I have a guilty writerly confession: I avoid rewrites.
And “avoid” is putting it mildly. I literally run away howling anytime someone mentions it’d be a better idea to rewrite one of my 18 drafts instead of writing up 395839 new ones. Why? WHY!??! Excellent question my friend. There is much more pressure when it comes to rewriting and editing. In first drafts, if there’s a plot hole? AH. WHATEVER. Fix it later. But in rewrites…you must fix that plot hole NOW. Terror ensues.
BUT HERE I AM, ABOUT TO BE BRAVE. What could be better to distract me from panicking over Christmas* than dusting off my 2014 NaNoWriMo project and hacking at it with the proverbial chainsaw?! Plus I promised to return to The Dead Boy and the Paper Cut, part of which graces Wattpad, and continue updating it. SO I SHALL. I am a dragon of my word.
My 2015 NaNoWriMo project (Did You Lie About the Dragon) draft shall fester for a bit longer. But you can still read
my derranged shriekings about how I won this year’s NaNo in 4 days.
* Yes I am a sufferer of Christmas Panic. It’s too overwhelming, okay?!? Expectations, presents, loud music, dubious amounts of tinsel and holly which would make a perfect murder weapon, I might add, so why are we leaving it around for potential attackers?!? WHY HAS NO ONE THOUGHT CHRISTMAS DANGERS THROUGH?!?! Ahem.
Myself! The last Beautiful Books linkup is live (join us here!!) and it’s all about editing. Enormously fun, right?! In 2016 we’ll be back to the regular Beautiful People linkups (with interview questions for your characters).
And I’m NOT talking about my NaNo book that I just wrote!! This is an older draft from 2014!! JUST SO YOU KNOW.
Also Emily @ Loony Literate and I are doing an impromptu rewrite challenge! Starting this weekend (the 19th). Basically we are just going to rewrite at whatever pace we want and howl at each other (that’s encouraging howling, by the way) on twitter under the hashtag #rewriteathon. It’s going to be fun. JOIN US.
I give a more logical blurb on wattpad, but the basic run down is:
- It’s about a deaf girl and a dead boy.
- They’re adorable.
- They band together to discover the dead boy’s murderer because the ghost-life is making him a violent little brute and needs to forgive his killer and chill.
- They develop squishy feelings for each other — but #awkward — BECAUSE HE’S DEAD.
- There is so much coffee and cake, it’s ridiculous…ly awesome.
- There is much murder.
- Also the dead boy gets killed by a book. Yes, a B.O.O.K. This is to underline how dangerous the bookworm life is.
I prattle on about this novel of mine so much it has it’s own tag on my blog.
Follow Cait’s board WIP The Dead Boy and the Paper Cut on Pinterest.
1. ON A SCALE OF 1 (WORST) TO 10 (BEST), HOW DID THE BOOK TURN OUT? DID ANYTHING DEFY YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
Back when I first wrote The Dead Boy and the Paper Cut in November 2014 (OMG IT’S A WHOLE YEAR OLD, BIRTHDAY CAKE!) it turned out really well. I had a hilariously good time. But. Plot holes. PLOT HOLES. So many plot holes you can fall into Wonderland and never climb back out…aghhhh. I would give it a 7 right now, because I know I can do better. Or I hope I can. I BELIEVE IN ME.*
* I totally do not. Omg. Someone save me.
2. COMPARATIVE TITLE TIME! WHAT PUBLISHED BOOKS, MOVIES OR TV SHOWS ARE LIKE YOUR BOOK? (EX: INKHEART MEETS XMEN?)
It comes from an entire motley of inspiration, but basically I wanted a) books, b) ghosts, c) coffee, and d) muuuuurder. All the good things.
3. DO YOU ENJOY WORKING WITH DEADLINES AND PRESSURE (AKA NANOWRIMO) OR DO YOU PREFER TO WRITE-AS-YOU’RE-INSPIRED?
YES DEADLINES ARE LIFE. Although funny how they’re considered deadlines isn’t it? Ahem. I always give myself deadlines because I’m a super competitive person. I’m super competitive against MYSELF. Basically my life is this:
Me: I’m going to write a book in a week!
Me: I did it. BUT I GOTTA BEAT MYSELF. Next time 5 days.
Me: 4 days?
Me: I’m going to finish before I start, basically.
It’s a problem.
I do wait until a book is ready to be written. This could mean a full year of it just bopping about my head, and months of plotting, and half a wall covered in sticky-notes of facts and dastardly plans. But I do not just write a “little bit here and a little bit there”. Either I write 8,000+ words a day or I don’t write at all. For like…months. I do not recommend this method. I’m an evil writer.
4. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT EDITING? GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR EDITING PROCESS!
