So HI. I just finished writing my 6th book for the year.
Yes yes I am the most annoying person in the room, although I could be more annoying if we hang around together for a little longer, because trust me I have ANNOYING down to a fine art. I am a younger sibling after all. I’ve had practise. But let’s move past that, shh shh, my annoying-levels are not important.
What’s important is I’ve been writing like a MAD FIEND this year for several reasons, including:
- I just have so many ideas I can’t even with them so I need to get them down.
- I moved 2 months ago and coincidentally am less busy due to losing 2 days a week of child sitting.
- As I’ve mildly mentioned in the past, I have an anxiety disorder so disappearing into a writing project is a bit of a coping mechanism.
- I have no chill when it comes to imagination.
- I actually absolutely strangely and most peculiarly just LOVE WRITING SO WHY NOT DO IT ALL THE TIME.
Lately I’ve not been blogging about my writing in detail very much — so today you’re in for a real
This is mostly because I’m shy okay. The writer’s brain is so much fun because you can simultaneously think you’ve written the best thing in the world and also be 89% sure it’s more of a trash fire than Rome in 64 A.D. WRITING. GOTTA LOVE IT. And also I do have to keep some secrets.
But this particularly writing project is a “JUST FOR FUN!!!!” one so I’m going to fling 13 facts about it at you and then smatter some snippets all over the place and then probably scream with nervousness into the void but IM FINE.
1. I’VE BEEN WAITING TO WRITE THIS BOOK SINCE JANUARY.
Which is honestly a ridiculously long time for me to remember my name let alone a full book plot. I mean, occasionally my family holler, “HEY CAIT!!” and I just wait to see if there are other Caits in the vicinity who might answer before recalling that it’s me.
But I write outlines!! Very detailed outlines!! And I was a little worried I’d start this and not feel enthused because it’s been so long, but — pfft. This story is an ode to all my favourite things. I’m fine.
It’s also part of a 5-book series, which 100000% do not recommend EVER OUTLINING ALL AT ONCE WITHOUT WRITING ANY OF THE BOOKS FIRST. *
* hey Cait why don’t you not.
2. THE OUTLINE WAS 18,000 WORDS.
This helped me remember the actual plot, to be honest, because #DETAILS. Everyone likes details. And for me, these days, it seems like 20K plots turn into 110K books. This is a handy guide for me to figure out how much chocolate to buy and how many buckets to cry in.
3. IT’S AN EPIC FANTASY CALLED “GLASS MONSTERS” AND THE TITLE IS MORE CLICHE THAN A CHEESE SANDWICH.
But do you know who sucks at titling? ME. I’m not even going to deny it.
4. ALSO THERE’S A PINTEREST.
5. THE BASIC IDEA IS CON ARTISTS + FANTASY + BUCKETS OF SASS + SIBLINGS + NOBODY IS HAVING A GOOD TIME BY THE END.
I really like fantasy heist books! So this is basically my ode to Six of Crows, Locke Lamara, The Spirit Thief, How To Lead A Life Of Crime, White Cat and Reckless. (Because why have ONE inspiration when you can HAVE THEM ALL.)
The hopeful idea is: two princeling brothers (in their early twenties/late teens) decide to avoid war by disguising as con artists and robbing every country around so everyone is too busy lOSING thEIR vaULTS and crying to actually go to war.
The reality of the idea is: two princeling brothers sass everyone to death and make bad decisions and nearly die 17 times per chapter.
6. IT’S PRETTY DARK.
BECAUSE I’M WRITING IT. AND WHAT’S FANTASY IF IT’S NOT DARK FANTASY.
7. IT FEATURES A MATRIARCHY.
I decided that I’m only going to write fantasy worlds that don’t have gender-inequality. Because WHY SHOULD THEY. If you can imagine magical prophecies and towers made of glass and mages and witches and romances not ending in bloodshed because someone was #hangry — then you CAN imagine worlds without gender imbalance.
Yes, I do still write kingdoms. And yes I absolutely write about discrimination. But it isn’t going to be because of your gender.
Can we have a break please.
In this book, one of the biggest discriminations is two people groups who are (1) tree spirits, and (2) dragons. They do not get along because FIRE vs WOOD. Everyone has a bad time and there is some crying.
8. EVERYONE IS SLYTHERIN OR HUFFLEPUFF.
The first thing I do when developing characters is to sort them into Hogwarts houses…obviously. My two narrating brothers are Slytherin (Valentin) and Hufflepuff (Jak) and everyone else is just a Slytherin because do you know how interesting it is to write about cunning and ambitious people? Very.
There is one Ravenclaw and 0% Gryffindors because I’m bad at Gryffindors.
9. MY FAVOURITE PART OF WRITING IS ALWAYS THE DIALOGUE.
Banter!! It’s so much fun!!
Action scenes on the other hand, while I love them, they are freaking hard to write. And don’t even ask me about the emotional scenes hahahha…no.
10. DIVERSITY IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME IN FANTASY SO HERE YOU GO.
Belonging to a few minorities myself, I want to see diversity run rampant on the page along with dragon scales and goblin kings! I don’t know everything * and if this series goes any further than being a “Just For Fun” project I would 10000% get sensitivity readers and be sure I’m representing things accurately. As any writer should.
