I’m back with another Beautiful Books!!! This is TECHNICALLY suppose to be on editing your first drafts, but I haven’t gotten there yet, so I’m just kind of rambling about my different novels. I hope that you all enjoy!

(And don’t forget, you writers, to click on the picture below to join the link-up yourself!)

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What were your writing achievements last year?

I’m … not really a planner. Soooo, uh huh. Anyways. I was just wanting to finish at least one NaNo. Which – I did! I actually complete two NaNos (one of which within only two weeks!).

Another one was to finish one of my first drafts, which … I didn’t. But I think that I’m making tremendous progress!

What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?

I’m moving last year’s “goal” to finish at least one of my current first drafts (Meryl’s Story or Broken Reflections). And this year I want to complete all three NaNoWriMos (April, July, and November).

Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!

giphyAgain, it’s Meryl’s Story (which I’ve recently started to revisit in preparation for April’s NaNo.
I’m also doing Broken Reflections – which I’ll hopefully keep up a good schedule for posting it.

How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?

Just … the general writing better. If I’m being honest, I don’t think that I’m half bad at writing. And most of what you guys read are first draft stuff with only a quick glance-over. But there’s always room for improvement, eh?

I also want to be faster at writing. As you guys may or may not know, I happen to be a slightly … highly … competitive person, and when I saw that Cait wrote about 25k in one day … well … my 15k seemed kinda pathetic. So I want to write 17k in one day and finish a NaNo within the first week.

Describe your general editing process.

Ha. What editing process??

I haven’t quite gotten to that stage yet.

When I first started writing, I was one of those “perfections.” Okay, not a die-heart one, but I liked to edit as I went. Which worked … until I got serious and needed to move along a little bit faster.

So now I won’t go back and fix any misspelled words with the stupid red squiggly lines underneath until I’ve finished one page (a little incentive, if you will), but I try to not delve too deeply into writing mistakes until I pleasure read my work a few months later.

On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?

What draft?

Um, we’ll just answer for both of the drafts that I started (er … continued) last year.

tumblr_ms4ncj0y5t1rc74vco1_500By your generally positive response to Broken Reflections (ahem, Simi), I think that it seems pretty good. But I also think that I did a pretty good job with some more … obscure references (like one to 2005’s Sky High). I also have some pretty humorous moments in that draft.

The most proud moment, I think, though, was on my last day of writing (that 15k one) when I suddenly had a beautiful, touching moment that really brought out Sawyer’s character and tied in the title (which was given to me by the lovely Celandiya). So maybe an 8??

I had quickly picked up all the fallen strings with Colleen Ada, Alla, and James. While Paige hadn’t been as frosty towards me, we still weren’t chums. But I could tell that our little trip had brought us a smidgen closer. And Echo. Oh boy. She definitely came out of her shell and showed herself that afternoon, proving to be a very vocal and blunt girl, opposite of my first impressions of her.

I shifted to my side, and stared at the broken glass pieces still scattered on the floor, catching the light overhead and reflecting it in thousands of twinkling stars. I don’t know why I hadn’t bothered to pick up all the pieces. Maybe it was because my gift had made me careless.


As for Meryl’s, it’s turned out better than I could’ve hoped. Back in 2015 and my first NaNo (er, Camp NaNo, that is) and I was feeling quite ambitious going for 50k while my cabin was all 15k, and they were all experienced NaNoers, I opened that blank document and stole borrowed the name Meryl form a favorite book (The Two Princesses of Bamarre) and came up with a warrior orphan girl and her protective brother running into her kidnapping fairytale hero.

After losing almost the whole 50k at the end of NaNo, I decided that a SERIOUS rewrite was in order (especially after trying to continue on from the first 25 or so saved pages). I couldn’t have been happier with the results. Meryl and her brother have COMPLETELY (well, nearly) changed their personalities, Lazarus is literally a whole new person, and I took out the whole sci-fi aspect of the story. Now Meryl’s a girl who loves to run, and she and her older brother – her hero – are being chased and run to the strange woods to escape. It definitely has a darker tone to it, and I’m quite happy with the results. I’m also gonna go with an 8 on this on, as well.

What aspect of your draft needs the most work?

Cutting out a heck of a lot of commas. Like, seriously. When I’m writing during NaNo (a.k.a. the only time) and I’m writing fast and furiously (hahahhahaha … that’s a reference to something that I haven’t even seen!), I add a lot of commas. It’s weird.

But aside from that, probably evening out everyone’s personalities. Since I’m juggling with original characters AND new ones, I’m trying to balance their personalities and now I have some extroverted introverts, and thinking feelers. (That’s meant for you, Jessica. 😉 )

What do you like the most about your draft?

In Broken Reflections, probably all the characters. I had SUCH fun writing all of their interactions and the jokes/references. I get SO excited whenever Colleen Ada comes in, because she alone can fill 4+ pages on her dialogue (especially when James comes in…). Or a touching moment between James and Alla and Sawyer. I nearly cried by how real and sweet it felt. ❤ And I’ve already mentioned how I feel about that one touching moment with Sawyer and his realizations.

And for Meryl’s Story, it has a real feel to it. How sweet siblings can turn on the other in seconds when different people come into the situation. When Meryl and her brother are attacked, you can really see Meryl’s selfishness and human nature come out. She gets jealous when he makes a friend, and Devin (her brother) gets mad about her meeting a boy. It’s just … got such a realistic feeling – in my opinion.

stock-photo-95206729-fire-sparks-isolated-on-black-backgroundThe howl cut off suddenly; the crickets and their sparks stopped.

The wolf was coming in for the kill.

Meryl gave it one last desperate effort, and silenced her cries and tears, and stiffened her body. It took every ounce of her willpower to do so, but to save herself and Devin, it was worth it.

Thank you,” Devin mouthed, and he stilled his rocking and tears as well.

The only movement was the slight breeze stirring the trees’ leaves somehow, and the two siblings’ bodies shaking.

What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?

As I said, I’ve not really editing. But what I’ll probably do when I finish both drafts is go back and slightly edit it while pleasure reading it. Then I’ll probably rewrite the whole thing. *gulp* But I’m actually excited for that challenge. Maybe.

What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?

OH MY FREAKING GOODNESS, CONGRATULATIONS YOU IMPLODING STAR. As I haven’t actually finished a draft yet (well, I technically have … but that was when I was eight … though I did write an impressive amount of two and a half notebooks…), I’m not sure what I can say.

But as a reader, I say this – don’t give up. Don’t hate your story. Pleasure read it and see it from the eyes of a reader. If you aren’t pleased while pleasure reading it, then think what’s missing? Why don’t you enjoy reading it? But I DO channel you to this post. It is Christian, but I think that non-Christians can get something out of it, too.


So what did you guys think about my ramblings? Do you like to read Broken Reflections, and do you want to read Meryl’s Story (I still need to think of a title for that…)?? Let me know in the comments below, along with advice for other writers and if you love the moments when a book’s title ACTUALLY makes sense! See y’all!

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