Sky and Cait (AND CAIT! AND CAIT! Cait, see, I didn’t forget you this time) are back with another round of questions, these ones pertaining to writing goals and achievements. December was a slow month where writing was concerned; it took a backseat to other issues, plus I was busy with art commissions. But it’s a new year, and a new year is full of new hope and new goals to accomplish. Here’s to 2016, and the improvement of all things.
my creative womb
- What were your writing achievements last year? Last year, I finished Dark is the Night (vampires, werewolves, and South Carolina) and began editing said novel. I also began the sequel. I began and finished my high fantasy novel Kenna. I wrote This Curious Madness (Alice in Wonderland retelling) in a month. I got a publisher for Paper Crowns (fairy tale) and I began Acceso from scrap again. I started The Color of Truth (Meiji-era Japanese historical fantasy) and completed NaNoWriMo, although I’m still working on my novel, The Dying of the Light. I also came up with about a dozen new novel ideas that are waiting for me to get to them.
- Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year? That’s going to be seeing Paper Crowns through publishing. I’m still wrangling it into publishing-readiness, but I hope to have it ready to go by the end of January.
- List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year: I need to stop procrastinating thanks to perfectionism – instead of thinking about doing, I need to actually do the things I think about. I’d like to develop consistent writing habits that don’t include staying up until 2 a.m. and then barely seeing the morning. As always I want my writing to deepen and improve, particularly in the areas of description and plot flow – I tend to write very ‘episodic’ novels, and while this isn’t always a bad thing (it worked really well for Dark is the Night) it doesn’t work for every novel. That wasn’t five, but oh well.
- Are you participating in any writing challenges? No. The only writing challenges I really participate in are word-wars with friends and Ju/NaNoWriMo. I like to write at my own pace – I don’t like the ‘who wrote it better’ competition many writing challenges become.
- What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year? I have no plans to expand unless someone specifically asks to read something. I have an amazing group of beta-readers, as well as a few alpha-readers who give me commentaries and help me edit as I go along. (Shoutout to my alpha-readers Arielle, Lauren, and Tanzy!)
- Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research? I’m reading several books for research right now – The Emergence of Meiji Japan and Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration (both by Marius Jansen), The Art of War, The Book of Five Rings, and various novels.
- Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this? I can’t pick one character. I have too many. My novels are notorious for having large and varied casts, and I tend to love all of them (excepting whichever disgusting villain/villainess happens to be there). I will say that I need to get further acquainted with the new cast of Natural Disasters (Chinese elementals/alternate history/fantasy) and Nihilum (psychopaths, organ donors, crime syndicates, and secret programs).
- Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack? I’ll query out Dark is the Night once I finish editing it, but that comes after Paper Crowns.
- 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? Too many to name. I want to see more character development, more platonic relationships, more well-rounded love stories entwined in vast and far-reaching science fiction and fantasy. I want to see the quality of stories in general go up and I want to see clichés turned upside-down. Also, I would be very okay with a novelization of Fullmetal Alchemist.
- What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016? I want to see The Dying of the Light and The Color of Truth as completed first drafts. I’d like to see Natural Disasters begun, and possibly The Bleeding Moon (Korean history/fantasy novel) begun as well. I want to see Paper Crowns published and have another publishing contract with another novel. I want to see my writing better than it is now. Other than that, who knows?