And now it's time for round three of Beautiful Books. Editing edition. I honestly considered doing Kingdom with this link-up, since I was in the middle of editing. (By the way, if you've reviewed Sew and Take, then you're eligible to beta read the book.) But then I finished last night and sent it off to editors instead. Besides which, these questions are more suited for the beginning stages of editing.
So I'm doing Water Princess, Fire Prince instead. It's not quite finished yet (as you can see on the sidebar), but it's getting close, and I can still answer the questions on what has been finished.
You guys aren't tired of hearing about this story yet, are you? 'Cause I'm only going to talk about it more once Kingdom is published. Since I haven't finished the book yet, I can't talk release dates, but I'm considering late summer. The absolute latest this book will be out will be October, I'll tell you that. And I'm absolutely excited. Rizkaland is one of my favorite worlds, and I can't wait to share it with all of you.
1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) how well do you think this book turned out?
About a 7. I'm happy with it, but it's still going to take a lot of polishing, mostly because I've challenged myself to write it without going back and editing.
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 love rewriting. In fact, I think I've done more of that in my writing journey than actual writing, and this book was, itself a rewrite.
I have developed something of a system for editing. First, I let it rest for at least a month while I work on something else. Then I'll pick it back up and read it as though I've never even heard of the book before.
Then, I go through the book and add any scenes or snippets of conversation that needs added, and changing any scenes that demands it. This is when I address the notes I sometimes leave myself in NaNo, and expand the play-by-plays I sometimes fall back on.
Next is a line edit, where I send it to my kindle and see how many notes I can leave myself, with spelling, misused names, grammar issues. Sometimes I'll add notes to expand a conversation or two, as it strikes my fancy. Then I'll pull up the document on the computer and actually apply all of the changes.
And then I'll send it out to beta readers to get their opinions.
3. What’s your final wordcount? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book?
I'm sitting at a hundred thousand words, but I still have a bit of part four to finish, and all of part five. I'm considering upping the wordgoal meter on my sidebar again, but I'm going to wait a few more thousand words so I can get a feel for exactly how many I have left. I'm a putter-inner when I edit, and there are a few scenes that I know I need to add in part two. So, yeah, this is going to be a long book.
I'm actually a bit nervous that the next two books won't quite measure up. I mean, the last time I wrote book two, it was a mere 25,000 words. I'm not sure how long the first "draft" of book three is, but it's short, too.
4. What’s are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?
I love the plot, but the characters in this book are absolute darlings. For me, this book has always been about the characters, and this draft was no exception.
5. What’s your favourite bit of prose or line from this novel?
This book is over 100,000 words (and growing as we speak). You expect me to find one favorite out of all of that.
Okay, I guess I'll go look for something.
“I guess so,” said the Fire Prince, shrugging slightly. “At least you’re not biting off heads at the moment.”
“I don’t bite,” she countered. “It’s disgusting. I have far more dignified methods of dealing with my foe.”
6. What aspect of your book needs the most work?
I do need to deepen Andrew's character a bit more in part 2. I know what I want to do, I'm just waiting until 100-4-100 is over. (And I'd like to finish the book first)
7. What aspect of your book is your favourite?
The relationships. I have so many dynamic characters in this book, and everyone just bounces off of everyone else so nicely.
8. How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed-out?
They're darlings, that's what they are. Some of them need a little bit of work, that's a given, but they're stronger than in the last draft, that's for certain.
9. If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?
I think I would have skipped getting sick the last week of NaNo. I went down with a bad respiratory infection, and all the words just seeped out of me. I think I would have been done with the book by now if it weren't for that, because I was seriously on a roll.
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?
I can't say that anything has surprised me, but Clara and Andrew's relationship shaped up differently than it did last draft. Part of it was the fact that this is a rewrite, and I found myself reluctant to place them entirely back at square one. But the main reason was the fact that I'd actually taken the time to develop Andrew's character on his own this draft. I knew him better, and he wasn't content to just stand there and watch her blow around this time.
I can't say that this was a bad thing, because I do like how they've turned out, but it did throw me for a loop plotwise. I have Clara's emotions twisted to the proper pitch now, however, and I'm back on track.
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?
There are many themes in WPFP, some of which I handled pretty well, some of which still need a bit of work. For instance:
Trusting on God's timing. Klarand had to wait fifteen years for the Water Princess and Fire Prince to show up and get rid of the Lady Dragon. This is something that really annoys Clara, because from what she can tell, they've basically done nothing during this time. (This isn't true, as with David and the temple, everyone has been preparing for the battle, so that once Clara and Andrew show up, things will just fall into place.) Klarand had to wait for the Water Princess and Fire Prince because only they could get rid of the Dragon, and for anyone else to attempt it would have been a disaster.
Do I good job of showing this? I'll give myself an eight. It still needs work, but I like where I'm going with it. Of course, as I said, there are many themes, many of which I've done really well, but we'd be here all day if I chose to talk about all of them.
12. Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?
I need a deadline. I have at least fifteen books in various stages of writing, and when I do write-as-it-comes, this usually translates into me writing a sentence on one book, a paragraph on another, editing two chapters on a third, and generally me not making much progress on any of them. NaNo's my favorite month of the year.
13. Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men, etc.)
Well, the series was inspired by Narnia, and it has a lot of Narnian elements, but it's a lot more mature than Narnia. (And longer. Did you know that LWW is actually shorter than Sew by a couple thousand words? I forget exactly how long it was, but Sew is only 38,000 words.)
14. How do you celebrate a finished novel?!
Depends, but it usually involves blasting all of my social media sites about it. I've got a candy bar saved for when I finish this book, though. It's going to be awesome.
15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?
Regret because it's over.