So I’ve been sucking up on the blogging front this month. SO SORRY! I swear the hiatus was in the name of good stuff. Good stuff meaning drafting a manuscript that has made me laugh, cry, flinch and rage.
For those of you new to the blog, this is the 2nd post in the series link-up, Beautiful Books, created by Sky of Further Up, Further In and Cait of Paper Fury. For more information on the link-up, check out the original post, here. And for the first post regarding my 2015 NaNo Novel, you can go here.
But now onto the questions…
No. 1 – Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
Yes and no. All the major plot points and twists are the same, but DEAR LORD, DID IT TURN PAINFUL FAST! Seriously! This manuscript will need to come with a list of trigger warnings. Between sexual assault, physical abuse and death, this story surprised me by how dark it got. Mind you, my stuff isn’t usually sunshine and rainbows anyway, but this was supposed to be the fun novel. And in a lot of ways it was. But I swear, the more mentally resilient my MC is, the more violent their story becomes. Like torture, literal effin torture.
No. 2 – What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
My duffle bag strap dug into my shoulder as I lugged it up the stark concrete stairs to the third floor. You’d think the worn strap would have snapped by now after five years of use. I’ve had to stuff that blue bag over capacity every six months since I was twelve to make the trip to yet another boarding school.
No. 3 – Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
Last year, I was a methodical plotter. This year, I had an outline, but it was significantly looser than my one last year, which left the MS open to surprising me… often apparently.
No. 4 – What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
Umm. I’m going to be super duper lame and say that having the story finally out of my brain and on the page is reward enough.
I more so treated myself to brunch/nice-ish dinner/binge-watching Netflix or Hulu whenever I needed a break from the MS, which was quite often with this one. Seriously, when it came to killing off a character, I avoided it for a solid few days before I was ready to pull the trigger.
No. 5 – What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
It depends on who the character is. One of my characters, Marcellus Herides, is a descendant of the Greek Goddess Hera. Marcellus is of Latin origin meaning “warrior.” His surname, Herides, was built from Hera and the Greek surname suffix “idis/ides” meaning “descendant of.”
No. 6 – What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
I’m realizing during this Q&A that I don’t have a whole lot of rhyme or reason to my process. Lol Everything is dependent on the MC and story. For this novel, my favorite part to write was the middle, but I HATED writing the midpoint.
No. 7 – Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
I have a lot of favorites in this book. From the humans, Lena and Chuck, to the elderly elven attendant Fran, I love them all. Meredith, the MC, is probably still my favorite. Not only is she snarky and smart, but she is incredibly resilient. She gets dragged through the mud and put through the ringer and [insert your favorite saying describing pain here]. But she still comes out the other side with her compassion and sense of self in tact. I am in awe of her mental and emotional strength.
No. 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?!)
The main things I researched during this project were the different styles of western architecture and clothing. Google and Pinterest were my two main sources of searches. I usually had multiple tabs open to crosscheck sources because I’m a nerd that way.
I’m pretty sure most of the things I research would be considered “weird” by normal standards. So I’m going to go with my most infuriating search: Nordic Goddess Frigg. SO MUCH CONFLICTING INFORMATION ON FRIGG. Seriously! My frustration even made it into the MS, because it worked in the context:
So many hours perusing so many sites, and for what? Contradicting reports on the roles of Frigg and Freya and how they were basically the same goddess. Screw you Wikipedia.
No. 9 – Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
Well I haven’t really built a writerly community down here in Florida yet, so this NaNoWriMo was significantly lonelier than last year in Maryland where I attended write-ins twice a week. My poor writing buddy, Lynanne, has gotten multiple Twitter DM’s involving sections of the MS. She’s a trooper for dealing my nonsense. THANKS, LADY!
No. 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!
I try to write everyday, word there being try. I’m usually at the local Starbucks drinking a hazelnut latte from 5:30pm until they kick me out. They’ve come to greet me as ‘Novelist Bree.’ I love them. If I do ever get published, they may get put in the acknowledgments simply for being a constant source of awesome in my life.
Hope you enjoyed this Q&A on my 2015 NaNoWriMo Novel. I can’t wait to hear how y’all’s November went. I feel like I’ve been so disconnected this month while in hyper-drafting mode.