Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Beautiful Books: This is what I Am Doing

Hi! I'm finally linking up with Beautiful Books, hosted by Cait and Skye.

My book is Lady Dragon, Tela Du, the second volume of my Rizkaland Legends. It's currently sitting at 59,000 total, 37,000 of that written during NaNo. I'm a bit behind, but I plan to rectify that tonight. This is a book that I've been working on for nearly ten years now, and I'm on what shall be the final draft of ... at least seven. It's been fun.

1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
It has certainly been very different from all of the previous drafts. I knew this draft would be a major overhaul, though, so I hadn't pinned down any specific expectations. I'm liking how Reuben and Petra's relationship is coming together. I thought I'd have a bit more trouble with Petra, to be honest, but I think, because I changed her from and INFJ to an INTJ, she's been handling things a bit more pragmatically.

2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
Of the book?: 
“I allowed the Fire Prince and Water Princess their victory,” Amber mentioned over supper.
Of what I've written for NaNo? (Incidentally, the first line of part two):
“Two years,” said Petra, setting a plate of pancakes on the table. “Hard to believe that it’s been two years since Ashley barged into our life unannounced.”

3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
I'm a planster. If I do too much planning, it will kill my inspiration, but I can't just show up to a piece of paper and write without a goal. I plan, extensively, but it's all mental. I can't start a book without knowing where it will end, and at least a few mid-goals along the way, but I keep a loose hand on the plot, and allow it to surprise me as it will.

4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
I, um, have words written? I'm terrible at self-motivation. USUALLY, having words written and a story to read is reward enough for me. If not, I can't bribe myself to write. It just don't work. I should probably be stricter on myself ...

5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
I look for names that suit the characters. There are two themes in Rizkaland: Names I make up for elves, and names that actually exist for humans. Sometimes I will literally stop all writing just to hunt down a perfect name for a character, because it's almost impossible for me to change a name once I set it in stone.
Where do the names actually come from ... um ...

Petra: She was initially inspired by Peter from Narnia, so I just found the female version of the name.
Summer: She was initially inspired by Susan, also the girl who was going to play her back when this was a script liked season names.
Reuben: This is what my grandmother always wanted to name a son.
Amber: She was inspired by Jadis, the White Witch, but was a dragon, so I wanted a fiery gem.
Most of the other names for main characters I made up, and I have no idea where those come from.

6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
I've written more beginnings than anything else, but they're hard to write.
Middles are where all the meat is, but they can also get boggy, and I frequently loose my way.
Endings have a lot of adrenaline, but it can be so hard to let go. 

Honestly, I don't have a favorite part.

7. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
There are a lot of BIG personalities in this book, lots of characters that I've really enjoyed working with.

But, to be honest, at the moment I think I'll go with Rintaya. She's ... interesting.

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?!)
I did research marriage customs for Cherokee Indians the other day by ... looking it up online. 

9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?

The reason I do NaNo is so that I can know I'm not alone. And YES! I love sharing my work. Here, let me share a snippet with you right now!

  She turned and retraced her steps. It was true that she’d been on a mission, an important one at that – she never stepped foot in the Hall of Blood without good reason – but gaining information about her was more important than anything else.
  “Why is it called that?” asked the young man.
  “This Hall, why is it called … that.”
  “Oh, yes,” said Amber. “It’s not a pretty story, I must admit. In former times, almost every door you see leading off of this hall leads to what was either a prison or a torture chamber. I don’t use them for that purpose any more, unless I have to. But they aren’t the reason for its name.”
  “Then what is?” asked the girl.
  “If you follow this Hall to its ultimate end, you will find a large room that I shudder to call to mind,” Amber explained. “It was in that room that each one of my ancestors met their end, and there, someday, shall I meet mine. That is why this is called the Hall of Blood.”

  “Oh.” The girl’s voice was hollow. She was properly horrified, very good.

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!

Habits ... um, unless you count the fact that I randomly barrel out of out of the house in heated moments, no not really. No specific snacks, I eat whatever I have on hand, if I eat anything at all, and I usually write in silence. I write best when I have my seat firmly planted in my chair and my attention on the story, rather than the internet.

At the moment, my writing cave is too dark for pictures. Also it's a mess, so I'd rather not share.


  1. Nice to know I'm not the only one who has to jump up and run out of doors at times during the writing process! :) Enjoyed this post and hearing more about your process.

  2. Why do you dash out of the house at heated moments?
    I like the snippet.

    1. Because I'm not allowed to run in the house.

  3. I randomly barrel out the door, too. Hehe. And I'm with you on not having a favorite part, as far as beginning/middle/end goes.

  4. I love the name Petra and YAY for INTJs (I'm one too. :P) And I love how both your first sentences start with food. My kinda book. XDXD
    Thanks for joining in the link up, Kendra!! All the best with your fabulous writing! :D

  5. That snippet is intriguing. I have no idea of the context.


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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