While I have already gloriously inflected upon you my
overachieving manageable goals for 2016 — today is all about my writing goals. Which are exciting and horrendous all at once. I mean, I could make calm manageable goals — but what’s sanity anyway? What’s relaxing? Ha.
“Isn’t it a bit late to be talking about yearly goals, Cait?” you say. To which I nod politely and then disregard, because when did I ever do things when I was supposed to??? NEVER.*
Time to spill about my upcoming writing projects. AVAST YE!**
* Actually there was this one time I was supposed to bake a cake and I did that without any complaints or procrastination and it was a downright delicious cake I might add. Orange cake? Made with the whole orange — skin and flesh and all? Ever heard of it? No? Then you’re not living.
** Also there is no reason to say “avast ye”. Really, what does it even mean? It’s just fun to say and FYI I wanted to be a pirate when I was a child. I’m very bad at giving up childhood aspirations.
I’m linking up with my own co-hosted link up: Beautiful People. I run this with Sky and you can get ALL THE QUESTIONS for this month here. You can also get all the details and rules here too. You can also go over here and do the polka and no one will judge.
It’s basically a list of questions to help writers talk about their characters or project and January’s theme is Writing Goals. It’s open all month! JOIN US!
1. WHAT WERE YOUR WRITING ACHIEVEMENTS LAST YEAR?
It’s very important to take note of one’s achievements when one is an artist. Because being an artist has drawbacks — you know, little things like crippling self-doubt and mutilating inner editors. Good times. SO! Always remember to list your achievements, folks.
- I ferociously edited one book and halfheartedly edited another — so combining these facts equals I AM A GOOD EDITOR! Hahaha ha ha…ha…ha. Ahem.
- I also wrote 3 books. All of which (miraculously) I love.
- I got hired for freelance blogging for an Australian book retailer. (!!)
- I did Mysterious Book Related Things with my agent, which I’ll call an achievement because I managed to write sensible emails and no one in the professional world yet knows I’m a complete pineapple.
- Go team!
I CAN’T. Isn’t that horrible? I want to tell you all the things. But my toppest of top priority is a secret. (The fact that I still use words like “toppest” probably scares you about my future writing career. But don’t fear! Actually…fear. Be wise. Be safe. Fear.) But here are some projects I would LIKE to get to because I’m mildly in love with them.
- Jungle Book x The Secret Garden retelling: This book gives me life. It’s actually about death??? But let’s not dwell on that. The ENTIRE PLOT (!!) is all mildewing in my brain ready for typing. All that’s missing is character names because they are the bane of my fruity existence. Briefly it is about: the Evil Overlord has been defeated and his teenage son must destroy (or release) the legacy of dark magic locked in the garden. Except his childhood sweetheart has been trapped in the garden too. Go see my freaktastic pinterest storyboard. I tentatively plan to use Hindu/Indian x British culture.
- The Atlas Girl: Another contemporary?!? AGH, CAIT. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Despite this book severely lacking dragons, it is about a girl who is obsessed with drawing maps and a boy who used to be a surfer but after an accident, he now has no legs. The will both be bitter little wasabi munchkins. Angry people are so much fun to write. Also it has a pinterest storyboard, because of course.
- Moriarty: Because I’ve always wanted to write a Sherlock Holmes retelling — AND NOW I HAVE ONE!! HOLD ME, BOB, IT’S GOING TO BE GRAND. My twist is that Moriarty/Watson are the same character. Best friend and nemesis. Also Sherlock is a girl. Also it’s set in Paris (!!) because I’m obsessed with Parisian cuisine (!!) not that I’ve had any (??) but that doesn’t stop me obsessing (!!). It is about “accident” assassins, who make murder look like accidents. Isn’t that sufficiently terrifying? I KNOW. Pinterest! Storyboard! Of course!
Humans, I already have three books to write and it’s only January. And when I say “to write” I literally mean I have the entire plots (beginning, middle, ending) and help me. WHAT IF I CREATE 3 WONDERFUL BOOK IDEAS EVERY MONTH???? HOW WILL I EVEN???
3. LIST 5 AREAS YOU’D LIKE TO WORK HARDEST TO IMPROVE THIS YEAR.
- Editing. Actually…you know? Doing it. Instead of complaining it needs to be done. (Apparently putting it off doesn’t lend it to do itself. Rude, right?)
- Write less and focusing on polishing and reworking the manuscripts I already have. (If you read the answer to question #2 wherein I listed the books I want to write…then you are laughing right now. Me too.)
- Stop being afraid of writing diversity! Research doesn’t always cut it when you’re trying to faceplant into another culture. Sometimes if you don’t live it, readers can tell? BUT ENOUGH FEAR! MORE TRYING!
- Write topics that are personal to me. This means more than cake and dragons. Although those are my favourite topics. But if you write deeply, it reads deeply. I AM MORE THAN CAKE CRUMBS, FOLKS.
- Give my dog typing lessons. His words-per-minute is atrocious.
