m kinda making it up so I’m not ENTIRELY sure what it is… but basically it’s what I’m calling it when I don’t really WRITE a scene but I get down all the necessary skeleton bones down, like the dialog and some of the description and mostly just what happens, like a very advanced form of plotting (I also call it scene-plotting or pre-writing), without punctuation or capitalization or really complete sentences. It lets me stop agonizing over HOW I write and wanting it to be perfect, and just get down what HAPPENS, so all I have to do after that to get it past draft zero to draft one is to expand a little on most of the things and turn it into sentences and make it readable. It’s… kind of hard to explain. Maybe I should do a post on it. πŸ˜„ I haven’t used it on a whole book yet, but it seems especially helpful for the final ending scenes of a story, especially when I procrastinate! πŸ˜›

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  7. It’s amazing what you realize you’ve accomplished in a year once you look back, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰ It sounds like you had an awesome 2015, and I hope your 2016 turns out just as well, if not better. I also like how you said that “writing is for ME so I shouldn’t get caught up in deadlines when I don’t have to!” I feel the same way, for different reasons. (I’m a slow writer with very limited time, so I don’t set “deadlines” until I’m close to the end.)

    My BP post went up today, btw: http://saraletourneauwriter.com/2016/01/19/beautiful-people-vol-11/

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can relate to all the things – well, except this sentence “I also learned how to write utterly adorable romances (in my humble opinion)” That impresses me. Adorable romances are hard to pull off – so thumbs up for you.
    I, on the other hand, seem to have a knack for writing books about people who really don’t like each other. Mostly. I think I just take fiendish delight in watching people who don’t get along, have to get along (which, besides the heist thing, probably explained my favorite parts about “Six of Crows”)

    But back to the point – you accomplished lot of great stuff, so congrats! Also, from the few snippets I’ve read of your writing, I really enjoyed it, and I’d love to read more.

    Sort of related – your cover art that you put up is gorgeous! It makes me want to read the stories they tease.

    *Raises imaginary glass* Here’s to 2016 being even better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Well, I at least find them adorable, but I may be biased as the author. πŸ˜‰ And people who really don’t like each other are super fun. πŸ˜„ (Yesss, Six of Crows!!!)

      Thanks very much! That makes me happy! ❀

      I hope you'll have a fabulous 2016 yourself!! ^_^

      Like

  9. Pingback: Beautiful People: Writing Goals | Short & Snappy

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