This month’s Beautiful Books, hosted by Sky and Cait, is focused on editing. I’ve only really edited Grey Wars so I guess that means I’ll be talking about it. 🙂
1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) how well do you think this book turned out?
For the book itself, I would say something like 3. All I’ve written is pretty blah. But for the effort and the experience, I’d give myself a 7 because I did enjoy writing and I learned a lot of things this November.
2. Have you ever rewritten or editing one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s your plan?
I have never gotten to the editing stage. Before I start rewriting, I make a list of everything that’s wrong with my current draft and I usually revise the plot. Then I rewrite the whole thing from start to finish!
3. What’s your final wordcount? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book?
I’m at 50,000 but 100,000 to 150,000 is my goal. I’m currently taking a break from it.
4. What’s are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?
Definitely characters. My plot is ridden with holes (and I’ll need to revise it again! ***cries***) and my pacing is over the speed limit. But I am in love with my characters (platonically, okay?). They’re why I’m writing this.
5. What’s your favourite bit of prose or line from this novel?
Uh, these are a few excerpts I like.
Through the door, he could see the mother, sobbing with chin pressed against the rough ground, her children around her. The only one quiet was the eldest child who stared at his father’s grotesque body, too aghast to cry.
“It’s … it’s awful. Awful in a good way, though. It’s … it’s goddamn huge and terrifying and awful and I want nothing but to bite into those rows – just cut through them like a sword. I want that. That’s why I became a soldier – because I wanted something big like this.” He sighed, “I’ve never fought in combat.”
“I thought you said you did. There were the Nirans and your scar and the branch.”
“I made that up,” said Brigg. “I know now you think I’m a chronic tall tell tale. But I’m not sorry because it is true, in a way. It’s what I imagine to be true, if I was someone else – if I was my other, better self. It’s what I wish to be true.”
Miles smiled wryly, “You don’t want to fight in combat.”
“What is your trade?”
“I don’t have one.”
“How have you spent your life?”
“I know some military, painting, reading, writing.”
“Why weren’t you given a trade?”
“My father didn’t want me to grow up, maybe?”
The woman nodded sympathetically.
6. What aspect of your book needs the most work?
I was thinking of saying plot but I think the holes pale in comparison to the pacing. I have to work on my pacing. My description is pretty nonexistent too.
7. What aspect of your book is your favourite?
I love the character relationships and the character arcs.
8. How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed-out?
I’d say they’re pretty well rounded, although I’m not sure if I got their whole personalities onto the page. The only one I’m not satisfied with is my main antagonist. He’s a power hungry emperor and flat as a pancake. I’m definitely going to flesh out his character, maybe even change him to a woman.
9. If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?
I think I would write quicker the first few weeks so I could have reached 70,000. Now that the whole event is over, I’m losing motivation and energy (and there’s more going on at home now), but I think I could have feasibly written more words in November if I hadn’t procrastinated so much.
10. Did anything happen in your book that completely surprised you? Have any scenes or characters turned out differently to what you planned? Good or bad?
Two characters who used to be practically perfect turned out to have quite a few flaws. It’s cool, actually. I like them a lot better. Also, characters who used to be jerks became a lot less jerky.
11. What was the theme and message? Do you think it came across? If not, is there anything you could do to bring it out more?
It’s hard to sum up the messages behind the whole story. I guess I’d say it’s a story above all about grey areas – questions like “can you always be forgiven, no matter how much you’ve screwed up?” and “can the law administer justice or is that in God’s hands?” Of course, not everyone believes in God which only complicates matters. It’s about overcoming the demons inside of you and learning to live in a constant battle with them. IT’s about being your own worst enemy.
My prose needs a lot of work.
12. Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?
Deadlines work well for me.
13. Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men, etc.)
Oh, wow. I’ll have to choose from some of the books I’ve read so bear with me. This is gonna be interesting.
Um, um, The Lord of the Rings meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone meets East of Eden meets The Hunger Games.
Well, I tried.
14. How do you celebrate a finished novel?!
I do some reading for a change. I write a new novel.
15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?
I want to make them cry. I know that sounds incredibly mean of me but my favorite books always make me cry and if I could write something that had that much effect on someone else … it would be amazing.