Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beautiful People: laying down the guidelines

"Goals" has always been a word I dislike. It goes hand-in-hand with "deadlines" and "schedules" and alludes to "organized."


I stink at all the above. So yeah. Not my favorite topic. 

But I have realized that having an idea about where you want to be and when, helps you actually get there. So I'm linking up with Beautiful People hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ further up and further in.

Mind you, these are just guidelines.

1. What were your writing achievements last year?

Erm, I don't remember.

That was a year ago.

Really? I have to smile too? Society asks too much of me.

(You have no idea how relative that gif is to. . . everything.)

2. Tell us about your top priorty writing project this year?

Oddball, Oddball, Oddball.

I'm going to finish the first draft of Oddball the Sequel. Then I'll work on revising Oddball the First and will hopefully tackle Oddball the Last.

 I'm learning interesting things about trilogies.


3. List 5 areas you'd like to work the hardest to improve this year.

Five? But, wha- That's a lot!

 I really don't like this commitment thing you're making me do. It's disturbing my peace of mind.


1) Short story writing. 

I stink at it. End of story.

2) This originally read : 

"Being more organized?"

But let's be realistic. That ain't gonna happen. 


3) Writing more. 

I know every writer says that. But I don't even write once a day. I'll write 8,000-10,000 words in the span of a day/week. And then not write for the rest of the month. This is not an okay thing.

4) Read more. 

That does correlate with writing. Promises.

5) Journal more. 

Just 'cause.

4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?

1) You know I mentioned short stories? Beginning November of the 2015, I challenged myself to write one short story a month. November went well.

But December's short story is not turning out so short. It's leaked into January, and I kind of just want to shred it to bits at this point. I'll finish it. And afterward banish it too a dark dungeon where no one will ever, ever see it.

Let me intro you to my latest lunacy, uh, I mean WIP

But hey, if you want to buddy up and we can challenge each other to write a short story a month that would be cool.

2)  I'll be doing the Starting Sparks link up as the norm.

3) Does this link up count as a writing challenge?

Because I'm doing it. . .

5. What's you critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

I did send one short story out to be beta read. And I thank you all who so graciously read it and helped so very much with it (there shall be a smallish announcement of mild importance and great excitement on Jan. 29th).

Really, though people. I feel so ignorant. What do CPs even do? Do they look at each other's first drafts? Do they talk about character development, world-building, help solve plot problems? I have no clue.

Yeah, that sounds great

When people give me their writing to beta read, I only hope I'm doing it right.

I don't even know what word wars are. SOMEBODY HELP ME!

Recently, Skye let me read a first draft of hers. Which I happen to think is rather brave. Pretty much nobody sees my first drafts. They are hidden in dark places behind many locked doors. I'm a bit of an edit freak at times, and last year I tried to work on letting a bit of that go. But STILL!


(So I can't come up with a single reason for this gif. Other then, it cracks me up beyond reasoning.)

6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

I read The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maas somewhere in my past history. It was really good, but it's way more useful if you're revising/editing, and I was a wee little writer with half a working first draft. So when I revise Oddball the First I plan on going through The Fire in Fiction again.

7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

For once, I'm going to say no to characters. I'm all about characters and tend to get lost in their development. Since I've been working on Oddball since 2010 (way too long), I have a fairly good handle on the Foursome. So I'm going to focus more on actually writing.

Actually, I should just work on focusing. In general.


8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what's your plan of attack?

Toss the plan. Just attack.  


9. 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 book that you want to see more of, and what "holes" do you think need filling in the literary world?

This question calls for three answers. Yeah, you're in for it.

1) Once upon a time I was a young human child (I hope most of you were, otherwise it begs the questions, what were you exactly?). At that time, any book or movie with magic was banded from our house. But I loved fantasy and it was near impossible for me to find non-magical fantasy books. Or maybe I was just looking in the wrong places? Anyhow, this is kind of why the Oddball Trilogy has no magic element. 

(Someone asked if Oddball could even be a fantasy if there's no magic. *shrugs* Maybe not? I don't really care what you call it. To me, it is complexly Oddball.)

2) There are books with great writing, amazing characters, excellent plot. I respect and admire that. But in a lot of the books I've read (or DNF) last year, some of the content did not please me. It makes me sad that today's standards are so low that society thinks some of these things are okay (sex before marriage, drunkness, etc.). I understand that it happens in today's society. I'm not necessarily saying books should not show these things. But--

Why are books celebrating and glorifying it? Why is it portrayed in a good light?

Beast / Prince Adam, Beauty and the Beast | What Your Disney Man Crush Says About Your Dating Life : You like moody, well-read individuals and always want to “help” them tame their inner beast, in which case, GOOD LUCK.

