Friday, December 11, 2015

Beautiful Books | Living City is Written....Now What?

November is over and a few weeks behind us which means that NaNoWriMo is officially over. So my wordlings, did you win? Did you come close? Even if you didn't quite make it, the fact that you made the commitment to begin with is beyond commendable! *showers you with confetti sprinkles*

Now that December has come it's time for the third month of Paperfury's blog link-up, Beautiful Books. This time it's about the aftermath (aka editing). 

This is the first time I'm experiencing this process of writing. I'm feeling a mixture of pride and uncertainty and I stare a lot at the box my manuscript resides in. I haven't even touched the first draft so I'm expecting some more strong emotions to come about. 
But anyway...onwards to the questions! 

On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how did the book turn out? Did anything defy your expectations?

On's a blind analysis since I haven't really read over much. I'm gonna be safe and say 6 or 7. It's a first draft after all and there are some things that I know need improvement. I got lazy for some scenes and breezed through them knowing I'd edit later. The story itself though? I'm very proud of that.

There was quite a bit that defied my expectations, actually. Sometimes I'd be about to move onto a new scene and it would just feel wrong so I'd go with the flow, letting my characters guide me, when all of the sudden a new development twists the entire outline, forcing me to rethink some scenes I had originally planned. All of the defiances worked for the benefit of the story though so three cheers for that!

Comparative title time: what published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men.)

I've always tried to figured this out but felt I never could....let's give it a shot though.

The Maze Runner (for the escape stuff) meets...Percy Jackson (for the mythos and ability stuff)? When I put it like that my story sounds rather cliche XD

I suppose that's what I get for coming up with the comparative title on the spot ;)

Maybe a splash of "Heroes" in there as well? 

Do you enjoy working with deadlines and pressure (aka NaNoWriMo)? Or do you prefer to write-as-you’re-inspired?

Deadlines and goals are much better for me. *inner adventurer screeches* Sorry, inner me! We can still spontaneously explore the world!

Without some sort of goal in sight that I can compare my progress to, absolutely nothing will get done. I'm the type that has to tell myself how many chapters I'll study for a final exam or in the case of writing, how many words I'll write by the end of the week.

I will write when I'm inspired but usually poetry will come out of that. If I want to make this author thing work, I need to write both when I want to and when I'd rather curl up and binge watch "Once Upon a Time" all day.

Plus, deadlines always make writing feel epic

How do you go about editing? Give us an insight into your editing process.
Well I've never actually gone through the editing process but so far I've taken some steps and have a plan...
Step one: 
Print off my full manuscript. 

Step Two: 
Box the manuscript and hide it for six weeks. 

Step Three: 
Send the first draft straight off the keys to my Alpha readers with guidelines for watching for continuity errors. For most, I send a list of questions to answer so I can get the feedback I need.

Step Four: 
Read over the Alpha feedback once all or most of it has come it and make note of important or repeated comments in my feedback journal. 

Step Five: 
Once the six weeks have passed, I can open the box and take out the manuscript to edit. I edit best when I can scribble all over the margins and mark up every mistake—I like visual proof that I'm fixing mistakes. It's soothing XD 

Step Six: 
Write draft two. 

Step Seven: 
Send the second draft to selected Beta readers for micro edits. 

Step Eight: 
Mark up a printed copy of draft two. (why do I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of money on ink and paper?) 

Step Nine: 
Read the comments and write them down like I did with the Alpha reader comments. 

Step Ten: 
Rewrite to form a third draft. 

Step 11: 
Reread the third draft and make any necessary changes ie. commas, spelling, word choice. 

That's the plan anyways....let's see how it goes. I've only gotten to step three so far. 

Bring on the rewrites! 

What aspect of your story needs the most work?

"Aspect". Thank you for not making it "aspects" XD

The beginning for sure. I was a little unsure of where the story would go when I started so it needs a massive reworking. It's choppy and rushed and confusing. Pieces are great but the pieces don't flow yet. I need to make that happen.

What aspect of your story did you love the most?

The ending <3 <3

I love my ending with a passion. It just fell into place and I wasn't expecting it to. It sets up the next book without being too much of a cliffhanger. I also really liked the build to the ending. There was a lot more action in it that I expected but I'm really glad so much of it got in there. As a reader, action is one of my favourite parts of a story.

Give us a brief run down on your main characters and how you think they turned out. Do you think they’ll need changes in edits?

Well this should be fun!