But for now I (a) do my research thoroughly in books and online and talking to friendly humans and sometimes moths, and (b) do my best! I don’t go for any “token” diversity, so it all has a point and weaves into the story line.
In Glass Monsters, I have:
- a socially anxious witch king who is very powerful and uses this to stop you visiting him at all ever thanks
- one of the two prince con-artist narrators has autism and is also has selective mutism (he only speaks out loud to his brother and only when they’re alone)
- so I have a fantasy-built version of sign-language which features a lot and is also handy for the two bros to communicate while stealing your socks
- a big fat X across sexism and sexuality discrimination too and it’s not just assumed everyone’s straight
- wide spectrum of skin colour because that’s just real life, mate
And if you think this lessens the conflict?
HAHA HAHHAHA HAHHAA YOU SWEET SUMMER CHILD. There is so much conflict in this book, IT IS UNBELIEVABLE. I think every 3rd chapter involves a crisis and the only times someone isn’t going wrong is when they’re eating jam pie. Because I don’t believe in interrupting a good food time.
I am not cruel.
* EGAD IT BURNS TO SAY. WHAT IS THIS DOSE OF REALITY AND REALISM, CAIT, TAKE IT AWAY.
11. I WROTE IT IN 4 DAYS = 111,000 WORDS.
And I actually did my ALL TIME PERSONAL BEST and wrote 35,000 words in one day!! It took me 9 hours and I still can’t quite understand how I did it. Probably accidental wizardry. Also I think I was spurred on by the fact that I was living alone for the weekend and was actually running out of food. But I didn’t want to stop writing to make more. SO. Write faster = live.
It’s good motivation. 0/10 do not recommend.
I nearly ate a wall.
12. I ALWAYS FEATURE A SPECIFIC FOOD IN ONE OF MY BOOKS AND HERE: JAM TARTS.
I don’t even know why except I really like raspberry jam, personally.
But there’s still cake, just so everyone knows I wrote it.
13. IT’S A BIG PROJECT AND IT’S PROBABLY TOO BIG FOR ME, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE.
It has a LOT of world building and I did about 14% of it in this draft. It has a super complicated plot because HEISTS. I have no idea if the pacing is off. I have noooooo idea if I did all the brilliance concepts I have in my head justice at all.
It is rough but I love it.
I REALLY REALLY LOVE WRITING AND I REALLY LOVE CREATING. It amuses me and it’s what I want to read in fantasy (although I’d prefer it done by bettttttter writers pls) and I had such a freaking fantastic time ignoring reality for 4 days and just WRITING.
And there is pie and cake and knives and snark and siblings and exceptionally awkward romances and very nice suits and extreme torturous agony and social anxiety. And there is a cliffhanger that is just downright #RUDE. It’s seriously the worst cliffhanger ever.
No really. It’s bad.
And mostly everybody dies somewhat.
I’m so pleased but I also need a nap because I haven’t slept since 1775.
RAPID FIRE Q&A
(because I know someone is going to ask, so I’ll get ahead of you)
Q: Where can I read your writing??
A: YOU CAN’T. I’M CRYING TOO.
Q: have you thought about getting published, cAit.
A: When I want an existential crisis, yes I think about it….haha just kIDDING. I’m pursuing traditional and it’s not fast.
Q: are you real?
Q: do you have a lot of free time to just write?
A: no I make time and I sacrifice other things to have time and I treat writing like a potential career, not a hobby.
Q: how fast do you type?
A: Not actually that fast! I average at 30K in 8.3 hours so that’s roughly 3K an hour.
Q: do you get writer’s block?
A: nope. See aforementioned EIGHTEEN FREAKING THOUSAND word outline (wow cait you are so excessive)
Q: are you looking for beta readers?
A: not yet but I’ll let you know, dovekins
Q: are you sECRETLY a wild grape?
And YES they have typos and they’re not worded perfectly and the entire book is a hot mess….but if you’re curious HERE YOU GO! The voice is a bit modern at times, but that will be fixed in edits. And it is actually adult fantasy because it’s superdark but I’ve picked out the chill snippets.
Also 100% need to change the name “Jakez” later because it sounds like something else when you say it out loud…#awkward.
SIBLINGS ARE ACTUALLY THE DEFINITION OF INSUFFERABLE OK:
CHILDHOOD FLASHBACK TO WHEN VALENTIN HAD PRIORITIES:
HOW TO HAVE YOUR LIFE THREATENED & BE RUDE ABOUT IT:
AVERAGE FAMILY MEAL TIMES:
HELLO, IM ANNOYED:
MAGICAL HORSE + SIBLING AFFECTION:
NOBODY APPRECIATES VALENTIN <– A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE ENTIRE BOOK:
BRIEF FLASHBACK TO VALENTIN’S CHILDHOOD WHERE HE WAS MORE ANNOYING THAN HE IS NOW:
WHEREIN I TRY TO WRITE RELATABLE CHARACTERS:
PS. This is the fun shirt I wear when killing characters.