I guess, what I'm trying to say is that I want my books to depict right as right and wrong as wrong. I hope that doesn't sound snobbish, because I sincerely do not mean it that way. You are free to think what you will (as if you need my permission *rolls eyes*). You can call me what you want. I will not judge.

But I will not apologize for what I think.

3) Think. A book that features a cute couple, yes? They both acknowledge that they like each other. The book may not necessarily center on their relationship, but it is a part of the story still, and--


They never do so much as kiss on page. Not even kiss.


Obviously, I think 'yes' since it's on my list.


1) Because I can.

2) Because love is not physical.
Have you ever seen this in a book? (I might want to read such a book.)

10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

Nearing the completion of the Oddball trilogy.

Getting better at writing short stories.

I think I'm done with commitments for the rest the year now. 


Do you have a CP? What in the world do CPs DO?! What are some areas you hope to improve on during this year?



    Oh but CPs can basically be interchangeable with betas. I think the real difference is you and the critique partner swap novels? So like it's a give-take relationship? While betas are just there to be slaves. (mwahhaah) At least that's how I see it. ;D

    I hope you do well with these goals. AHEM. I mean vague...ideas...that are not goals. *nods* Guidelines for the year? ;D

    1. Yeah. It is true though!

      Hm, that makes a lot of sense, actually. I like the way you see it. I had originally assumed that's what it was like, but then I stopped and realized I should probably stop assuming things. :P

      Haha! Thanks. ;)

  2. You think I'm brave,*blushing*
    I feel you, these gifs and your hilarious answers, sum up my feelings as well.
    You can do it! Finish all the things!
    Yes, we need books like this, especially the thing with no kissing. I would love that. You should read Jackaby it's Sherlockish, funny, and clean.

    1. I do, actually.


      I want to finish all the things! I want do all the things! And. . . sheesh, if I could just find a way to bottle time, I might just be able to. ;)

      Yes! I want to read Jackaby so badly. I actually found it at the college library the other day. But I was reading something else. I resolved to check it out later, but then. . . someone else had gotten to it before me.

  3. So that Sherlock GIF is the best description of writing a trilogy. PERFECT!

    A short story each month is a really cool goal! Best wishes with your writing this year!

    1. I agree. ;)

      Yes, hopefully it works out. Thank you!

  4. I've done beta swaps with people before, but I have only one long-standing CP and I don't think I would be able to write without her. We frequently debate who loves coffee more.

    :P That Robert Downey Jr. gif. *nods* I agree wholeheartedly, although it's funny because as much as that gif is so true the second book in the trilogy I'm editing is actually my favorite book out of that trilogy. I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm not complaining.

    Word wars are where you and whoever you're warring against agree to a certain amount of time and then see who can write (or edit, depending on what you all agreed on) the most words in that period of time. It can be a great challenge and a great way to get more writing done, especially if you're a competitive person.

    1. *makes note* "CPs argue about coffee."

      It's very true. But I am glad you are enjoying your sequel. It's always good to love it! :D

      Ooooh, so that's what it is. It makes sense now.

  5. Your use of gifs was the strongest I have ever seen it and that is saying a lot.

    Remind me where the one from #2 is from?

    Hey hey I too am going to write a short story a month (because I suck at them!) and you know how I am doing this? STARTING SPARKS!

    (Good thing those gals Emily and Ashley are hosting it right?)

    (They're basically geniuses.)

    (Should that be genii?)

    WRITE MORE WRITE MORE WRITE MORE! Seriously mon amie committing to writing every day is the best decision I ever made. (She says, having not written since Friday ... oops! My excuses are a) I'm in Chile and b) I slightly relax the every-single-day rule when I'm not novelling, as I'm currently not. But still it's bad.) So overlooking my failures I tell you truly, WRITE EVERY DAY IT IS GOOD. And also it lets you do things fast. If you write 1k each day that's 30k a month which is *a novel in three months*. Sounds good, right!?


    HECK YES to 9.2! But I do not get 9.3?? Like I like the "and because I can" logic #evilauthors .... buuut ....

    I was thinking about this yesterday actually. I'm reading Les Mis and Marius/Cosette just exchanged very very intense first eye contact. You'll be pleased to hear it's not insta-love in the book (like the musical) but almost ... Anyway I was just considering bc obviously, as you say, love is NOT purely physical -- it is totally and utterly NOT -- but ... what about Song of Songs? "One glance of your eye, one jewel of your necklace"?? I find it difficult to imagine -- like I cannot picture myself luring anyone to love at first at sight with one jewel of my necklace, no way Jose not on any planet -- but then why does the Bible say it?! And I do know various couples who profess to love at first sight. Idk. I just think that love is physical in many ways, as in "this at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh". Physical.