*Drags Kim to the stage* This is Kim. She's my main character and she's super determined...maybe too determined since it gets her into some trouble. Also, she's a little too independently wired for her own good. *pats her head* She needs to make friends.
She turned out exactly as I hoped and better. As I wrote, I found out a lot about her. I do need to change her reactions to a few events and also must explore her backstory some more. She lead me astray a few times so there's some false info in her profile. *parents glares her* 

And this is Colton. *pulls Colton onto the stage* He's my caring British character who is definitely the most level headed of the group. He's kind of the only one who can actually talk Kim out of something since he's reasonable and knows how to tailor information to certain individuals. One thing that I kept running into with this one is that he sometimes acted a little too much like Matt in both speech and action. I'll need to watch for that in my edits.

Lastly, I'll introduce you to Matt. *yanks him to the stage with Colton and Kim* He's not exactly the most charming of people but he's pretty helpfully so we've decided to keep him around, haven't we Kim? Colton?

Matt surprised me though, proving he has a heart for those suffering from injustice. It's a good thing this isn't a revolution story or he'd probably get himself killed.

So those are the main three for this book. *hugs them all*  

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?

Edits and beta readers for sure. Beyond that, I'm going to be prepping all January to pull together a fabulous pitch—one sheets, first five pages etc. In February I'll be travelling to Florida to pitch it to agents and editors *fingers crossed*. If that doesn't work, I'll start querying and hit up some more conferences. I'm determined to be published. 

Share a favourite snippet!

Oh boy...this is hard. Most of my favourite snippets are at the end and they're full of spoilers. I do like this piece though: 
"Kim looked back at the phone and rolled the turtle charm between her finger and thumb. "What're all these phones from?" 
Matt reached into the box and pulled out one with a black protective case. "Wrecks." 
Kim's eyes darted to him. "Like…"
"It's a museum of stuff from Up There. What did you expect?" 
"Well I knew it would be like this but…all this stuff. It feels so personal to hold." 
Matt sighed. "I know what you mean. Whoever owned this phone, it's a piece of their life." He flipped the device over in the palm of his opposite hand. "You can tell a lot about a person based on what they owned you know." 
Kim glanced at him. "What do you mean?" 
"Well, this person has a protective case around an old phone. The case is black and clunky. Obviously they didn't really care about trends. Functionality was more important to them." He nodded to the phone in Kim's hand. "Whoever had that phone was obviously a girl, probably liked the colour green and maybe went to Hawaii or something." 
Kim looked at the phone. "I never would have thought of any of that." 
Matt dropped the phone in the box. "Yeah well you pick up on it when you're surrounded by this stuff.""
What are your writing goals and plans for 2016?

As I mentioned above, there's that trip to Florida. I hope to finish "Living City" to it's final draft and have the first draft of "Crec" written. If I'm lucky, I'll even have "Sunken Sky", Tholus's second book started. I'm super excited for 2016. It'll be a new era in my writing universe :)

2016, here I come

So that's the link up for this month. If you missed last month's post where I talked about the process of writing "Living City", click here and if you want to learn more about the story itself, follow this linky here. 

How was NaNo this year? 
Did you do Beautiful People? Share a link with me so I can read about your novel too :) 

Write on, Wordlings! 


  1. Okay, I need your novel now. I mean, Percy Jackson plus The Maze Runner plus Heroes? I LOVE all of these things! Congrats on finishing, Cassia :)

    Ely @ Tea & Titles

    1. Aw, thank you ^ ^ That's so encouraging! Apparently it's not so cliche after all then :)

      Thanks for commenting :D

  2. Omg omg such big plans for 2016!! GOOD LUCK. (I think submitting to agents/editors in person sounds soooo scary so I admire you a ton. XD) And I'm glad it was a great NaNo for you! And Percy Jackson meets The Maze Runner is officially my favourite comparative pitch of ever. It totally didn't sound cliche to me! :D
    Thanks for joining in the linkup!!

    1. THANK YOU! I'm rather nervous but super pumped for it ^ ^
      Wow, thanks so much XD You're not the first to think so so I suppose it's not as cliche as I thought it was!
      You're most welcome. I love participating in link ups :D

  3. I'm so excited for youuuuu! I have such an awesome feeling about this story and I'm enjoying being one of the first pairs of eyes to see it! Wishing you the best in your writing endeavors!

  4. But Percy Jackson meets Maze Runner sounds so interesting!! And I really like the sound of Matt; he seems like a sweet guy, plus the way he can pick up on all that just from looking at the phone is super cool. :)

    I did do the linkup, so here's the link to my post if you're interested. :)


    1. Thank you ^ ^ I hope that if can be as intense as it sounds!

      I'll definitely check out your blog :D Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Oh goodness, I Just realized that I totally gave the wrong link somehow. :p My website link is here: (though you should totally check out Tori's too, as she's very cool. :) )