I once did an entire post detailing my editing process! But I’ll break it down briefly for you here:
- Start by crying and procrastinating for at least 9 if not 97 years.
Then reread old draft and cringe and gasp in horror and laugh hysterically because YA CALL THIS A BOOK?!?!
- Write a list of things that need fixing.
- The list consists of one word: everything.
- HAHA JUST KIDDING. There is a list and it’s minutely helpful.
- Then highlight the entire book in red and rewrite every. single. word — changing to black text as one goes. It’s a visual representation of progress. It saves lives.
- Intersperse days of editing by HOWLING and running in circles in nice socks on the dewy grass under the dragon moon saying things like “I AM NOT CRAZY” and “MY NAME IS NOT FERDINAND”.
- No one thinks the above is weird. It’s actually normal.
- Eat. so. much. chocolate.
5. WHAT ASPECT OF YOUR STORY NEEDS THE MOST WORK?
The part where it starts, the middle, and the ending.
HA. I’M JOKING. (I am totally not.) But right now the plot holes lie mostly with:
- The fact that I wrote a lot of horrible cliches and misconceptions around my deaf character. MY BAD. I have since been researching all year and learnt a lot. (But if there is anyone who’d like to give me tips about correctly representing a deaf character, I WILL LOVE YOU.) This needs fixing.
- I relied on my deaf character lip-reading…perfectly. But apparently lip-reading is really hard with basically 33% success rate. So I will have to edit/rework/delete a lot of dialogue.
- There are plot holes.
- I tried filling up said holes with my tears but it didn’t work.
I loved my ghost!
My snarky, mean, bitter ghost — who has issues. So. many. issues.
But yet is adorable and awkward and well-meaning.
(Despite um…stabbing several people throughout the story…um. But we all have bad days! C’mon!)
7. GIVE US A BRIEF RUN DOWN ON YOUR MAIN CHARACTERS AND HOW YOU THINK THEY TURNED OUT? DO YOU THINK THEY’LL NEED CHANGES IN EDITS?
\\ Pictures link to their pinterest pages!! //
- MOXIE: She is my 16 year old deaf protagonist and narrator. She’s wispy and sad and has PTSD and a coffee addiction and has more books than space in her room. I definitely need to work on making her deafness respectful and believable. I don’t want to misrepresent her!!
- THOMAS: He is my 16 year old ghost. He is mean, but small and secretly nice and very very lonely. He is perfect. PERFECT, I TELL YOU. Let me live in my delusions, shush.
- KHALIDA: This is Moxie’s best friend and I really need to make sure I don’t make her a “token” best friend who just gets dumped midway through the story. I’d like to slip her into the finale. So edits = yes.
- MOXIE’S DAD: I can’t remember. It’s been a year since I worked on this book, okay?! I think he’s awesome. He runs a coffee shop, he has to be awesome.
- MOXIE’S BROTHER: Okay so this dude started as her uncle, changed to her older brother, and now I’m considering making him a younger brother. GAH. He needs work.
8. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THIS NOVEL ONCE YOU FINISH EDITING? MORE EDITS? FINDING BETA READERS? QUERYING? SELF-PUBLISHING? HIDING IT IN A DARK HOLE FOREVER?
I’ll be posting more to Wattpad! I’ve yet to decide if I’m going to post the whole book. I definitely want to. BUT YA KNOW. Fear. Trepidation. Other small details.
I do have an agent but we’re working on other projects and The Dead Boy is kind of just my “fun thing” at this point. But maybe I’ll still look for betas to help it be the best it can be! I’ll do a shout out on the blog when I get there!
9. SHARE A FAVOURITE SNIPPET!
I have shared these snippets in the past, but they’re my favourite so excuse me but I CAN’T HELP MYSELF.
10. WHAT ARE YOUR WRITING GOALS AND PLANS FOR 2016?
POSITIVITY! I had a really rough year (writing wise) and I want to be calmer about writing in 2016. Have some fun??! Write more wild crazy stuff and LET LOSE THE KILLER CRICKETS. (Or…something.) But I have an entire post I want to do on 2016 writing goals, so for now, here is a brief list:
- I want to rewrite my 2015 NaNoWriMo book, Did You Lie About the Dragon? (Spoiler: everyone lies in that book. It’s like the book of lies.)
- I want to write a Sherlock retelling but by the point-of-view of Moriarty with SHERLOCK AS A GIRL. It has a pinterest board so it’s official.
- I will doing edits of SOMETHING with my agent. I can’t tell you what SOMETHING is. But SOMETHING is grand.
- I have like three other books that are dying to be written.
- And of course I plan to get a 6 figure publishing deal, be paid solely in pirate medallions, purchase a dragon, and then do all my writing on dragon-back whilst flying over the high seas. #legit