4. ARE YOU PARTICIPATING IN ANY WRITING CHALLENGES?
NaNoWriMo in November is a given. I’ve done it two years in a row and went from my record of 7 days to 4. Next year will be 2 days, obviously, and the year after I’ll blink at my computer and it’ll be done.
Other than that? I work alooooooooone.
5. WHAT’S YOUR CRITIQUE PARTNER/BETA READER SITUATION LIKE AND DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO EXPAND THIS YEAR?
I have a fabulous critique partner called Emily, but my emails to her usually start off with “HELP HELP I’M DYING” and not her name. But I assure you her name is Emily. I manage to wrangle many betas out of you blogglings when I need them. (Of which I appreciate exactly a million percent!) I also intend to keep posting on Wattpad, so feedback from ANYONE can happen 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?
I actually never read writer-books. They terrify me. If I start to think about what I’m doing — I stop being able to do it. I KNOW IT’S ODD. (But I have done writing courses in my youth, so don’t think I’m purely winging this. Just, like, 50% winging it.)
As for research? I wish to devour:
- (Reread) Everything by Maggie Stiefvater so I can absorb her writing powers that way.
- Any YA book about Indian culture I can find.
- Also more YA books about deafness or Deaf Culture would be great.
- Read ALL the original Sherlock Holmes books. (I’ve only read A Study In Scarlet.)
- Reread The Secret Garden and the Jungle Book. Or who are we kidding? Watch the movies. Nap. Eat popcorn. Call it research.
7. PICK ONE CHARACTER YOU WANT TO GET TO KNOW BETTER, AND HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ACHIEVE THIS?
I need to become better at writing characters in general. My #1 way I’m going to achieve this is…to do nothing and hope really really really hard.
HA! I JOKE! (I totally don’t.) I’m actually going to work on making their voices different and making them more dimensional. I tend to skimp on details (like who bites their thumbnails and who has green eyes) because I don’t remember stuff. It saves me fretting later. BUT. I now own Scrivener and can write myself copious notes and have no excuse whatsoever. I got this.
8. DO YOU PLAN TO EDIT OR QUERY, AND WHAT’S YOUR PLAN OF ATTACK?
I plan to edit WITH AN AXE and laugh maliciously at the rising moon while running around the yard screaming the theme song to Batman. This is a solid, workable plan. Do not doubt me.
9. TONI 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?
This is such an excellent question that I’m 99% sure whoever thinks them up is a genius. (Oh wait, that would be me. Mwahhaha.) I could write an entire post on it…and maybe one day I will? But for now, I have (another) brief list. Don’t even act like your sick of my lists. MY LISTS ARE GRAND.
- More books about disabilities. There are many YA books about mental illness that I see coming out, but not so many about disabilities and this is sad. Particularly not books were the narrator has the disability.
- More YA books set in other countries. Like I understand why this is hard. It’s hard to write Mongolia if you’ve only lived in Australia. BUT. I really really long for it. For me, it’s a very fun and easy and insect-free way to travel the world.
- More dragon books. I have no idea why dragon books aren’t a big thing??? There are SO MANY OPTIONS! Shape-shifting dragons! Huge dragons! Pocket-sized dragons! Talking dragons! Evil dragons! Mythological dragons! I have written one dragon book, but it’s the first of (I foresee) many.
- More books with cake in them. Honestly, this breaks my heart but: there are books out there with no cake in them. I don’t really know how such books exist?? I’m sure it’s just an editing oversight. BUT. I want to see this fixed. Immediately. I’m doing my bit — ARE YOU???
10. WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO HAVE ACHIEVED BY THE END OF 2016?
- EVERYTHING I WRITE BE PURE GENIUS (????) … tell me this is a good reasonable goal.
- A BOOK DEAL (!!!)
- Better slaves, because let’s face it — my clones are dilapidated mushrooms and haven’t been pulling their weight at all lately. My dragon secretaries are horrible at typing and prone to random BOUTS OF ALL CAPS. My dog doesn’t bring me sandwiches. It’s so hard to get good help.
- To have edited 2 books and written 2 books.
- To have a dragon in my pocket named Betram.
- To panic less over expectations (my own and others) and write from a good place. I was not in a Good Writing Place for over 6 months last year and it really pained my soul. But I am now! And I want to STAY HERE.
- To kill less characters.
- I mean, let’s not go overboard with that one. Still kill some. But the last book I wrote lost 70% of the cast…so #awkward Maybe consider a higher than 30% survival rate? Maybe?
- And to not have wimped out on editing. I really want to GO for this, attempt rewrites and edits and whimper less and just do it.
- I’m joking. I’ll whimper.
- I’ll probably howl.
- To ensure my entire army has pledged to buy my book the moment it’s announced, ergo I will be famous and bestselling within 24 hours.
- What could go wrong?
as always, my goals are low and achievable (chokes) so WHAT ARE YOUR WRITING GOALS OF 2016?!? give me a brief overview in the comments?! puh-lease. is anyone else focusing on editing this year? and are you (mentally) in a good writing place…or are you working on that?