    Of course, I am forever singing Mulan in my head -- "how about a girl who's got a brain, and always speaks her mind?" -- but I don't think you can discount the physical aspects of love.

    It is super difficult though because on the one hand it's utter rubbish to love someone purely on their appearance ... but I was in an art gallery today looking at all the beautiful paintings and nudes and idk ... people are beautiful!

    So yeah.

    That was a bit of a ramble, sorry!

    (In short, I used to be a rampant non-believer in physical love at first sight but I am now v unsure.)

    (Like I think you can have a massive crush on someone you don't know? / maybe haven't even spoken to?)

    (But idk!)

    (As I've repeatedly said!)

    The other thing, I guess, is that I don't think you should date someone you don't love physically?? Like you should be attracted to them? So your hypothetical book characters ... WHY don't they kiss? Is it because they're awkward and adorable and just need time? Do they kiss, but the readers just don't see? Because if it's neither of the above then ... why not? If they like each other and say they like each other ... why not?

    Also your readers would HATE you.

    But I guess that making them hate us is our business! XD

    Anyway great post! Good luck with Oddball-ing. (And, ha, what DO CPs do?!)

    1. Thanks! Yes, that gif is from RDJ's Sherlock. The second movie whose title escapes me. It has gypsies in it, which makes the soundtrack this awesome mix of industry steampunk meets gypsy violin.

      Genuises. Genii. I've never figured that one out. Genii looks more like the plural from for Geni. You know, the kind that comes out of lamps, and. . . I don't live in a lamp. XD

      Writing more. I'm doing very badly with that actually. February has been my unexpected writing hiatus. Oops.

      I see what you're saying. And mostly because I see so many people in general and especially the media putting so much emphasis on physical appearance and the physical aspect of a relationship. People have such a huge misconception about love and relationships nowadays and it really irks me. It's more of to prove a point, I guess? That love is more than that. I'm not saying it's wrong to admire someone for their appearance, or to kiss. It's not. But there's more too it than that, and I think society has lost sight of that.

      There's this TV series I enjoy (sadly off the air), called The Mentalist. It ran for seven season, and the two main love interests developed a platonic relationship for the longest time. They didn't kiss until the last episode of the sixth season. I actually admire that.

      So another part of it is, can I pull off something like that? Can I pull off a platonic relationship that the audience knows is also romantic without any physical contact?

      I know it does sound kind of. . . "Why would you do that to your readers?" But it's more like I challenge myself to do it and see if I can. Does that make sense?

      But yeah, my readers will hate me. Hopefully a love/hate kind of thing, but you know. And I'm really thinking they will probably kiss off page? Like you know they're that close that they probably do, the readers just never get an actual kissing scene. But I'm still undecided.

      Thank you!


    Anyway, calming breaths ...

    So to recap:

    I have seen the film, I didn't know what was going on bc I'd not seen the first one;

    I'm also on hiatus, but it ends tomorrow;

    you are totally right about media representation and it's super important to counter-act that in popular culture;

    I'll watch the Mentalist;

    it would be a good challenge to yourself, while the world is shouting JUST SMUSH THEIR FACES TOGETHER it'd be great to have a book/scene reminding us it's not all about that;

    the taunting writer makes the final kiss all the better, esp when you've waiting like three books for it (goodness knows I've been that reader);



    In other news, I'm going to write a Les Mis themed post on this topic.

    Emily out.

  7. Oh, yes. It is kind of hard to follow when you haven't seen the first one. Plus, RDJ's Sherlock tends to hard to follow just because when there's crucial information being given, all the actors talk super quiet. In which case, half the room is yelling for the volume to be turned because there is important things happen, while the other half (the wimpy half) is yelling to keep the volume low because any moment something's going to explode and it will get loud again. *sighs* #big family problems

    The Mentalist is awesome! I won't say it's like a Sherlock type show. I mean, it is not as good as BBC Sherlock (although it has a lot more than nine episodes and a special *cough*). But yeah, it's a crime show with a guy who reads people well. He's not as good as Sherlock, probably not as childish (he still is though), and probably more narcissistic? I don't know how to explain it. BUT he does like tea. Hot tea. And sandwiches.


    So I will definitely be looking forward to your post then. I'm guess it will contain what the Bloath consumed?

    1. Hahaha I enjoyed that description of your family :')

      Tea and sandwiches?? I LIKE TEA AND SANDWICHES. IT'S THE SHOW FOR ME!

      Yes it will, and much more besides!


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